On the Water: A week of mixed results for anglers
Fishing reports included fish biting everything, so-so fishing and a few, despite locating plenty of fish, having a difficult time getting them to eat. Several days we experienced some poor tides and dreaded east winds, most likely the root of the poor bite.
Redfish and trout were caught together in 3 to 5 feet of water in southern Pine Island Sound, north of the power lines. Both species were working over large schools of small baitfish over open grass flats on the incoming tide. A steady retrieve with gold colored Johnson Sprite spoons boated redfish to 24 inches, trout to 17 inches and plenty of ladyfish, jacks and a few mackerel. Live pinfish suspended a couple feet under a popping cork also worked.
Also, decent trout action came from Pine Island Sound near the gulf in areas with clean or clear water. Notable areas included grass flats northwest of Mondongo Island, west of the fish shacks near Captiva Pass and between Redfish Pass and Roosevelt Channel. A mix of undersized to upper slot fish were found over grass flats averaging 4 to 7 feet in depth. Several small blacktip and bonnet head sharks were also hooked.
The same areas mentioned above for trout were also a good bet to give up a few Spanish mackerel. With the cooler weather to our north, the annual fall migration of fish heading south is in motion. Every day we can expect an increase in mackerel numbers. Schooling mackerel, often resulting in fast action, were reported at the Sanibel Causeway on either sides of the span, up and down the beaches, in the sound and north of Bokeelia. Casting or trolling silver spoons is a great way to target the macks; some areas are also holding large schools of ladyfish and a few bluefish.
Also in the sound, further to the north, redfish were reported along the shorelines and bar drop-offs. Some days’ large schools were located and other days they were nowhere to be found. Many of the reds were caught while fishing around mullet schools; cut mullet, ladyfish and live pinfish with the tail clipped off took fish to 31 inches. In Matlacha Pass redfish up to 27 inches were caught on top water lures and live shrimp both north and south of the bridge on the morning tide. Also, big jack crevalles were sighted around the Matlacha Bridge just about every morning either cruising or busting bait on the surface. Keep an eye open for lots of commotion on the water and a rig ready if you want to tussle with one of the hardest fighting fishing fish that swims our waters.
Along the gulf beaches near Blind Pass, that separates Sanibel from Captiva, and Redfish Pass, a mix of snook, trout, pompano, mackerel, bluefish and a few flounder were caught on live shrimp, shrimp tipped white jigs, and small silver spoons. Tarpon were reported in Boca Grande Pass where several were hooked on live pinfish or thread herring.
Offshore, a mix of red grouper, lane snapper, grunts and porgies were caught in 50 to 60-foot depths. Also, with fish migrating down the gulf, keep an eye open for king and Spanish mackerel busting bait schools and the possibility of a big cobia.
Make sure and mark your calendar for Sunday, Oct. 19. It’s the 16th annual Pine Island Elementary Fishing Tournament and Derby. It’s a great fun-filled event if you fish or not that the Matlacha Hookers host every year at the Olde Fish House Marina in Matlacha. All proceeds benefit our children at Pine Island Elementary.
If you have a fishing report or for charter information, contact us at 239-283-7960, www.fishpineisland.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a safe week and good fishin’.