On the Water: Cooler days put fish on the move
Fishing was really good from early to mid-week then a cool front brought us a stiff northeast breeze for a few days that affected anglers. The wind pushed the water out for lower than normal tides and altered fish behavior for a day or two. Good news was it also brought cooler temperatures, low humidity and beautiful cloud free skies.
Snook fishing is touch and go for most anglers – you hear of a few good reports and a lot of reports with plenty of undersized fish and the occasional big one that got away. Some of the better fishing came from Pine Island Sound between islands and around creek mouths while freelining live pinfish or pilchards over the incoming tide. Burgess Bay near Bokeelia yielded snook up to 32 inches and catch-and-release snook were reported around docks north of Captiva Pass.
It’s getting that time where most of the large schooling redfish are heading offshore into the gulf for parts unknown. There are still some large fish around however as several anglers got into schools of fish averaging 28 to 33 inches in length. Most were reported in north Pine Island Sound. Slot fish between 18 to 27 inches were caught around the island and keys in eastern Pine Island Sound, the north end of Buzzard Bay in northern Matlacha Pass, and around oyster bars between Tropical Home sites and 8th Avenue in southern Matlacha Pass near St. James City. Gold spoons, Berkley Gulp Shad, cut mullet and live pinfish, shrimp and pilchards all produced.
For trout ,there appears to be plenty of undersized fish over open grass flats in Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound. For larger fish averaging 15 to 20 inches, a few reports of nice limits were boated while targeting snook around sand holes in the sound. Look for the trout stationed right at the transition from grass to sand where the current is flowing well.
There are a lot of jack crevalle of all sizes plus decent sized bluefish harassing anglers in many of the areas while targeting snook or reds. It provides a lot of action and keeps you busy until hopefully that big snook or red you are targeting decides to eat. The Spanish mackerel action was good in Charlotte Harbor off Bokeelia and also in mid Pine Island Sound between Redfish and Captiva passes.
The possibility of a cobia is likely at any time both inshore and offshore, as a few good fish where boated again this week. Also gag grouper are making an appearance inshore including a nice 28-inch fish that took a live pinfish for us in Charlotte Harbor.
Mangrove snapper are still inshore but it appears the numbers are beginning to dwindle pretty quickly as the larger fish head offshore. If you want one last snapper meal without heading into the gulf, it’s probably a good idea to do it very soon.
It’s hard to believe we are closing out another month already and the holiday season is just ahead. Our crazy season is fast approaching as visitors from the North head our way.
The weather is great and fishing is good, get out there and enjoy our back yard while we still have it somewhat to ourselves.
If you have a fishing report or for charter information, contact us at 239-283-7960, visit www.fishpineisland.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a safe week and good fishin’.