On the Water: Good reports help kick off June fishing
As we welcome in the month of June, anglers report good catch-and-release snook fishing, tarpon and a steady increase of mangrove snapper.
On schedule, snook numbers are increasing around the Gulf passes and beaches. Catch-and-release action was steady in the surf just a few feet off the sand beaches, and around structure inside and near the passes. Best baits included live pilchards and shrimp, small white bucktail jigs, Crystal Minnow lures and Deceiver or Clouser flies in white with a little silver flash.
Tarpon fishing was up and down as they were eating good on some days then difficult on others. Often the most consistent bite was at first light off the beaches from Sanibel to Gasparilla Island where a properly placed live crab or fly was a good bet to get an early strike. There is a lot of competition from boats working tarpon, often the number of boats outnumber pods of fish, especially when weather and wind dictate where to fish. Please be courteous and respectful of other anglers and demonstrate the same fishing etiquette you expect to receive form other boats.
In Boca Grande Pass, the afternoon falling tide led the best chances for a tarpon hook-up including the late afternoon high tides coming up this week. Look for small crabs riding the falling tide out of the harbor and hungry tarpon possibly on a good feed during the late afternoon tides.
Tarpon were also hooked in Pine Island Sound near Fosters Point and off the south side of the power lines while cut bait fishing with mullet, ladyfish and catfish tails. A variety of sharks to 6 feet were also reported.
Mangrove snapper are making a strong showing throughout our inshore waters. Tasty mangs to 15 inches were reported around oyster bars in south Matlacha Pass, along shorelines and creeks from Tarpon Bay to “Ding” Darling on Sanibel, structure inside the Gulf passes, and various sand holes and shorelines throughout Pine Island Sound. Best baits included live shrimp, pilchards, small pinfish and cut baits including thread herring, ladyfish and shrimp tipped jigs. Snapper have keen eye sight, if the water is clear, dropping down to a 20 to 25-pound fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 or smaller hook can make all the difference between fishing and catching.
Trout reports were a little better this week than the previous couple. Fish to 21 inches were reported over grass flats in the Indian Fields area of north Matlacha Pass and around oyster bars south of the Matlacha Bridge. Trout were taken from grass flats off Tarpon Bay outside Sanibel and near Red Light Shoals, and also at the north end near markers 9 and 11 west of Bokeelia. Baits included live pilchards, shrimp and pinfish under rattling corks, white Gulp Shad, Z Mann lures, silver spoons and top water Skitterwalks.
Redfish fishing has been tough for many as some areas just aren’t holding many fish. The better reports came from the southern half of Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass where numbers appear to be increasing. Fish from 17 to 28 inches were caught south of the power lines in Matlacha Pass while fishing live and cut pinfish under the mangrove shorelines on high water. Similar size reds were reported from the outer shoreline of “Ding” Darling and north of Galt Island over the higher water while drifting live pinfish with the tail cut under a popping cork along the shorelines. Soft plastic and gold spoons also accounted for a few hook-ups.
The strong east winds of last week are hopefully over, allowing anglers chasing tarpon to spread out and cover more area. The east winds often keep everyone bottlenecked off the protected waters just off the beaches, rather than allow boats to spread out throughout the inshore and nearshore waters.
Tarpon fishing can be frustrating enough itself, but magnified when weather dictate where to fish. Let’s hope for a week of light wind, courteous anglers and great fishing.
If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at 238-283-7960, on the Web at www.fishpineisland.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a safe week and good fishin’.