On the Water: Wet weather dampens fishing
After a lengthy stretch of dry days we were due for some rainy days, and Mother Nature delivered. This past weekend was a wash, with storms and steady rain. Before the weather went south anglers were turning in some decent reports.
Earlier in the week ahead of the west winds, grouper diggers hooked fish in depths from 70 to 110 feet in the Gulf. Several boats found good numbers of red grouper around 80 feet, plus a few gags along with yellowtail and mangrove snapper. Bait of choice included live pinfish, blue runners, squid, shrimp, and mullet or bonito strips. Speaking of bonito, schools were located under birds between 80 and 100 feet.
A mix of bottom fish including lane, vermilion, and mangrove snapper, plus grunts, porgies, and a few keeper size red grouper were caught over hard or coral bottom Southwest of Sanibel in depths from 60 to 70 feet.
Inshore, the best bite most of the week was during the early morning falling water before the heat of the day set in. Of course we are talking before the sun disappeared for several days and was replaced with rain. Redfish in the upper slot or near 27 inches were caught in mid-Pine Island Sound around oyster bars and along shorelines north of Demere Key. Several reds, plus a few snook were hooked in the Indian Fields area of Matlacha in the morning hours while casting top water lures or fishing live pinfish under a cork. Snook were also caught and released in good numbers along the eastern shore of Charlotte Harbor, on the beaches from Cayo Costa to Sanibel, and inside Redfish and Captiva Passes.
Just as they have been all summer, mangrove snapper were caught in good numbers and size throughout the inshore waters. We caught them just about everywhere we fished whether we were targeting them or not. Make sure and use a small hook and light leader, shrimp, small pilchards and pinfish all work great, at times live bait works best and other times cut bait is the ticket.
Flounder was a surprise catch for many anglers and the numbers of fish and size appears to be on the rise. We caught a few this week that were the largest I have seen in a while. We talk about snapper as possibly the best eating fish in our waters, well flounder are right there with them.
The bad news with all the rain, we missed a few days on the water and we’ll have to endure upcoming rain run-off into our waters. The good news is cooler water temperatures, there will be a significant drop and this is good for two reasons. First, with cooler water it is difficult for a tropical storm to gain strength in the Gulf waters. Not that there are any out there but it is the height of hurricane season. And second, a drop in temperature can really get the fish active and feeding. No doubt the sun will return and quickly warm things back up, so get out there soon.
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’.