On the Water: Weather is hot, and so is the fishing
If you have been fishing recently, you no doubt felt the heat. Inshore, offshore, the beaches, piers or bridges, they all had one thing in common, it was HOT! It’s typical for mid-August – bright sunny days with no to very little wind to jack up the heat, and many days with a lack of early afternoon thunderstorms to cool things down and it only makes it worse.
Inshore, despite water temperature pushing 90 degrees, the bite was still good at times. Mangrove snapper, as they have been for much of the summer, were the go to fish with limits coming fairly easy. Fish to 15 inches were found over grass flats and bar edges under schools of small baitfish, often chumming right up to the boat. Fishing the slower tide stages also produced limits of nice fish in Boca Grande and Captiva passes. Good numbers of snapper were found throughout Matlacha Pass, Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound and also areas adjacent to the Sanibel Causeway.
Trout numbers were consistent but the average size was generally an inch or two below keeper size, with many anglers reporting about one of every dozen measuring over the 15-inch minimum. Look for trout feeding under the many schools of small baitfish over grass bottom in 3 to 6 feet of water. Most fish are keying on the bait fish; your best chance for fast action is to either catch and use the real thing or cast small lures that mimic the little baits. Trout were found on both sides of the Sanibel Causeway, east of Buck Key, between Cabbage Key and Captiva Pass, and between Demere Key and the fish shacks, plus of Jug Creek Shoals near Bokeelia.
Spanish mackerel, bluefish, small sharks and ladyfish were often found over the same bottom as trout. Plus, at least one tarpon was reported taking a bait aimed at trout in the Sound.
A couple redfish schools of 50 or more fish were located in mid-Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor on the lower stages of tide. Most of the school fish are in the 30-inch range. Smaller fish averaging 19 to 24 inches were caught around oyster bars in Matlacha Pass on the morning falling tide and under the shade of the mangroves in northern Pine Island Sound on high water.
Offshore, red grouper to 12 pounds were caught 25 to 30 miles west of Captiva. Mangrove and lane snapper were also taken from the same depth. Closer to shore over artificial reefs, shrimp/jig combinations worked for a mix of fish including mangrove snapper, mackerel, trout and a few flounder. Sharks and barracuda were also common hook-ups, wanted or not, around offshore structure.
We are on the downhill side of the heat, fall or autumn is less than a month away and soon we well feel subtle changes to our weather. That’s great news and relief for both anglers and fish.
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’.