On the Water: Improving weather great for fishing in the area
Over the past week, fishing was slow at times and at times it was good, for the most part the weather was great. Fish appear to be on the move as expected with the water cooling down.
Gag grouper appear to making their move to shallower waters as fish to 29 inches were caught in depths from 35 to 50 feet trolling deep-diving lures and dropping live pinfish over ledges. Good numbers of undersized gags with a few keepers were reported from Captiva and Boca Grande Passes while drifting rocky areas with live bait.
Redfish, often in good numbers, were reported in Charlotte Harbor, Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound. Schools of large, mostly oversized reds were located off the eastern side and Turtle Bay areas of Charlotte Harbor, in Pine Island Sound near Rocky Channel and Captiva Pass, and near Wulfert Keys. Early morning gave the best opportunity to locate the schools as extreme high tides made them difficult to locate later in the day.
Top-water lures; cut bait including ladyfish, mullet and pinfish; plus live bait including pilchards, pinfish and shrimp, were top baits.
Fly rodders also found good action with a host of different flies. For reds averaging 20 to 26 inches, the better reports came from anglers working oyster bars or shorelines on the morning rising waters with the previously mentioned baits. Additional areas that were productive included oyster bars and shorelines near Fishermen Key and the Sanibel Causeway, islands in north Pine Island Sound and northern Matlacha Pass in the Buzzard Bay area.
Many anglers are finding decent snook action, but catching fish in the legal or keeper slot is difficult. Snook were caught in areas mixed with redfish, where live baits including pilchards and pinfish worked best. A few larger fish were reported near Redfish Pass, plus nearshore reefs.
Not much to report on trout fishing, a few measuring to 18 inches were caught near Two-Pines off Charlotte Harbor and around Red Light Shoals in the southern sound. With the amount of bait fish around, give us a few more days without rain and cooler temperatures and the trout bite should improve considerably.
Also, as the water gradually cools, Spanish mackerel were caught near the Sanibel Causeway, inside Captiva Pass and off the east side of Punta Blanca Island.
A few gag grouper are beginning to show up in inshore waters, and a couple triple tail were caught in mid-Pine Island Sound and good size flounder were often caught in the shallows.
Maybe, or better, hopefully, we are done with the rain for a while and our waters will begin to lighten up. The water quality up till now appears fine, bait is living good and fish are where they should be, most places I fish the water is clear, it’s just very dark. If you don’t know the inshore waters, this isn’t the time to learn them as it’s often impossible to distinguish the shallow from the deep. It all looks deep, but we know it’s not. If you are unsure stay in the marked channels or areas you know, it will lighten up 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’.