On the Water: Warm weather brings some good fishing
It was the first week of November but it sure didn’t feel like it with warm, humid days often topping 90 degrees. It was often summer-like hot, but the fish didn’t seem to mind as good reports came in from inshore and offshore.
Reports of scattered redfish came in from all around the islands and size varied from 16 to 30 inches. More redfish were hooked while targeting oyster bars, drop-offs and sand potholes than fishing under the mangroves. Reds were caught off both the east side of Charlotte Harbor and around Bull and Turtle bays, in Pine Island Sound east of Panther Key and further south near Regla Island. Also, reds were caught outside creek mouths in southern Matlacha Pass and to the north around Buzzard Bay. Not much for schooling fish reported, most singles and pairs.
With the continuing warm weather, many snook are still hanging around the Gulf beaches and passes, especially the larger fish. Over the falling tide snook to 38 inches were reported from sand drop-offs, docks and submerged structure around the passes. Decent numbers of mostly undersize snook were caught and released along shorelines on the eastern side of Pine Island Sound, around Cabbage Key, creek mouths and sand holes around “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, and throughout Matlacha Pass. A few fish up to 32 inches were boated but most were running 20 to 26 inches.
Many anglers are catching trout in two sizes – really big or undersized. Sea trout up to 24 inches were caught by anglers targeting snook along shorelines, oyster bars and sand holes. Many of the larger fish were hooked in areas with good concentrations of mullet. Targeting sea trout over open water grass flats was a pain at times due to endless numbers of ladyfish. A few months ago we were wondering what happened to the ladyfish, well, they are back in full force. Most areas they were so thick and aggressive it was hard to get a bait to anything else, including trout. There were some good keeper-size trout mixed with ladyfish over grass flats around the Sanibel Causeway and outside Tarpon Bay, but most anglers found trout under 15 inches common.
Anglers are reporting lots of action offshore, with large schools of bait and hungry predators. Spanish and king mackerel, plus false albacore were found busting up bait pods from 6 to 12 miles offshore. Fishing over structure in depths from 30 to 60 feet resulted in good numbers of cobia with the largest reported at 50 pounds. Also, lots of sharks, including bulls to 10 feet and barracudas.
Bottom fishing was also good with large mangrove and yellowtail snapper, a few measuring over 20 inches, plus grunts, porgies, triggerfish and a few good-sized gag grouper.
Our fishing is still in October mode and could stay that way until a few cool fronts pass through. Fish don’t have a calendar to tell them what month it is and where they should be, it’s all about water temperature and right now the water temperature is still way above average. The good news, October is one of our best months for fishing and if it stays around a little longer, that’s just fine with me.
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’.