On the Water: It was a good week for catching cobia
The catch of the week had to be cobia, as many were reported throughout the inshore waters and offshore. Some anglers were targeting them while others were pleasantly surprised while pursuing other species.
Inshore hot spots included the Sanibel Causeway, around the power lines in Pine Island Sound near “Ding” Darling, the north end of Matlacha Pass and Charlotte Harbor near Cape Haze. Baits included live pinfish and shrimp, cut ladyfish and Hogy lures.
Offshore, cobia were generally found hanging over structure in depths from 30 to 50 feet and often with up to half a dozen together. Bait of choice in Gulf waters included live thread herring, spot tails, pinfish, and eel look-alike artificials. Inshore cobia measured up to 38 inches with some offshore pushing 50.
Also offshore, before the winds picked up, very good action on a variety of species was noted. Fishing around reefs yielded red hot action with Spanish and king mackerel plus false albacore – all three hard -fighting drag screamers. Large toothy critters like sharks, with some big bulls and barracuda were often a nuisance.
Snapper, a mix of yellowtail and mangrove, were targeted in 40 to 50-foot depths. The key to success was anchoring up current of structure and chumming heavy. Allowing shrimp, cut squid and live pilchards to flow naturally with the current and chum was the key to success.
Back inshore, again this past week some really nice trout were caught with the largest reported measuring 26 inches. The larger fish were hooked primarily by those targeting snook around oyster bars, shoreline depressions and sand or potholes. Matlacha Pass north of the bridge, near Buck Key in the lower sound, and off Bokeelia near Burgess Bay was a few areas mentioned.
If you were on the water fishing this past week you no doubt noticed lots of birds feeding and diving over the inshore waters. There was a ton of bait fish that created a lot of feeding activity. Ladyfish dominated the activity, but trout, bluefish, mackerel, jack crevalle and sharks were also plentiful. Many anglers reported hooking a fish of some species nearly every cast while tossing small silver spoons or white jigs into the activity.
Redfish action slowed over the week with a few fish hooked here and there. A few fish to 25 inches were landed in Matlacha Passes Buzzard Bay area while tossing jerk baits from kayaks. In the sound a few reports came from creeks around McKeever Keys and also while fishing structure near Captiva Pass.
Anglers fishing near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River found decent snook action with a few fish to 34 inches plus big jack crevalle while targeting oyster bars and shorelines. Large jacks were also hooked from large schools near Matlacha. Snook ranging in size from 22 to 36 inches were caught from the western side of the sound from Blind Pass to Captiva Pass, some on Clouser Minnow flies, but most on a variety of live baits including shrimp, pinfish, pilchards, herring, pigfish and slippery dicks.
Heading into this past weekend, we finally got a much needed cool front. It wasn’t much but it did bring a few windy days and slightly cooler temperatures. Until we get a real cold front, I expect our waters to remain alive with plenty of schooling bait fish being chased by larger predators. You better get out there and take advantage of it; eventually cooler water will push everything south.
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Have a safe week and good fishin’.