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On the Water: With cooler days, fishing will change

By Staff | Jan 20, 2016

Weather was all over the place over the past week with rain, fog, wind, warm, cool, you name it, even tornado touch downs over the weekend. Given all the inconsistency Mother Nature threw at us fishing was still decent.

A mix of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, trout, pompano, ladyfish, jack crevalle and an occasional cobia were caught in open water areas of Charlotte Harbor and north Pine Island Sound. Most fish were hooked while drifting over depths averaging 5 to 8 feet with a grass/sand bottom while casting small spoons, Berkley Gulps, white shad tails and live shrimp, either free lined or under popping corks. After the cool front, the action slowed in these areas, but after a stretch of sunny mild days, look for the action to resume.

Trout up to 21 inches were also reported from potholes near Burgess Bay of Bokeelia and between Pineland and Black Island. Shrimp under a popping cork and DOA shrimp were the best baits. A few flounder and pompano, plus lots of lizard fish were caught from the same holes. Sea trout were also reported from 4 to 6-foot depths north of the powerlines from Chino Island north to Regla.

Kayak anglers found redfish over the low morning tides in shallows south of Pineland and in Matlacha Pass northwest of the bridge. Fish up to 25 inches were taken on soft plastics in a new penny color rigged weedless and on hand-picked shrimp rigged weedless. A few snook were also caught and released, plus lots of small jack crevalle.

Catch-and-release snook fishing was also reported near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River where large fish were staging along the deeper shorelines. Large jack crevalle were also cruising the shorelines. Snook were also reported along Charlotte Harbor’s eastern shoreline over a couple days with a westerly breeze and strong high water.

With the cooler weather the sheepshead bite improved. Fish up to 5 pounds were reported from structure near the passes, including the old phosphate dock piling on the north side of Boca Grande, structure on the inside of Captiva Pass and pilings around the Sanibel Causeway and Punta Rassa docks. Sheepshead were also caught around Sanibel/Captiva’s Blind Pass. Several pompano and a few redfish were also caught with fresh shrimp the best bait.

Sheepshead were also reported offshore from the Sanibel Causeway and Belton Johnson reefs. Snapper, Spanish mackerel, flounder and small grouper were also caught. Also offshore, before the weather change, king mackerel were reported in 40 to 50-foot depths south of Boca Grande.

Fish ranging 15 to 30 pounds were caught over several days around birds, and the kings were often sighted skyrocketing from the water in good numbers. Large amberjack and red grouper were hooked offshore in depths from 50 to 90 feet.

Maybe our weather is finally going to transition into somewhat of a winter pattern. As the water temperature drops, look for baitfish to thin out and shrimp to become the go to bait. Many fish are already keying on shrimp. We had a mackerel bite over the weekend where you would hook one on every cast on live shrimp, but could not get a strike on a live pilchard or thread herring.

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: gcl2fish@live.com

Have a safe week and good fishin’.