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On the Water: It was a mixed week out on the water

By Staff | Apr 20, 2016

Ryan, Isaac and Oscar, with Capt. Bill Russell, worked as a team to  hook and land this blacktip shark Saturday during the 18th annual Bobby Holloway Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament. PHOTO PROVIDED

Over the past week, anglers encountered some great days of fishing along with a few difficult days. Weather played a factor as we experienced some absolute beautiful days followed by wind that was so strong it was difficult to stand in the boat.

Good snook fishing was reported along oyster bars, spoil islands and island points near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, and throughout Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass and across Charlotte Harbor in Bull Bay. Fish up to 37 inches were hooked on gold spoons, top-water Zara Spooks, Berkley Gulp Shad, live baits including pilchards, thread herring, and pinfish, plus cut ladyfish and thread herring.

Large trout, with several measuring over 25 inches, were found throughout Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass. Most of the large fish were taken from sand or potholes along mangrove shorelines or near oyster bars over the incoming tide. Slot-size trout from 15-20 inches were schooling over mottled bottom with a grass/sand mix in 5 to 8-foots depths in Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor near Bokeelia, between Captiva Rocks and Demere Key in the mid-sound and Red Light shoals further south. A variety of baits included a wide range of soft plastics, plus live shrimp, pinfish and pilchards fished under rattle or popping corks.

Redfish ranging in size from 20 to 33 inches were hooked along the eastern side of Pine Island Sound and northern Matlacha Pass. Look for the fish in deeper holes and troughs off the Islands on the lower water then moving up under the bushes with the rising tide. Gold Spoons, Gulp Shrimp, live and cut pinfish, and live shrimp were the favored baits.

Also inshore, Spanish mackerel and bluefish were caught over 5 to 8-foot grass bottom throughout the area on a variety of baits. The best action came on the days the wind wasn’t gusting to hard. A few cobia were also hooked over the deeper grass bottom.

Tarpon hook-ups were reported in mid-Pine Island Sound and south of the powerlines between the channel and “Ding” Darling with cut bait working best. Tarpon were also found schooling in depths between 20 and 30 feet south of Sanibel’s Knapp’s Point on days that weren’t too windy.

Sharks from 3 to 6 feet were reported throughout the Sound and Charlotte Harbor as many were hooked whether you were targeting them or not.

Offshore, anglers targeting red grouper were generally getting good results. Reds from 22 inches up were caught in depths from 68 to 110 feet from southwest of Knapp’s Point on Sanibel to west of Boca Grande Pass. Many were caught while setting a drift over hard or coral bottom with live baits or jigs tipped with squid or Spanish sardines. A few king mackerel were caught while grouper diggers deployed a flat line with live bait in 70 to 90-foot depths and Spanish mackerel schools were found 2 to 5 miles off the beaches.

Over the past week on my boat we experienced some absolute great days of catching and a day or two that was difficult to get anything to bite. You never know from day to day, that’s part of the fun and if you don’t get on the water and give it a try, you won’t know what you might be missing.

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at 239-283-7960, on the Web at www.fishpineisland.com or email: gcl2-fish@live.com

Have a safe week and good fishin’.