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On the Water: Full moon brings good fishing

By Staff | May 4, 2016

Cristy Kopischke of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, scored an impressive redfish, snook and trout to complete her inshore slam. She was fishing near Bokeelia with Capt. Bill Russell. PHOTO PROVIDED

The full moon in April generally brings strong tides and good fishing – and that’s what occurred over the past week as anglers found fishing success for a variety of species.

Lots of reports of good trout fishing came from areas of Matlacha Pass, including the grass flats off Indian Fields and Smokehouse Bay, in Pine Island Sound between Big Jim Creek and Black Island, flats just inside Redfish Pass and areas between Chino Island and Flamingo Bay. With the full moon, many fish were in spawning mode, schools of trout averaging 18 to 20 inches were common.

A few big “gator” trout to 25 inches were also caught around oyster bars and sand holes.

Redfish reports are on the rise from the previous month or so. Upper slot reds were caught under mangrove shorelines in Pine Island Sound adjacent to Rocky Channel, inside of Buzzard Bay in north Matlacha Pass, and along the east and west walls of Charlotte Harbor. Favorite baits included live pilchards, herring and pinfish or cut bait, including pinfish or ladyfish. A few were also hooked on Clouser Minnow flies and gold spoons.

Snook action was good throughout the sound, Matlacha Pass and Charlotte Harbor. The vast majority of fish caught averaged 22 to 26 inches, with a few fish to 35 inches reported. The larger fish came from points and creek mouths in south Matlacha Pass, under docks around the barrier Islands, including Sanibel, Captiva and north Captiva, and across the harbor in Bull Bay. Live pilchards, thread herring and pigfish or grunts were top baits.

Over the days winds cooperated, the tarpon fishing was good off the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, and in Pine Island Sound between Demere Key and Captiva Pass. A few tarpon schools were also reported in Boca Grande Pass. The best baits included small live crabs, thread herring, large pinfish and cut mullet.

Hard-fighting black-tip and spinner sharks were hooked in Charlotte Harbor near Boca Grande, in the sound west of the fish shacks, and off the beaches lurking around tarpon schools. These are some of the hardest fighting fish around, if you hook into a big one be prepared for battle.

Large jack crevalle, another extremely hard-fighting fish, were caught around the Matlacha Bridge and off seawalls to the north. Look for the schooling fish busting bait on the surface, make a long cast with a top-water lure and hold on. They aren’t much to eat but they sure are fun.

Good bottom fishing for mangrove snapper, grunts and porgies continues from the passes out to 40-foot depths. The best action came while anchoring up current of bottom structure, hanging a chum bag in the water and dropping live shrimp or cut sardines back into the chum. Spanish mackerel, false albacore, sharks and king mackerel were also hooked from the same structure. Permit are also a good possibility to show up at any time.

This week we are coming off the full moon, meaning a few days with slower tides but fishing should still be decent. One thing with fishing, you just never know. I’ve had some of my worst days when conditions are perfect and some of my best days when the odds are stacked against me.

One thing I do know, if you don’t get out there and try you’ll never know.

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’.