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On the Water: Fishing the full moon tides brings success

By Staff | Jun 1, 2016

Eleven-year-old Konnor Gregory of Matlacha won the battle with his first tarpon on his first try. Konnor was fishing Charlotte Harbor with Capt. Cliff Simer. PHOTO PROVIDED

While many anglers focused on tarpon, full moon tides also brought good action for other species over the week.

Full moon tides put anglers on the chase for tarpon through the weekend. Early morning hours, tarpon were hooked off the Sanibel beach near Knapp’s Point, south of Redfish Pass and off Cayo Costa State Park. Over the strong incoming, reports of concentrated fish came from Pine Island Sound between Demere Key and Fosters Point on Captiva and east of Boca Grande Pass in Charlotte Harbor. Over the afternoon/evening falling or hill tides, tarpon were targeted in Boca Grande and Captiva passes. Baits of choice included small live crabs, thread herring, pilchards, pinfish and squirrelfish, plus a good number of fish were hooked in Boca Grande on tarpon jigs.

Nearshore reefs and ledges, often not too far from the tarpon, gave up a variety of fish including permit, snook, snapper, grouper, cobia, king and Spanish mackerel, plus big sharks and goliath grouper. Most of the reefs are public numbers available on local charts or online.

Good catch-and-release snook fishing was reported from the Gulf passes including Blind and Redfish. Either anchoring or drifting along docks with a variety of live baits or red and white buck tail jigs got the most action. Good numbers of snook also came from Charlotte Harbor near Burnt Store Marina, where live pilchards, thread herring and chartreuse and white Clouser Minnow flies worked best.

Remember snook season is closed, please handle them with care and quickly return them to the water.

Redfish were also caught in the Harbor near Burnt Store on the top of the tides and along oyster shorelines outside Bull Bay. In Matlacha Pass, redfish were hooked along shorelines south of the bridge from McCardles Island to Sword’s Point. In the Sound, fish were reported scattered on various islands and keys in the northeast side of the Sound and in creeks and along shoreline and oyster bars in “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge. While live baits are a lot more fun to fish with, dead or cut bait appears to get better results. Shrimp, cut crab, cut grunts, pinfish, sardines, mullet and ladyfish all are good dead bait choices. Be prepared to cat a few catfish while waiting for those reds to pick up on the scent.

Anglers targeting trout often found decent action over areas including San Carlos Bay along the bar near Marker 13 and from Tarpon Bay to the powerlines. In the Sound, fish to 21 inches were hooked along bar drop-offs in 4 to 6-foot depths from Blind Pass north to Captiva Pass and between Cabbage Key and Cayo Costa State Park. In Matlacha Pass, trout were caught along the channel edges north of the bridge often near schooling threadfins and scattered trout were caught from Marker 74 up to Two-Pines in either side of the bar.

Speaking of schooling threadfins, at times they are everywhere, large schools seen dimpling the surface. This can be a smorgasbord for a variety of fish. Large mackerel, bluefish, trout, sharks, jacks, tarpon and cobia are likely lurking under the schools. Drifting a live thread or long cast with a lure or fly can often lead to something good.

It’s the last week of school, then the kids are on summer vacation. They grow up quick so make some time to get them on the water this summer.

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: gcl2fish@live.com

Have a safe week and good fishin’.