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On the Water: Beat the heat to catch the most fish

By Staff | Jul 14, 2016

Summertime weather with calm seas and blue skies gave anglers a host of fishing opportunities over the week.

Inshore fishing was hit or miss as many anglers reported over the week. Sea trout were caught in respectable numbers in northern Pine Island Sound and between Matlacha and Bokeelia. Many were running just under the 15-inch minimum but a decent number of fish to 20 inches were boated. Spanish mackerel to 21 inches were also caught with the trout. The best bite came from 4 to 6-foot depths over grass bottom. A few tripletails to 17 inches were also caught in north Matlacha Pass hanging around crab trap buoys or channel markers.

Redfish running in size from 17 to 28 inches took live and cut bait plus artificials along shorelines and under mangrove overhangs from northern Buzzard Bay to the Two Pines are of Charlotte Harbor. Redfish along with mangrove snapper and snook were reported from shorelines and creeks at Sanibel’s Ding Darling and around oyster bars and shorelines around Buck Key.

Catch-and-release snook action was good at times around the passes and beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and Cayo Costa. The best action came while casting or drifting a variety of live baits including pinfish, pilchards, thread herring, pigfish and slippery dicks.

Tarpon weren’t reported in huge schools as they were last month but there are fish along the beaches and in Charlotte Harbor. The best chance of hooking up is at first light through the early morning hours. Off the beaches, small crabs and thread herring worked best, and in the Harbor small ladyfish and thread herring are the ticket.

Artificial reefs within sight of land continue as a good place to catch a variety of fish large and small. Good numbers of mangrove snapper were caught while anchoring up current with a chum bag and free lining shrimp and small baits into the chum. Several permit up to 15 pounds were hooked on live crabs and for big fish – goliath grouper, sharks and barracuda – are hanging around just about all the reefs.

Further offshore in 90 to 120-foot depths, large gag grouper, yellowtail and mangrove snapper were boated along with a few red grouper and an occasional dolphin (mahi-mahi).

It’s been sunny with light to no winds more often than not lately making it extremely hot from mid-morning on. Make sure to bring plenty of drinking water and drink often. If you feel you are getting overheated, put the fishing poles away, crank up the motor and get some breeze blowing in your face. Ride a while and fish awhile is a good strategy to keep cool during the summer heat.

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at 239-283-7960, on the Web at www.fishpine-island.com or email: gcl2fish@live.com

Have a safe week and good fishin’.