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On the Water: Rainy days spark some better fishing

By Staff | Aug 24, 2016

You never know what you might hook during the rainy season. Colleen O’Keefe visiting Sanibel from Collegeville Pa., hooked into this big garfish in Charlotte Harbor near Bokeelia while fishing with Capt. Bill Russell. PHOTO PROVIDED

Over the week we experienced some days with typical summer heat, but also a good amount of rain, including a day or two with rain and no sunshine most of the day. This caused inshore water temperatures to drop a few degrees and, coupled with strong tides, helped spark a decent bite.

Sea trout were reported in good numbers throughout Pine Island Sound and off the flats of Bull and Turtle Bay in Charlotte Harbor. In the Sound, fish were caught between Foster’s Point and Captiva Pass and a little further south between Regla Island and Red Light Shoals. Steady action was noted between St. James and Sanibel over many of the shallow bar drop-offs from Marker 13 to Tarpon Bay, and also near the Sanibel Causeway islands. Many of the trout are running undersize, but if you keep at it there are bigger fish mixed in, plus a lot of little sharks. In Matlacha Pass a few large trout were enticed with top-water lures over the early morning tides near the north end of Buzzard Bay. Mangrove snapper up to 15 inches were also caught from many of the same locations.

Catch-and-release snook action continues along the beaches, around the Gulf passes, the western side of Pine Island Sound and the shorelines of Charlotte Harbor. Most were caught on live bait including pilchards, pinfish and pigfish, a good number of fish were also hooked on the beaches with various fly patterns that imitated small pilchards. Also on the beaches, pompano, snapper and whiting were hooked on shrimp-tipped jigs and sand fleas on Cayo Costa and also Sanibel near Blind Pass.

It’s getting time for large redfish to begin schooling inshore – a few schools of up to 50 fish were reported in Pine Island Sound. Look for schools to get larger and more plentiful over the next few weeks. In Charlotte Harbor, reds averaging 18 to 25 inches were caught on the high water along Charlotte Harbors eastern shore and Turtle Bay. On the evening low tides, tailing redfish were sight-fished in north Matlacha Pass and in the Sound near Demere Kay.

Offshore, boats fishing between 65 and 85-foot depths hooked a variety of fish including red grouper; mangrove, lane and yellowtail snapper; along with grunts and porgies. Grouper were caught with live pinfish or cut mullet, and most of the other species took squid/jig combos or shrimp on a knocker rig.

Nearer shore over artificial reefs, look for mangrove snapper, mackerel and sharks. Also, large barracuda are hanging around and taking every opportunity available for an easy meal with a hooked fish. If you want to have some fun, rig up a rod with a wire leader, send a live bait down and hold on.

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’.