On the Water: Windy week creates fishing challenges
The good news over the past week was cooler weather and strong full moon tides. For the bad, the strong northeast winds that accompanied the cool down stuck around much of the week.
Despite the winds, inshore anglers had various success while targeting redfish, snapper, sea trout and snook. Many of the reds reported were targeted off windblown island points and oyster bars over the incoming tide. Snook up to 32 inches were also hooded from similar areas. Strong winds and rough water made it difficult to target redfish schools along the open water areas with consistent success.
Mangrove snapper to 14 inches were caught along oyster bar drop-offs, deep mangrove overhangs and around bridge and dock pilings throughout Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass. Bluefish and jack crevalle were also plentiful in many of these areas. Sea trout up to 22 inches were often hooked in singles or pairs, the largest fish were caught while targeting reds and snook. Smaller trout averaging 13-16 inches were caught in the southern Sound near Red Light Shoals and east of Buck Key while drifting grass bottom in 3 to 5-foot depths.
From shore, snook were hooked from the beach at Blind Pass during the day and from the Matlacha Pass Bridge and Sanibel Fishing Pier at night. Snook were also reported across the eastern side of Charlotte Harbor, creek mouths at “Ding” Darling Wildlife Sanctuary and inside the Gulf Passes from Blind Pass north to Boca Grande.
Offshore, seas were pretty rough for the better part of the week once you got a couple miles from shore. Fishing near shore, a few boats found good action with Spanish mackerel and small sharks while fishing live bait or casting spoons around bait pods. Once you head offshore you will quickly notice plenty of trap buoys as stone crab season is here. Make an effort not to run over the floats and cut the rope with your prop, if you run a little distance away it’s possible to spot tripletail below the buoy without spooking them.
As we can actually feel the change of seasons, it’s a good idea to take a variety of tackle on the boat and be prepared anything. Gag grouper are making their way nearshore, tarpon are a possibility, large king mackerel and cobia are moving down the coast and inshore the large schooling redfish should be coming to a peak. Get out there, keep your eyes open and be ready!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a safe week and good fishin’.
As a native of Pine Island, Bill Russell has spent his entire life fishing and learning the waters surrounding Pine Island and as a professional fishing guide for the past 18 years.