On the Water: It’s still hot — fish early or late, and watch for storms
It’s that time of summer where fishing reports often sound the same from week to week, and you hear the same thing. It’s hot, fish early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the heat; the fish are generally more active during this time. Keep a keen eye for thunderstorms, on some days they will come in from the Gulf in the mornings, other days the afternoon sea breeze kicks them off from the east, and occasionally we have a day with both morning and afternoon storms.
We had a number of good reports for redfish, either hooking them or sighting fish tailing or pushing across the shallow flats. And some were big, well over 30 inches. Fish were located throughout Matlacha Pass, either under the shade of the mangroves or a short distance away. The fish were a little more active with the cooler morning waters; some days the bite was decent and others they weren’t in a feeding mood. Similar reports also came from Pine Island Sound south of Demere Key and off the east side of Buck Key. We are getting to that time of year where we should begin to see the larger redfish schooling up, often in impressive numbers.
Sea trout were caught west of Bokeelia over 4 to 6-foot grass flats while drifting live shrimp or Gulp shrimp under popping corks or casting DOA Cal Jigs in a black and silver mullet or pearl color. Trout up to 18 inches were also reported over grass flats east of Redfish and Captiva passes. Ladyfish, bluefish and a few Spanish mackerel were also in the mix.
Mangrove snapper continue as a good bet inshore and around the Gulf passes. From land, keeper size fish were caught from the Matlacha Bridge, Bokeelia Pier, Sanibel Pier and around Blind Pass. Live shrimp or small shrimp-tipped jigs worked best. From a boat, snapper were caught all around the area under mangrove shorelines and around structure; some of the larger fish continue to come from the Gulf passes.
Offshore, fishing for snapper was pretty good but grouper reports were a little slow. Good sized mangrove and lane snapper were found in depths from 40-70 feet over hard bottom and structure. Most of the grouper reported were undersize with a few keeper reds coming from depths between 65 and 90 feet.
A few permit and cobia were also hooked offshore over artificial reefs, plus large jack crevalle schools were reported along with a few big sharks.
With school back in session, tourist nowhere to be seen and our hottest days of the year, this may will be our slowest time on the water for traffic and fishing competition. Weekends are still fairly crowded, at least in mornings, but if you get a chance to hit the water on a week day, it’s about as close to the good old days as were gonna see.
If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at Gulf Coast Guide Service at 239-283-7960, on the Web at www.fishpineisland.com or email gcl2 email@example.com
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.