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On the Water: Anglers starting to get back into action

By Staff | Oct 4, 2017

Chris Head, visiting from Alabama, pulled this big oversized redfish out of a school in northern Pine Island Sound while fishing with Capt. Bill Russell. PHOTO PROVIDED

With Hurricane Irma a couple weeks in our rear view mirror, anglers are beginning to get back on the water. Despite extremely dark water from the storm run-off, many found fishing surprisingly good.

Its prime time for chasing redfish schools throughout Pine Island Sound and around Charlotte Harbor. The dark water has made it a little difficult to sight or locate fish, but they were often located by looking for a push of water along the shallows on the lower to mid-tide stages. Once found, any live or dead bait, plus most artificials, worked with most fish averaging over 30 inches. If you’re boatless, the Bokeelia Fishing Pier had reports of big redfish, plus some nice snook. Slot or keeper size redfish between 18 and 27 inches were reported from the southern Sound near Wulfert and Buck keys.

Snook were hooked throughout the inshore waters including Matlacha Pass, Charlotte Harbor near Bokeelia, in Pine Island Sound south of Pineland and around the passes. Nighttime anglers landed a few nice snook from the Matlacha Drawbridge while fishing live pinfish, shrimp, or casting lipped or diving lures. Pinfish, along with pigfish, were the top snook getters throughout the area. A few snook were also fooled early and late in the day while casting top-water lures along shorelines.

For the larger trout, attempt to find water with the best clarity. This may be difficult, but a good starting point is near the Gulf passes over grass flats in Pine Island Sound. This is the area where you should find the cleanest water with the most salinity inshore. With that said, sea trout were reported between Matlacha Pass and Bokeelia and off the west side of Bokeelia. Most are running undersize and often mixed with schooling ladyfish.

Offshore, good numbers of gag grouper were caught in depths between 50 and 70 feet. Most are running undersize, but it’s a sign that maybe fish are moving closer to shore as the Gulf waters gradually cool down. Not many snapper were reported from these depths but grunts were in good numbers.

As we settle back into our daily routine following a hectic few weeks, more anglers will no doubt get back on the water.

This is our first full week of autumn and we should gradually begin to note slightly cooler days on the water.

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 please email gcl2fish@live.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.