On the Water: Warm days results in some good fishing
Warm weather continued through the week bringing anglers good fishing opportunities despite weekend winds that roughed up the waters.
The catch of the week was cobia, as a few were reported on the inshore waters and good numbers offshore. Some anglers were targeting them while others were pleasantly surprised while pursuing other species.
Inshore hotspots included the Sanibel Causeway, around the powerlines in Pine Island Sound near “Ding” Darling and Charlotte Harbor near Cape Haze. Inshore, they were hooked on baits including live pinfish and shrimp, cut ladyfish and Hogy lures.
Offshore, cobia were generally found hanging over structure in depths from 20 to 70 feet and often with up to half a dozen together. Bait of choice in Gulf waters included live thread herring, spot tails, pinfish and eel look-alike lures
Also offshore, before the winds picked up, good action on a variety of species was noted. Fishing around reefs yielded action with Spanish and king mackerel, plus false albacore – all three hard-fighting drag screamers.
A few good gag grouper were also boated. Snapper, with a mix of yellowtail and mangrove, were targeted in 50 to 80-foot depths. The key to success for snapper was anchoring up current of structure and chumming heavy. Allowing shrimp, cut squid and live pilchards to flow naturally with the current and chum was the key to success.
Back inshore, a few large trout to 24 inches were hooked primarily by those targeting snook around oyster bars, shoreline depressions and sand or potholes. Schooling sea trout running from 13 to 17 inches were found in good numbers while drifting over grass bottom areas around Bokeelia, south of Rocky Channel and near Picnic Island. Many anglers are hooking into several flounder a day averaging in size from 12 to 17 inches.
Redfish was hit or miss for many anglers with a few fish to 25 inches landed in Buzzard Bay of Matlacha Pass while tossing jerk baits from kayaks. In the Sound, a few reports came from creeks around McKeever Keys and also while fishing sand holes and shorelines north of Demere Key.
Anglers fishing near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River found decent snook action with a few fish to 34 inches plus big jack crevalle while targeting oyster bars and deep shorelines. Snook ranging in size from 22 to 30 inches were caught from the western side of Pine Island Sound from Blind Pass to Captiva Pass. Also, good numbers of pompano were found around the gulf passes and along the edge of sand bars throughout Charlotte Harbor and the Sound.
Mild weather and water temperatures hanging around the mid-70s gives us a lot of great fishing possibilities. Until we get a real cold front, I expect our waters to remain alive with plenty of schooling bait fish being chased by larger predators inshore and offshore. You better get out there and take advantage of it; eventually as winter nears, cooler water will push the action south.
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 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.