On the Water: There are cooler days ahead for fishing
Finally, after a long stretch of warm weather, a cool front finally dropped down into Southwest Florida. Fishing was decent ahead of the front and a drop in temperature should bring good opportunities for the holiday week.
Offshore, the best action came from depths ranging between 90 and 120 feet. A variety of fish including hard fighting amberjack, goliath grouper, sharks and barracuda were hooked over wrecks. Dropping live baits over hard bottom resulted in red grouper up to 28 inches. Lane and mangrove snapper were hooked on a variety of baits including squid, pilchards and cut pinfish. Blackfin tuna and bonito were also hooked while flat-lining live bait around bird activity.
Inshore, snook and redfish were caught and released in lower Pine Island Sound east of Buck Key, around Blind Pass, and across the eastern shore, south of Flamingo Bay. Snook were also reported in the northern Sound near Pineland and off the eastern wall of Charlotte Harbor. Redfish were also caught fishing around oyster bars in San Carlos Bay.
Gag grouper, with an occasional keeper, were caught near the Gulf passes and the western side of the Sound. Large live pinfish and big diving lures worked best.
Grass flats throughout Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor continue to hold a mix of fish including sea trout, bluefish, ladyfish, jack crevalle and the occasional Spanish mackerel and shark. The best bite came while anchoring or drifting 4 to 6-foot depths. Last week there were a lot of bait schools around, often the best action came around the bait.
Shore-bound anglers continue to catch a mix of fish from the Bokeelia Fishing Pier. Snapper, sheepshead, grouper, snook and jack crevalle were reported. It seems like every time I pass by the pier in my boat, someone is holding or fighting a fish.
Big stingrays are around if anyone wants a good battle. I had a client this past week from Denmark that requested to target stingrays. I know it seems odd, but I get a lot of Danish folks that would rather catch a big ray than anything. It didn’t take long, we set up along the edge of a sand bar near Bokeelia with two cut baits on bottom and hooked two big rays within seconds of each other. They are strong, fast and great fighting, as long as you don’t allow them to vacuum to the bottom.
As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday week, if you have family or friends visiting and the weather is nice, it’s a great time to get them on the water. If you are not fishing or the fish are not cooperating, there is plenty of wildlife, including birds, dolphin, manatees and some beautiful scenery to put a smile on everyone’s face. Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy our outdoors.
If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at: Gulf Coast Guide Service, 239-283-7960 or visit “http://www.fishpineisland.com”>www.fishpineisland.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a safe week and good fishin’.
As a native of Pine Island, Capt. 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.