homepage logo

On the Water: It was a cool start to spring fishing

By Staff | Apr 2, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED For hard-fighting fun, it's hard to beat a jack crevalle on the line. When everyone on the boat hooks up at the same time, it's chaotic fun. After running around the boat several times, Bill and Jane O'Malley along with Ron Wesorick, all from St. James, won the battle and after a quick photo, all three fish swam away to fight another day. They were fishing Matlacha Pass with Capt. Bill Russell.

Spring arrived in Southwest Florida with a bit of a winter feel. Cool temperatures and a brisk north wind made for very comfortable weather on land, however anglers often found unfavorable conditions on the water. As usual it didn’t last long – heading into the weekend the thermometer was rising under a bright blue sky and winds subsiding.

Most fisherman report they really had to work for fish, moving and fishing a lot of areas or settling into one area and waiting the fish out. Some days the snook bite was good and consistent and other days not so much. Snook were caught under bushes and around docks on Sanibel and Captiva islands, and in Charlotte Harbor off the east and west walls. Several snook were also caught after the sunset from the Matlacha Drawbridge along with a few black drum. As the water temperature climbs over the upcoming days, look for the bite to heat up. Snook are catch and release only.

A few reports of sea trout came from areas in Pine Island Sound including grass flats near Captiva Pass, the fish shacks and Useppa Island. A few large trout up to 25 inches were also caught and released in north Matlacha Pass. The best bite was over the incoming tide while drifting to cover ground.

Anglers boated up to a half dozen pompano up to two pounds near Captiva and Redfish passes while bouncing small pompano jigs along sand drop-offs or fishing live shrimp under popping corks. Ladyfish and a few Spanish mackerel were also caught.

Once the weather settled and boats made the trip into Gulf waters, they found good fishing for grouper and snapper. Red grouper up to 31 inches were dug out of holes in depths from 90 to 120 feet. From 80 out to 120 feet, a mix of snapper, including lane, mangrove, yellowtail and an occasional mutton, were caught. King mackerel, sharks and a couple cobia were also caught while fishing bait pods offshore.

Capt. Bill Russell

This Saturday, March 30, is the annual Bobby Holloway Memorial Fishing Tournament, held at Pineland Marina. This is one of the longest running fishing tournaments in our area and for good reason, they do it right. They put on an awesome event that’s more than a fishing tournament. With great food, auctions and other cool stuff, it’s a great time even if you don’t fish. This tournament is all about the kids, and all proceeds benefit the children around Pine Island. I highly recommend you mark your calendar and check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

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 gcl2fish@live.com.

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.