homepage logo

On the Water: Late week front cools down fishing

By Staff | Apr 30, 2019

Capt. Bill Russell

Good news over the past week was strong full moon tides moving a lot of waters is always a plus for fishing. And the bad was another late season front dropped down to end the work week with gusty winds ahead and after its arrival. However, by the end of the weekend, the winds were dropping, and skies were clear and blue.

Despite many windy days, the snook bite remained strong throughout our inshore waters. Snook up to 34 inches were caught and released along the eastern side of Cayo Costa State Park and near Blind Pass in Pine Island Sound. Several boats report releasing double digit numbers of fish around Charlotte Harbor along the eastern shore and near Bokeelia. Also, snook were caught and released while fishing live shrimp from the Bokeelia Fishing Pier and Matlacha Drawbridge.

Overall sea trout numbers were not impressive over the week, yet a good number of large gator trout were caught. Fish up to 26 inches were hooked in northern Pine Island Sound and the southern end of Charlotte Harbor. As usual with the larger trout, most were caught while snook fishing in depths less than 4 feet. Remember, all trout measuring over 20 inches must be released.

While casting spoons and small lures around bait schools, anglers often kept a rod bent with ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and a few trout. Most of the action came from areas in Pine Island Sound between Useppa Island and Bokeelia, and in northern Matlacha Pass. The best bet is to look for pelicans diving and make a drift through the area. Sharks from 3 to 5 feet were common, and often hooked while soaking a chunk of fresh ladyfish.

It was another tough week offshore as many days brought steady winds and rough conditions. Early in the week a few boats found king mackerel up to 20 pounds in depths between 35 and 45 feet. The kings were hooked along weed lines and bait pods. Lane snapper and grunts were caught over hard bottom and reefs over depths between 40 and 50 feet. Also, early in the week with the prevailing easterly wind, tarpon were located just off the beaches of north Sanibel and Captiva islands.

Anglers were hunting and locating tarpon early in the week, then when the late week storms brought strong winds, many of the fish disappeared for the weekend. As the wind settles for a couple days, you can expect fish to re-emerge in Pine Island Sound, Charlotte Harbor and around the Gulf passes and Sanibel Causeway.

It looks like just maybe our weather might settle into a steady pattern for the next week with no strong fronts dropping down. If this happens, tarpon should start ganging up in good numbers inshore, around the passes and off the beaches. When they show up let’s hope they are hungry!

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at: Gulf Coast Guide Service, 239-283-7960 or visit 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.