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On the Water: Summer is here — fishing and weather are hot

By Staff | Jun 25, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Mick Pierce visiting from New Jersey with one of several big snook he landed and released. He was fishing Charlotte Harbor with Capt. Bill Russell.

As we head into summer, with the exception of a day or two, weather was good and so was fishing.

With red snapper season open, anglers took advantage of decent weather and made the long run into Gulf waters with good success. Depths from 130 to 170 feet turned up limits of nice reds with many over 25 inches. Other fish, including red, gag and scamp grouper, plus African pompano, porgy and several dolphin (magi), were also brought to the boat.

In shallower depths, from 70 to 100 feet a variety of fish were hooked over hard bottom, reliefs and structure. Good numbers of lane and vermilion snapper, plus red grouper with several over the 20-inch minimum length. Barracuda, goliath grouper, king mackerel and permit were also in the mix.

Catch-and-release snook fishing was good around the beaches and Gulf passes with the strong full moon tides. Some large snook were also caught and released from nearshore reefs north of Boca Grande Pass. In Matlacha Pass, kayak anglers report catching snook, jack crevalle, mangrove snapper and a few redfish south of the bridge around oyster bars and island points south of McCardle Island.

Also, around the passes, good action was reported with big Spanish mackerel and ladyfish around Captiva and Redfish passes. Shiny jigs and silver spoons were the baits of choice with the best bite over the incoming tide. Blacktip and spinner sharks to 6 feet were also hanging around mackerel schools.

Capt. Bill Russell

Mangrove snapper limits were caught along mangrove shorelines and around structure in Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass and around the passes. From land, snapper were hooked from the Matlacha Bridge, Bokeelia and Sanibel fishing piers and Blind Pass. Shrimp was the top bait, either fished live with a very light weight or on a small jig head. Cobia, Spanish mackerel, and snook were also landed from the Bokeelia fishing pier.

Anglers found areas with decent catch-and-release sea trout scattered over grass flats in 4 to 6-foot depths in Pine Island Sound. The best option was to drift and cover ground while casting lures or fishing shrimp under popping corks. This method also turned up a few pompano, small blacktip sharks, bluefish and a lot of ladyfish.

Hill tides concentrated a lot of the tarpon fishing around Boca Grande Pass over the afternoon crab flush. On mornings with little wind, fish were sighted along the beaches in the early mornings from Gasparilla Pass south to Redfish Pass. Tarpon were also reported in the sound from Redfish Pass north to Boca Grande Pass.

This week marks the official beginning of summer, if you haven’t noticed, it’s hot out there! This is especially true on sunny days with light winds that is normal for June. Make sure to bring plenty of water, keep hydrated, find some shade and make sure those you are with do the same. And keep an eye on the sky for thunderstorms.

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.