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On the Water: Hot start to the month on the water

By Staff | Jul 16, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Martin and Patsy Baker along with Anthony and Braden Venable took home some good eating with their limit of mangrove snapper. They were fishing near Captiva Island with Captain Jason Ramer.

It was another week of extremely hot days on the water in southwest Florida. As typical with sunny summer days, fishing was good at times and slow at others.

Schools of bait fish of all sizes are all over the inshore waters and along the beaches. When the waters calm, they are often easy to locate as they resemble rain on the surface. Pelicans diving and birds in general are great indicators as well. More often than not, hungry predators are nearby. In Charlotte Harbor, north Matlacha Pass, and outside the gulf passes, Spanish mackerel and big ladyfish were hooked while casting silver spoons around bait schools. Sharks from two to six feet and several tarpon were hooked around bait pods as well. Sharks species included sharp nose, blacktip, spinner, hammerhead, and bulls.

Around Charlotte Harbor the mangrove snapper bite was good in many areas. Tasty mangs up to 14 inches were hooked under the Bokeelia Fishing Pier, Dangerous Reef, and around Islands and oyster bars along the eastern shore from Burnt Store Marina to Pirates Harbor. Snook, redfish, and pompano were also reported along the eastern shore.

In Matlacha Pass, mangrove snapper were targeted along oyster bars and creek mouths south of the bridge. Jack crevalle, plus a few large redfish were caught and released near Master’s Landing in the southern pass. From shore, snapper, jacks, black drum, and mackerel were hooked from the draw bridge.

Snook, large and small were caught and released and often in good numbers in and around the gulf passes and along the beaches. Best baits included pinfish, pigfish, thread herring and pilchards. White deceiver style flies also worked well along the surf of the beach. Fishing in and around the passes yielded mangrove snapper to fifteen inches. Live shrimp, small pinfish and pilchards or thread herring were the baits of choice.

Capt. Bill Russell

Offshore, the better fishing came from a good distance out in depths from ninety to one hundred thirty feet. Boats making the long ride were rewarded with a variety of fish including, gag and red grouper, red, mangrove, vermilion, lane and cubera snapper, porgy, king mackerel, and even a few dolphin (mahi.) The bite wasn’t always hot, at times anglers found a good show of fish on the screen but not much biting. Other times the bite was steady with both live and cut bait working well.

Summer brings us some flat calm days allowing for a comfortable boat ride far into the gulf waters. If you or a friend has a capable vessel this is a great time to make the run offshore. Get an early start, watch the weather, leave someone a float plan at home, and bring lots of drinking water, it can get hot.

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.