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On the Water: It was a stormy week out on the water

By Staff | Jul 23, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED This big 42-inch snook helped angler Brian Bell from Madison, Fla., take home first place in the annual FSU tournament held at Tween Waters Resort on Captiva Island with guide Capt. Jason Ramer. They were fishing Pine Island Sound.

For a good part of the past week, we experienced rain, thunderstorms and unpredictable weather thanks to Tropical Storm Barry churning in the northern gulf. With an unstable weather pattern, fishing reports were sparse as few anglers ventured from the comforts of home.

When a storm is brewing in gulf waters, it often generates a good bite along our coast. Reports of great snook fishing came from the barrier islands from Sanibel up to Gasparilla. Fishing the pass drop-offs and around structure and docks, snook up to 42 inches were caught and released. A variety of live bait was the choice of most, however a few anglers hooked up with red and white jigs, plus fly anglers got a few to eat white deceiver type flies. Several redfish over 30 inches were also boated and released from these areas.

Good snook action was also reported over the morning high tides along the eastern and western wall and islands around Charlotte Harbor. Redfish and mangrove snapper were also hungry with live pilchards and pinfish the top baits.

Mangrove snapper reports came from Pine Island Sound near the passes and the passes themselves, primarily Redfish, Captiva and Blind. Live shrimp and small pilchards or pinfish worked great around the passes, and under nearby mangrove shorelines small chunks of fresh cut bait often out-fished live bait. North of Boca Grande Pass, snapper were boated along with a few flounder and permit while fishing under docks and piers with live shrimp.

Bottom fishing with cut bait resulted in hook-ups with sharks and big stingrays for a few boats. Soaking a half mullet or ladyfish in mid-Pine Island Sound got the attention of bull sharks up to 5 feet and rays 3 feet from wing tip to wing tip. Bull and blacktip sharks were also reported in Charlotte Harbor.

Capt. Bill Russell

Despite stormy conditions, last week was a great time for fishing. Overcast skies resulted in much cooler weather, this helped energize both anglers and fish. Often our best fishing is over days with adverse weather. If you’re smart and know when it’s safe to go fishing and when you should stay home, you will get into some great fishing. And best of all, it’s not uncommon to have the water all to yourself.

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.