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

By Staff | Aug 27, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Members of the Brook's Fishing Club skirted around the weather and avoided the rain to catch their limit of tasty mangrove snapper. They were fishing in Pine Island Sound with Capt. Bill Russell.

Rain, rain and more rain. That pretty much summed up the past week. The middle of August is a notoriously slow time without a lot of anglers fishing, throw in rain and unsettled weather and fishing reports were hard to come by.

Inshore, redfish and mangrove snapper were the best thing going most days. A good bite on both was reported for the few hard core anglers on the water. Often the reds and snapper were hooked under the same bushes around mangrove islands in Pine Island Sound, Sanibel’s “Ding” Darling Refuge and Matlacha Pass. Live and cut bait, including shrimp, pinfish, pilchards and sardines, worked best over the higher tides.

Tarpon and sharks were reported in mid-Pine Island Sound between Rocky Channel and North Captiva Island. Most fish were hooked on a half of fresh mullet soaked on bottom. This same area is also holding large schools of ladyfish. Drift while casting a silver spoon with a quick retrieve to locate the ladies.

Nearshore reefs in 30 to 45-foot depths yielded a mix of mangrove snapper and grunts, plus goliath grouper and barracuda for anglers looking for a challenge. The smaller fish were caught on shrimp, pilchards, cut ballyhoo and squid, while the goliaths inhaled ladyfish and mullet.

Often the best fishing is during adverse weather. If you don’t mind getting wet or dodging thunderstorms it’s possible to get on excellent fishing with no one else on the water. Of course, you have to be smart and pay attention to the storms and stay away from deadly lightning. However, many days just bring a light rain or drizzle all day. This gives us relief from the summer heat and chances are good the fish are in a hungry mood.

Capt. Bill Russell

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.