We are down to crunch time as the kids will begin a new school year beginning next week. Time is running short to get them on the water one last time before their summer ends. We might have a tropical storm influencing our weather this week, but hopefully it will pass and everyone can enjoy our waters before the kids go back to work.
This week we had a variety of reports from the Gulf waters to inshore to the shallowest of shallows. More and more anglers appear to be enjoying the extreme shallow water fishing accomplished from kayaks and canoes. And why not, its exciting fishing, you can go where most boats cannot, see nature up close and not spend much money on fuel and other related expenses of a motor boat. Plus with the low tides we experienced over the afternoons over the past week it was the only way to get back into many areas.
Locating mullet appears to be the key to finding the game fish. Both in Matlacha Pass and northern Pine Island Sound kayakers searched for active mullet along shorelines and over sand holes. Casting a variety of artificials including top water, weed less soft plastics and gold spoons in and around the mullet resulted in hook-ups of redfish, snook and trout. There was also a few small tarpon reported in creeks near Pineland. Similar type reports also came from kayakers in and near Ding Darling.
As with the past month or better the most reliable action continues to come from grass flats from four to eight feet in depth on the western side of the Sound near the Passes. A lot of trout were reported with some over twenty inches, also Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, bluefish and mangrove snapper were caught from the same areas. Small pilchards and pinfish worked good fished live under a bobber and DOA Paddle tails in a root beer color with a chartreuse tail or Mirrolure Catch Jrs with gold sides attracted lots of strikes. Some anglers chose to anchor up on grassy points while others found drifting the way to go.
Blind Pass is once again open and there are reports of snook moving back under the bridge and the surrounding waters. Mangrove snapper were also caught around the rock jetty outside of Blind Pass and under the Sanibel Pier along with a few mackerel. Snapper were also caught in the other Passes and boats running through Boca Grande Pass report lots of tarpon still in the Pass without many boats fishing them.
Offshore there were reports of mixed bag catches out to thirty-five miles. A variety of snapper including red, mangrove, yellowtail, and mutton along with a few red grouper, triggerfish and grunts were found over hard coral bottom, ledges and structure.
With summer almost over for the kids, I think my wife and I have just about got all our kids friends out fishing at least once. This week we took Danny Boyd, Brother Ryan, friend Cody and mom Belinda. These guys are about as close as friends can get without being family and we wanted Danny to catch a shark (his first) for his sixteenth birthday. As usual we went out late afternoon, with an extremely low tide and really had to work to catch bait. After an hour or so we had enough ladyfish, mackerel and bluefish to go anchor up and put out the shark rods.
After a couple pick-ups and drops, Danny got his chance. He reeled down tight on the circle hook, it connected and the fight was on. A little coaching was in order for Danny as he doesn’t get to fish often, but he soon had the pump and reel technique down. Danny worked the fish and eventually pulled a good sized lemon shark along the boat. We got a tail rope on her, took a couple pictures and a measurement then revived her for a healthy release.
As Danny watched the shark measuring just short of five and a half feet swim away he said “fishing is so cool, I don’t know why we don’t go more often”. Happy Birthday Danny and hopefully you will get to go fishing more often.
If you have a fishing story or photo that you would like to share or for charter information, please contact me at (239)283-7960 or visit us at www.fishpineisland.com. Have a safe week and good fishin’.