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Look for clean water for the best fishing

May 24, 2011
By Capt. BILL RUSSELL, On the Water
We had plenty of wind at the beginning of the week but it calmed by mid-week, the weekend found an early morning breeze that faded by late morning. The wind really stirred up the seas resulting in dirty water in many place, most of Pine Island Sound, with the exception of the shallow grass flats, looked like a mud puddle. The key for successful fishing was clean water, it didn’t have to be pristine but you can tell the difference between water that looks fishy and waters that’s best for catching catfish.

Redfish were reported in Pine Island Sound on the incoming tide near Keys south of Pineland. Not real big, the largest was 22 inches, but almost all caught were over the 18 inch minimum with most around 20 inches. For bait a small live pinfish on a 2/0 Owner circle hook fished under a popping cork worked best. A few upper slot redfish were also reported from the Masters Landing area of south Matlacha Pass and Regla Island in the southern Sound.

If you find clean water chances are good you will catch some nice trout. Fish up to twenty-three inches were caught on root beer colored DOA shrimp under a popping cork in four feet of water near Buck Key in the Sound. Trout were also caught just east of the Blind Pass Bridge along with a few snook; farther north fish averaging fourteen to eighteen inches were caught over five to six foot grass flats north of Patricio Island. Mackerel and bluefish were also caught over the same flats

Tarpon have been very inconsistent off the beaches and inshore waters where schools gather. Atlantic thread herring, a top tarpon bait, have been spotty since the blow, if you find some and keep them alive, chances are good tarpon will jump all over them if you’re in the right area. Live pinfish and crabs or mullet and ladyfish cut in half and fished on bottom are also good choices. The best tarpon fishing over the weekend was from Boca Grande, afternoon hill tides attracted lots of boats, tarpon and small Pass crabs. As tarpon gathered to slurp up the tasty crabs riding the falling tide out of the Harbor there were plenty of anglers around the Pass to take advantage of it.

Blacktip sharks from five to six feet were caught just outside the Gulf Passes. The best time was the last hour of the incoming, through the slack and the beginning of the falling tide. During this time the water is moving slightly, but not overpowering. These big blacktips give you one heck of a workout; they are strong under rated fish. Schools of lemon sharks averaging four to six feet were sighted in less than three feet of water in the Sound near the fish shacks, look for them cruising around mullet schools.

With a little luck we will get a week or so without the wind, if this happens the water should clear up considerably and fish, both large and small, including baitfish will get into a more predictable pattern. At least that’s what I’m hoping for!

If you have a fishing story or for charter information, please contact us at 283-7960 or visit: www.fishpineisland.com. Have a safe week and good fishin’.

Article Photos

Photo contributed
All the way from Denmark: Every year a group of serious Danish anglers arrive from Denmark for a week of shark fishing while camping on Cayo Costa State Park. Pictured is one of many large blacktip sharks the group caught while fishing near Captiva Pass with Captain Bill Russell.

 
 

 

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