Keeper size trout with most averaging from fifteen to eighteen inches plus a few larger were caught over sand bottom surrounded by turtle grass in three to six foot depths in northern Pine Island Sound and off the eastern shore of Charlotte Harbor. Trout were also reported from Buck key to Blind Pass along the channel edges. Water clarity was important, when possible stay clear of the muddy water, look for water where you can tell the difference between the sand and grass bottom. A good pair of polarized sunglasses is a must if you want to cut the glare and see what’s under the surface.
Anglers report scattered action on redfish both in Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass. Fish up to twenty-six inches were caught on dead shrimp fished near the mangroves near Smokehouse Bay in Matlacha Pass; reds from seventeen to twenty-three inches were caught on live shiners and pinfish in Pine Island Sound around Islands near the fish shacks.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish were also over the same areas as trout. Mackerel fishing has been steady in Charlotte Harbor. The best bite was mid morning till noon or so over the incoming tide. Look for them cruising deeper grass bottom with sand breaks in five to ten foot depths. Lots of little sharks from a foot and a half to three feet are with the macks. These little sharks are great for kids to catch, but remember although small they still have razor sharp teeth.
Tarpon fishing was tough all week around the Island. The high pressure system that has sat over our area for the better part of the week and delivered northeasterly winds both day and night has really made for some tough times for chasing spoons. Anglers that did hook-up used thread herring, pinfish and crabs for live bait and tarpon jigs did the job in the deeper holes of Boca Grande Pass
Blacktip sharks are still around the Passes and there are a lot of lemon sharks in Pine Island Sound on the flats hanging around mullet schools. We came across one school of a dozen or so lemons in less than three feet of water; they were all four to six feet in length. We managed to catch one about five feet on a chunk of ladyfish before the school moved on. Lemon sharks are a lot of fun in shallow water, they are on the protected list so if you catch one make sure not to remove it from the water and release it safely and quickly.
Maybe this week we will resume our normal weather pattern, calm nights, a light breeze in the morning, giving way to a westerly sea breeze in the early afternoon. When that happens both fish and fishermen can get back into a more predictable fishing pattern. Remember, it’s the last week of school, make sure to set some time aside to get the kids on the water, summer will come and go way to quick!
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’.
Jim Morris vacationing at the Bridgewater Inn in Matlacha with his father, John, both from Pittsburg, caught and released this thirty-five inch snook on a charter with Captain Bill Russell in Charlotte Harbor on Thursday. June 2nd.