This week we welcomed in some cooler weather with less humidity, but with the pleasant change came gusty winds that adversely affected most anglers.
Offshore fishing was tough going due to rough seas with not too much to report. There were several nearshore reports off the beaches in water out to thirty-five feet. Rock ledges yielded gag grouper with almost all caught under the minimum size plus a few nice snapper and grunts. A couple school size king mackerel up to eight pounds were also reported around reefs in nearshore waters.
Flounder, pompano, black drum and a few redfish were taken along the beaches from Bowman's on Sanibel all the way up to the north tip of Cayo Costa. The best bet was to slowly bounce a small white shrimp tipped pompano jig across the sand around areas with some type of submerged structure.
When it’s not too windy look for good action with a variety of fish over 6 to 8 foot deep inshore waters. Vaughn Raup visiting from Pennsylvania with a nice bluefish caught near Bokeelia along with spanish mackerel, trout and ladyfish while fishing with captain Bill Russell
Redfish averaging nineteen to twenty-two inches were found in sand potholes throughout Pine Island Sound with good action reported at the northern end near Pineland. Bait choices included shrimp, Berkley Gulp's, live pinfish, and ladyfish steaks. A few snook, trout, and several big flounder were also taken from the holes. Creeks and deeper holes at Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is also a good bet for tagging a redfish or two on the windy days.
When it's not too rough there is still good action over deeper water areas inshore for a mix of fish including mackerel, trout, bluefish and others. In Matlacha Pass at the north end near marker 74, due north of Bokeelia's Shell Cut and the east side of the intracoastal channel between Captiva and Redfish Passes were good places to look for action. Most fish were caught while drifting these areas with six to eight feet of water while casting small spoons and paddle tail soft plastics. Similar fishing was also noted farther south near the entrance to Tarpon Bay and on the gulf side of the Sanibel Causeway between the B & C spans.
With the days getting cooler and often accompanied by pretty strong winds it's not a bad idea to try some creek fishing. Either grab a bucket of live shrimp or go with some shrimp imitations and fish some sheltered water. Look for creeks, cuts and other areas in the backwater that offer some shelter, has some good bottom like oysters, plus a good tide flow. You might be surprised what you catch on a windy day that most anglers never leave the house.