With another warm week, fishing was on the rise. Calm days and good tides benefited anglers through mid-week followed by a slight cool front and a few windy days for the weekend.
Large trout are showing up in numbers throughout Pine Island Sound with many exceeding 20 inches. Capt. Cliff Simer found trout each day in excess of 18 inches with many larger fish up to 22 inches. The best action was over the mid-day rising tide while free lining live pilchards near oyster bars in the northern sound.
Capt. Gary Clark also found bigger trout than previous weeks in the southern sound and San Carlos Bay. Shrimp under popping corks and white Redfish Magic soft plastics yielded limits of trout from potholes on the lower water and around oyster bars over the higher stages. Trout up to 23 inches were also reported between Pineland and Demere Key along with a few redfish, caught while casting New Penny and White Gulp Shrimp.
The big trout are biting. Patty Dwyer, Lexi and JenaYoung visiting from Bar Harbor, Maine, and John Cammick of Pine Island caught these nice trout last week while fishing Pine Island Sound with Capt. Bill Russell
Capt. Ken Honc reports catching sheepshead around the Gulf Passes. Small live shrimp fished on bottom has produced plenty of tasty filets including some really large fish including one monster that was pushing ten pounds.
From St. James City, Capt. George Grosselfin-ger reports that despite some wind, the snook are still eating. Linesides up to 34 inches were caught and released while casting jigs and swim baits in the southern sound during mid week. Other anglers hooked into a few snook in southern Matlacha Pass while targeting redfish near the power lines
While not targeting pompano, several up to three pounds were caught in north Matlacha and near Captiva Pass. In Matlacha Pass pompano were taken on live shrimp fished along the channel edges between markers 69 and 71. Bouncing small white shrimp tipped jigs yielded pompano along sandy bottom areas north of Captiva Pass a few hundred yards off Cayo Costa on the sound side. A few nice trout were also taken from the area.
Not much to report for redfish this week, as mentioned previously, a few up to 24 inches were caught between Pineland and Demere Key, and also several were reported near Fosters Point at Captiva, plus undersize fish throughout Pine Island Sound and the northern end of Buzzard Bay in Matlacha Pass.
This past week was like someone opened up the gates and let the big trout in. In previous weeks we caught a few each day that you thought was a good fish, but now we are catching large, fat fish consistently, especially in the sound. Our largest of the week measured 24 inches with many more well over 20 each day.
Their appetites has turned to favor baitfish, most of the larger fish are taking live pilchards, pinfish or artificials that imitate such. We are also catching cobia, mackerel and sharks off Bokeelia, plus snook along the mangroves. It's a sure sign to an early start to spring fishing and it's not even March yet!
Have a safe week and good fishin'.