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Fishing action is getting back on track

May 2, 2012
By Capt. BILL RUSSELL - On the Water , Pine Island Eagle

It was a week with just about any kind of weather you could throw at us; there were days of strong winds, days with no wind, sunny days, rainy days and a late season cool front to start off the week. To top it off, anglers also dealt with poor tides much of the week. Through it all fishing reports varied, but the general consensus was an improving bite going into the weekend.

Fishing around oyster bars and sand bar drop-offs in San Carlos Bay and south Pine Island Sound near Sanibel, Capt. Gary Clark found a mix of trout, redfish and ladyfish. Many of the fish were undersize with the best bite coming late into the rising tide on live shrimp and thread herring. Capt. Clark also caught grey and speckled trout, plus mackerel and bluefish over 4 to 6-foot grass flats off the east side of Useppa Island.

Capt. Cliff Simer reports trout and mackerel, plus sharks in northern Pine Island Sound and snook in Matlacha Pass. Fishing was slower than expected after the cooldown but the mid-day bite was improving by late week. Trout and mackerel were caught over grass bottoms between Useppa Island and Captiva Rocks, and sharks, including blacktips and lemons, were caught on the western side of the sound north of Captiva Pass. Snook were scattered over sand bottoms along the mangrove shorelines in north Matlacha Pass where live shiners worked best.

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Bokeelia resident Leigh Lingwall was treated to a day of fishing for her birthday by her husband Jay . She took full advantage of the day catching snook, redfish and trout to complete an inshore slam on her 6-pound ultra lite tackle “magic rod.” They were fishing Matlacha Pass & Charlotte Harbor with Capt. Bill Russell

From Bokeelia, Capt. Dick May also found the fishing affected by the weather but was still able to get on some redfish and trout. Redfish up to 25 inches were caught under the mangroves on the sound side of Captiva Island on the afternoon rising tide while fishing live shrimp. A combination of trout, mackerel and ladyfish were taking Gulp shrimp under a rattling cork in Charlotte Harbor near Bokeelia while drifting over grassy area in 5 to 8-foot depths.

Fishing the eastern side of Charlotte Harbor, Capt. Mark Westra found a few willing snook while pitching live shiners over sand holes on the morning low water. Along with snook up to 27 inches several trout were also boated.

Capt. Robby Locke reports steady action on catch-and-release snook in areas near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. The fish turned completely off immediately following the cooldown, but by week's end line sides up to 10 pounds, along with several good-sized snapper were taking live thread herring.

Well, on my boat we fished under just about every weather condition over the week. While fish weren't jumping in the boat to get bait, it wasn't that bad either. Over the week we managed to catch trout, redfish, snook, mackerel and bluefish, plus a few small sharks and cobia. Many of the trout went 17 to 20 inches. Our largest redfish measured 27 inches and the highlight of the week was helping Bokeelia resident Leigh Lingwall catch an inshore slam for her birthday that included a 21-inch trout, a 24-inch redfish and she topped it off with a 31-inch snook. And best of all, she caught the slam on her own ultra light rig spooled with 6-pound line. She called it her "magic rod," it made me a believer!

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at: phone: 239-283-7960; website: or email:

Have a safe week and good fishin'.



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