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A week of challenging weather conditions

February 20, 2013
By Capt. BILL RUSSELL - On the Water , Pine Island Eagle

Hot, cold, rain, sunshine and wind pretty much summed up the ever-changing weather conditions over the past week. The cold was expected, as long as I can remember it has always been cold for the Edison Pageant of Light parade. Despite all the changing conditions, fishing wasn't half bad.

Inshore, anglers found good fishing despite some windy days; the fish were also active during the rainy times. Redfish were reported in Pine Island Sound on the eastern side south of Demere Key and also near Black Key farther to the north. Trout up to 21 inches and a few snook were also caught. Most fish were caught on baits including Sebile Stick Shads, Skitter-walks, live shrimp under rattling corks and live pinfish.

In Matlacha Pass redfish up to 25 inches were caught along the mangroves north of the bridge over the incoming tide. Berkley Gulp Shrimp and weed less gold spoons were the top baits for working the mangroves. Several snook were also hooked.

Article Photos

Photo provided

Fishing was good during the windy rainy days ahead of the cold front. Pictured is Natalie Kassen of Ontario Canada with a big spanish mackerel she caught near Bokeelia while fishing with Capt. Bill Russell.

Trout fishing was on the rise before the latest cool down. Large pre-spawn fish were found in mid-Pine Island Sound in potholes, near Blind Pass, and north Matlacha Pass. Live shrimp, shiners, and a host of artificials fooled trout up to 22 inches.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish made a showing in Charlotte Harbor, inside the Gulf Passes, and around the Sanibel Pier. Shiny baits worked best, including spoons, small lures and live shiners. Look for the macks and blues to disappear for at least a few days until the water temperature comes back up.

Capt. Sean McQuade reports that early in the week, before the winds picked up, the nearshore bite was real good for sheepshead, mangrove snapper and grunts, plus a few hogfish. Most fish were caught on live shrimp fished on a jig head over natural structure less than 6 miles offshore.

Two step forwards and one step back, that's how I always feel about fishing as we close out the cold months. The weather and fishing get on a good roll then Mother Nature steps in and sets us back. Good thing with our weather, the cold never last long and warm days with good fishing will resume.

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

Have a safe week and good fishin'.



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