Aside from our first real cool front that brought a couple days of strong north winds, it was another week of great weather. After the front, cooler temperatures and low humidity made for very pleasant days on the water.
Snook, with a good number in the 30-inch range were reported throughout Pine Island Sound and near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. Both Redfish and Captiva Passes yielded a decent snook bite as the cool front settled in and northerly winds combined with the outgoing tide. Snook were targeting drifting pinfish and pigfish past structure with enough weight to keep the bait near bottom. Similar scenarios also occurred on Gasparilla Island north of Boca Grande Pass.
In the sound, snook were hooked off Island Points on higher water and from sand potholes on the lower water. Near the mouth of the river, look for snook congregated along the deeper shorelines and oyster bars - top water lures have been good over the early morning hours.
Mary Boltze of Sebring, Fla., didn't let a cool north wind keep her from fishing. She landed this 31-inch snook as the front moved through while fishing Matlacha Pass with Capt. Bill Russell.
As the water continues to cool, the trout bite is becoming more predictable with fish to 20 inches caught over grass flats and larger trout to 24 inches taken by snook anglers.
A few areas mentioned over the week that yielded trout included the flats from Red Light Shoals to Flamingo Bay Channel, between Useppa Island and Cabbage Key, and further south, in 4 to 5-foot grass flats on the gulf side of the Sanibel Causeway. Mackerel, jacks, bluefish, pompano and, of course, ladyfish were mixed with the trout in most areas.
Super low tides at mid-day left lots of real estate exposed and gave shallow water anglers good odds at chasing skinny water redfish. Areas protected from the northerly wind gave the best opportunities; a few locations mentioned included the flats south of Burgess Bay near Bokeelia, the Mud Hole area in south Matlacha Pass and "Ding" Darling inside Sanibel. Fish ranged from 19 to 26 inches with a few over 30 inches also hooked.
From the Bokeelia Pier, Michael Schulte reports a strong week of fishing with lots of different species. Snook up to 40 inches plus redfish, trout, jacks, pompano, snapper, sheepsheads and more were caught from the pier.
Offshore, Capt. Shawn McQuade found easy limits of red grouper in 60 to 70-foot depths west of Captiva. Most fish were caught on live pinfish or frozen squid while drifting hard or coral bottom. Snapper, with a few over 20 inches, were also boated from similar depths. Spanish mackerel and a few king mackerel in the 10-pound range were caught while fishing bait schools in 30 to 40-foot depths.
As we close out the month, look for good fishing to continue, plus some of our best weather of the year. Our northern friends well be arriving soon
Have a safe week and good fishin'.