The past week was dominated with windy conditions, lots of wind and often gusting in excess of 20 knots. And not just any wind, but from an easterly direction, often resulting in very low tides, rough conditions and difficult fishing.
With that said, anglers that put their time in on the water turned in respectable catches throughout the inshore waters; offshore reports were nonexistent due to conditions.
A good number of undersized shook, plus a few slot or keeper fish between 28 and 33 inches, were caught from canal systems in St. James, inside Blind Pass, Matlacha Pass and Jug Creek at Bokeelia. A few were taken on artificials, but most were fooled with live bait, including live shiners, pinfish and hand-picked shrimp.
Suzanne Brinson of St. James won the battle with this 30-inch snook that blasted a live shiner while avoiding the wind while fishing St. James canals
Jack crevalle, often in large schools, are showing up inshore, and often made it nealy impossible to keep a bait in the water long enough for a snook to find it. Most are running 4 to 10 pounds. They have little food value but if you want a fight, they well give you all you want and more.
Trout up to 3 pounds were taken from grass flats near Part Island in the upper Sound and around oyster bars in south Matlacha Pass. Smaller, but keeper sized fish were caught between Galt and Chino islands, and near Buck Key in the southern sound.
Charlotte Harbor and the northern sound grass flats yielded a variety of fish including Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, trout and large ladyfish, plus a few pompano for those using shrimp for bait. Depths from 5 to 9 feet yielded the best action.
A good number of flounder were caught over the week and were respectable in size. All were caught while targeting other species and were hooked in as shallow as 2 feet of water. Pompano also were wide spread. Shore-bound anglers caught them from the Matlacha Bridge, Sanibel Pier and the beach side of Blind Pass on the Captiva side.
Extreme low water made locating redfish a challenge. Those with very shallow drafting skiffs found fish schooled up in deeper sand holes surrounded by very skinny water that few anglers could gain access to. Capt. Shawn Mcquade reports fish schooled in holes in mid-Pine Island Sound. Most fish are running 27 to 30 inches with the best bite at the beginning if the incoming tide.
Despite a week that held not so desirable weather, fish, and some good ones, were caught. That just goes to show you, conditions do not always have to be perfect - when you get a chance go fishing.
Have a safe week and good fishin'.