Over the week we experienced some days with typical summer heat, but also a good amount of rain, including one day that it never stopped raining. After the heavy rains early in the week, inshore water temperatures dropped a few degrees and coupled with strong tides, sparked a decent bite.
Sea trout were reported in good numbers throughout Pine Island Sound and off the flats of Bull and Turtle bays in Charlotte Harbor. In the sound fish were caught between Foster's Point and Captiva Pass and a little further south between Regla Island and Red Light Shoals. Also good action was noted between St. James City and Sanibel over many of the shallow bar drop-offs from Marker 13 to Picnic Island, and also the Sanibel Causeway Islands.
In Matlacha Pass, a few large trout were enticed with top-water lures over the morning incoming tide near the north end of Buzzard Bay. Mangrove snapper up to 15 inches were also caught from many of the same locations.
Shannon O'Keefe, 9, of Collegeville Pa., got a chance to go fishing before school begins while vacationing on Sanibel. Pictured is one of many nice trout she boated along with her father and grandfather while fishing near Sanibel's Tarpon Bay with Capt. Bill Russell.
Catch-and-release snook action continues along the beaches, around the Gulf passes and the shorelines of Charlotte Harbor. Most were caught on live bait, including pilchards, pinfish and pigfish, a good number of fish were also hooked on the beaches with various fly patterns that imitated small pilchards. Also on the beaches, pompano and whiting were hooked on shrimp tipped jigs and sand fleas on Cayo Costa and also Sanibel near Blind Pass.
It's time for large redfish to begin schooling inshore, a few schools of 50 fish or better were located in southern Pine Island Sound. Fish averaging 28 to 32 inches were caught on cut chunks of ladyfish and mullet. In Charlotte Harbor, smaller reds averaging 18 to 22 inches were caught on the high water along Charlotte Harbors eastern shore.
Offshore, boats fishing between 70 and 90-foot depths are catching a variety, including gag grouper, mangrove, lane and yellowtail snapper, along with grunts and porgies. Grouper were caught with live pinfish and most of the other species took squid/jig
Closer to shore over artificial reefs, look for mangrove snapper, mackerel and sharks. Also, large barracuda are hanging around and taking every opportunity available for an easy meal with a hooked fish. If you want to have some fun, rig up a rod with a wire leader, send a live bait down and hold on.
There's only a few days left before a new school year begins and the kids are back in class. If you have the opportunity, take a kid fishing or boating one last time before their summer is over.
Have a safe week and good fishin'.