On the Water: It was an up and down week out on the water
The first week of March did not exactly deliver us the ideal fishing conditions anglers were hoping for. Mother Nature gave us plenty of wind followed with a cold front for the weekend.
Ahead of the front, southwest winds prevailed for several days. Coupled with incoming water, afternoon tides were high. This combination allowed for decent reports of snook, redfish and some large seatrout in Pine Island Sound. Catch-and-release trout numbers were strong with good numbers of fish from 17 to 21 inches.
Spanish mackerel were reported throughout Pine Island Sound, near the gulf passes, adjacent to the intracoastal channel and around the western portion of Rocky Channel. They were caught with fast moving mylar jigs, small silver spoons and live shrimp under popping corks. Ladyfish, bluefish, seatrout and sharks up to 4 feet were also hooked from these areas. Boats also found mackerel schools just off the beaches and gulf passes when weather permitted.
As with the past several weeks, the better sheepshead bite came around the barrier islands with fish reported from Tarpon Bay on Sanibel on up north to the Placida railroad trestle, including docks, piers and structure. The sheepshead were mixed with small mangrove snapper along with a few redfish and snook. With a week of strong winds, no reports came from nearshore gulf waters.
Early in the week a few captains ventured out 20 to 30 miles into the Gulf of Mexico despite bumpy conditions. They were rewarded with red grouper to 30 inches, plus snapper, grunts and porgy.
As the weekend rolled in, northeast winds and a full moon brought some of the lowest tides of the year, and with a constant wind the water stayed low throughout the day. This made for hard fishing and unenjoyable conditions as most smart anglers kept off the water. Let’s hope this week the wind subsides, and we get back to a weather pattern conductive for good fishing.
If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact Gulf Coast Guide Service at 239-410-8576 (call or text); on the web at www.fishpineisland.com; or via email at email@example.com.
Have a safe week and good fishin’.
As a lifetime resident of Matlacha and Pine Island, Capt. Bill Russell has spent his life fishing and learning the waters around Pine Island and southwest Florida, and as a professional fishing guide for the past 23 years.