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On the Water: Fishing good for some but slow for others

By Capt. Bill Russell - | Sep 9, 2020

Marty Mesch and gang with a good mess of grouper and snapper caught in gulf waters fishing with Capt. Sean McQuade. PHOTO PROVIDED

A full moon brought strong tides to boost the inshore bite, however it may have hampered offshore fishing.

Mangrove snapper and redfish continue as top targets for inshore anglers. Often both were caught together along mangrove shorelines and oyster bars. They were reported in south Matlacha Pass from the powerlines to the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River and in the northern pass in Buzzard Bay.

In Pine Island Sound, areas around Chino and Regla islands, Blind Pass and keys around Demere reported fish. Fresh cut and live bait worked equally well, the smaller the better for snapper.

Large redfish were caught and released along the east side of north Captiva Island and the outside of Bull Bay. From shore, redfish, snook and snapper were caught from the Bokeelia Fishing Pier.

Catch-and-release snook reports came from areas around Blind, Redfish and Captiva passes, plus islands in mid-Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor near Pirates Harbor. Large snook were hooked near canal and creeks mouths around St. James City and Punta Rassa as well.

Inshore anglers looking for fun and action found a good bite on a variety of fish in mid-Pine Island Sound off either side of the channel, near Marker 13 south of the powerlines, and off the north and west side of Bokeelia.

Ladyfish, sea trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish,and sharks were hooked along with other species. Fish were caught while drifting 5 to 8-foot depths.

Season remains closed for snook, spotted sea trout and redfish in waters of Southwest Florida from the Hernando/Pasco county line south through Gordon Pass in Collier County You can visit www.myfwc.com for all current regulations.

Many offshore anglers believe the full moon effected the bite over many days. Fish were caught; however, the bite was often slow. Keeper-size red grouper plus a lot of shorts, along with mangrove and lane snapper were found in depths between 55 and 80 feet.

Squid, live pinfish, sand perch and cut ladyfish were top baits for grouper. Barracuda, sharks, goliath grouper and permit were hooked over artificial reefs at the same depths.  

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, contact Gulf Coast Guide Service at 239-410-8576 (call or text); on the web at www.fish pineisland.com; or via email at gcl2fish@live.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.