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On the Water: Tropical Storm Eta brings fishing to a halt

By Capt. Bill Russell - | Nov 11, 2020

Despite the wind, fish were still biting. This 37-inch snook was caught and released mid-week while fishing around protected creeks in Matlacha Pass with Capt. Bill Russell. PHOTO PROVIDED

A very windy week that led up to rain and wind into the weekend as Tropical Storm Eta churned in Florida’s direction kept most anglers off the water. The few fishing reports came mid-week before conditions continued to diminish.

Beach-bound anglers wading the surf on Sanibel and Captiva hooked into multiple species including snook, sea trout, whiting, mackerel, jack crevalle and ladyfish. Baits included live pilchards and shrimp, red and white bucktail jigs, Berkley Gulp shrimp and white Clouser flies. 

Fishing the strong morning falling tides, boats in Matlacha Pass, the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River and Pine Island Sound, south of Pineland, hooked into snook, redfish, sea trout, bluefish, jack crevalle and sharks. At times, a steady bite came while fishing shorelines and oyster bars with wind and tide pushing water. Baits included live and cut pilchards, herring, pinfish, suspended twitch baits and chartreuse/white clouser flies.

It’s hard to believe heading into the second week of November we are talking about tropical storms. But here we are. 2020 is a year with plenty of surprises, hopefully this is the last one. Once the storm passes and the weather settles down, I expect to return to good fishing. Despite the many setbacks the year has delivered, fishing has remained good throughout. We just need cooperative weather.

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.