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On the Water: Fishing in the area typical for August

By Capt. Bill Russell - | Aug 11, 2021

Small blacktip sharks are abundant and a blast to catch -- especially for kids. Look for them roaming the inshore waters in search of their next meal. This one was caught near Bokeelia fishing with Capt. Bill Russell. PHOTO PROVIDED

Tides played an important role for inshore/flats anglers over the week. When the water wasn’t moving, the fish weren’t biting. Weather also was a factor as we had days with thunderstorms from sunup to sundown and there were days with hardly a cloud in the sky.

Boaters and kayakers fishing in Matlacha Pass, around Bokeelia, and Pine Island Sound report success with redfish, snook and seatrout. Fish were hooked on paddle tails, gold spoons, live pinfish, pilchards and cut ladyfish. Snook and reds were found under the shade of island points with good water movement and trout were taken over 3 to 4-foot grass bottom and off oyster bars.

Areas of Matlacha Pass included areas north of the powerlines near McCardle Island and north of the bridge near the mouth of Pine Island Creek. Around Bokeelia, anglers fishing Jug Creek, Burgess Bay and Bokeelia shoals had good results. In the Sound, islands and grass flats in mid-Sound, plus shorelines, oyster bars and channel edges from “Ding” Darling north to Captiva Pass were a good bet.

Small blacktip sharks from 2-4 feet are abundant throughout the inshore waters. They were caught while targeting sharks and also hooked while fishing for everything else. Often, it becomes a nuisance when you fish an area dominated by the aggressive sharks when they are not your targeted species. They are speedsters that are hard fighting, fast and often take to the air. A word of caution when handling blacktips to remove the hook: this size is very agile and quick, plus are equipped with a mouth full of small razor-sharp teeth. Be careful!

Offshore anglers found success in depths from 70 to 100 feet for mix of snapper, (including mangrove, lane and yellowtail), red grouper, Key West grunts and king mackerel up to 10 pounds. Fish were hooked on live and cut pinfish, pilchards, sardines, squid and butterfly jigs.

Good size mangrove snapper, plus lanes and grunts were boxed closer to shore in depths from 35 to 50 feet. Spanish mackerel and sharks also came from this depth around artificial reefs. Anglers found one day the bite was good and consistent followed a few days later with a slow bite. 

Stay up to date with fishing regulations by visiting www.myfwc.com. Also, upload the Fish Rules app on your phone. It has current regulations with pictures to help identify fish.  

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.fishpineisland.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.