Waters are Coming Back to life in Southwest
<p>I would not say we had a great week of fishing but it was good and getting better each day. Our water temperatures are slowly rising and it's getting easier to pattern fish again. The waters are coming to life with the warming as dolphin are everywhere again, birds are active and we come across pods of two to three dozen manatees foraging in Charlotte Harbor.
We fished Matlacha Pass both north and south of the bridge and the bite was better to the north, especially for trout. They were in the deeper cuts between Islands on the low water and mixed with ladyfish. We found a lot of small fish mixed in with about one in six of keeper size. Early in the day the best bet was keeping the bait near the bottom, either a live shrimp with a minimal amount of weight or a shrimp imitation soft plastic worked slowly was best. We averaged about a half dozen redfish each morning in the Pass, but all small between sixteen and eighteen inches.
In the afternoons we fished Pine Island Sound and found the trout to be much larger on average. We did not get any huge fish, but plenty in the eighteen inch class. We found the best bite off shorelines where the depth tapered from four to six feet near Cayo Costa Island and Cabbage Key. Just the opposite as the morning a shrimp under a popping cork easily out fished one on bottom. Chartreuse colored shad tail soft plastics on a quarter-ounce jig head also worked well.
The sheepsheads we caught this week were either big or small, one cast you would get one eight inches followed by a two pounder. The largest we caught weighed five pounds. We were fishing submerged structure near Boca Grande Pass and also boated a few gag grouper up to twenty inches and several mangrove snapper, all on shrimp.
A cold front is pushing through this weekend with a warming trend at the first of the week. The waters should continue to gradually warm as the month progresses. Look for improved trout fishing with an increase in numbers and larger fish in the upcoming weeks.
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"Catch the Action" with Captain Bill Russell
About The Author: Captain Bill Russell
Company: Gulf Coast Limited Professional Guide Se
Area Reporting: southwest florida including Sanibel, Pine Island Sound, Charlotte Harbor, Matlacha Pass
Bio: "Catch The Action" with Captain Bill Russell. As a native of Pine Island Bill has spent his entire life fishing the waters surrounding the Island and has been a professional fishing guide for fourteen years and loves to share the local knowledge and history of the waters. The waters surrounding Pine Island including Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, Charlotte Harbor, Sanibel, Captiva and Boca Grande are a true fishing Mecca that provide a wide choice of angling thrills. We specialize in light tackle fishing for Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, Sea Trout, Sharks and a variety of other species. Not only do our waters provide World Class fishing opportunities our Islands and waters are also abundant with a wide variety of wildlife and beautiful scenery, so bring a camera! We customize each trip to ensure everyone on board has a great time and will return again. From the small child to the novice to the most experienced angler we will make your trip a memorable one. Spend a day on the waters of Southwest Florida and "Catch The Action" with Captain Bill Russell