To say the past week on the water was windy would be an understatement. A little wind is good at times, however strong winds with gale force gusts made fishing difficult and not real enjoyable for most anglers that hit the water.
Needless to say, fishing reports were few and far between, especially reports of good fishing. Despite the stiff northeast winds, we had pretty good tide movement on most days, with a low tide in the morning and high in the afternoon.
On the high water, the eastern side of Charlotte Harbor was somewhat protected as a few anglers report catching snook and redfish on the high water while working shoreline points and oyster bars. A few nice trout were also hooked by wade fishermen working the edge of sand holes inside the bar that parallels the shoreline.
Braving the strong winds, Ed Axelrod of Sarasota and his son, Joe, had fun with a school of big redfish. The reds were caught and released in the Sound near Bokeelia while fishing with Capt. Bill Russell.
A few schools of oversize redfish were located at the north end of Pine Island Sound near Bokeelia during the incoming tide while tossing live and cut baits around oyster bars and sand holes. Undersize snook were caught with the reds as well as a few keeper size mangrove snapper.
Over the slower portions of the tide, snook and redfish were hooked near structure around the Gulf passes. The best bet was drifting live baits, including pigfish, pinfish and pilchards, near the bottom. A few gag grouper to 25 inches were also boated fishing the same areas around the passes plus mangrove snapper.
Creeks and back bays around Sanibel's "Ding" Darling offered a little refuge from the wind for a few anglers who reported a mixed bag of snapper, sheepshead, jack crevalle, plus undersize snook and redfish while fishing live shrimp over the incoming tide.
Enough with the wind already, hurricane season is over! Hoping this week we get back to more enjoyable days on the water, sunny and no wind.
Have a safe week and good fishin'.
As a native of Pine Island, Bill Russell has spent his entire life fishing and learning the waters surrounding Pine Island and as a professional fishing guide for the past 18 years.