Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

On the Water: It’s still hot, but fall fishing season is here

September 26, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

Summer is over but it's still hot, however, you can feel the change of season. It may be ever so slightly early in the mornings, but cooler days are on the way. As the water gradually cools down, fish will become more active throughout the day. As we exit summer and roll into the first full week of fall, anglers should find good fishing opportunities inshore and offshore in Gulf waters.

Sea trout, with a few over 20 inches, were caught in various areas around the Island, including north Matlacha Pass, the perimeter of Charlotte Harbor and in Pine Island Sound around Rocky Channel. Larger fish were busting top water lures, including Zara Spooks and Mirrolures, around oyster bars over the early morning hours and later in the day in potholes using pinfish under a rattling cork. A few redfish were also caught with the same baits from these locations.

School-size trout running from 14 to 16 inches were caught over 3 to 6-foot grass flats between Useppa Island and the fish shacks, off the east side of Bokeelia and east of marker 74 in Matlacha Pass. Live shrimp, pilchards, pinfish and pigfish under popping corks, plus Gulp shad and DOA shrimp, were the reported baits of choice.

Article Photos

A good day offshore

Dave Tyrrell and gang had a busy day with bent rods while fishing in Gulf waters. They scored with a mix of red grouper, snapper, and porgy. They were fishing with Capt. Sean McQuade and Capt. Bryan Dollar.


The mangrove snapper bite was great throughout inshore waters with fish up to 14 inches. They were caught around structure, mangrove shorelines, oyster bars and sand holes throughout Pine Island Sound, Charlotte Harbor and Matlacha Pass. Live shrimp and shrimp-tipped jigs were the best bait. A few flounder were also caught with the snapper.

Snook to 36 inches were caught and released south of Pineland on various live baits and good action with mostly undersized snook was reported from anglers wade fishing along the east and west walls of Charlotte Harbor.

Big redfish were located along Charlotte Harbor's eastern shore and the eastern side of Pine Island Sound. Most of the fish are averaging near 30 inches and were found in schools from a dozen to a hundred or better. Remember, currently redfish are catch-and-release only, same with snook, try to make it a quick catch, picture and release.

From land, anglers found a good mixed catch from the Bokeelia Fishing Pier, including snook, redfish, sharks, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and black drum. Snook, snapper, small sharks, stingrays, snapper and mackerel were reported from the Matlacha Drawbridge.

Offshore, red grouper catches were reported anywhere from 80 to 120 feet of water out from Captiva and Boca Grande Passes. Live pinfish, thread herring and heavy jigs tipped with whole Spanish sardines took fish to 30 inches. Mangrove and lane snapper were also caught in good numbers.

Finally, summer is over, at least on paper. As the water begins to cool down, with luck we will get some relief from red tide outbreaks. Fishing has remained good in those areas unaffected. With cooler water temperatures, it's possible to catch fish the entire day and often the best bite well be smack in the middle of the day.

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at 239-283-7960, via the Website or email

Have a safe week and good fishin'.

As a native of Pine Island, Capt. 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.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web