On the Water: It’s been a hot week on the water | News, Sports, Jobs

A happy crew with beautiful American red snappers caught in the Gulf of Mexico with Captain Scotty Darna of Saltyboy Fishing Charters. PHOTO PROVIDED

It was a hot week with little rain, light winds and sunny skies – a good combination for long offshore trips, but with water temperatures often over 90 degrees combined with slow tides for a tough bite around the islands.

On land, the best bite was during the morning hours with a rising tide. The bite slowed for the most part as the afternoon receding tides pushed water temperatures higher. Anglers report catches with catch and release nets around passes and beaches during the morning hours, as well as around oyster bars during high water.

Sea trout ranging in size from 12 to 22 inches were caught on grassy flats between Picnic Island and Sanibel Causeway Span B, east of Buck Key, along the grassy edges near the oyster bars and the west side of Bokeelia. A few bluefish, Spanish mackerel and small blacktip and bonnethead sharks were also hooked.

Fishing under the mangrove overhangs in the last two hours of water inflow has brought redfish up to 26 inches plus mangrove snapper. Several anglers caught their limit of snappers in the middle of Pine Island Sound, around Cayo Costa and Pelican Bay, as well as Bokeelia’s Jug Creek.

Offshore, a few miles from shore, skipjack or false albacore harassed the bait banks. A well-placed Silver Spoon with a quick recovery usually resulted in a connection. They’re not very good to eat, but they’re certainly fun to catch, and they make great cut bait for other fish.

Farther offshore, at depths of 75 to 95 feet, boats return with good catches of red grouper, as well as various snappers including lane, vermilion and large mangroves. Most fish were caught with live, cut or strip bait.

Still farther west, from about 140 feet down to 180, the boats continue to box the big American red snapper. Large red and gag groupers as well as a few scamp groupers were also caught.

By mid-morning, it’s hot on the water. Shade and drinking fluids are two things that make the day more enjoyable. It doesn’t take much for shade, often something as simple as an umbrella is a good way to get out of the sun for a few minutes. Drink, drink, drink – and not beer – to stay hydrated. Water or drinks with electrolytes are best to keep you going.

It’s our hottest time of the year, take a few precautions and you can still have a great day on the water.

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact the Gulf Coast Guide Service at 239-410-8576 (call or text); on the web at www.fishpineisland.com; or by email at [email protected]

Have a good week and good fishing.

As a lifelong resident of Matlacha and Pine Island, Captain Bill Russell has spent his life fishing and learning the waters around Pine Island and Southwest Florida, and as a professional fishing guide in over the past 23 years.

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