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Pine Island Sound

Capt. George Howell
January 29, 2007
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report

Pine Island Sound: Sheepshead Surprise (1-27-2007)

Fishing Report

Posted: 1-29-2007

Only made it on the water one day this past week. That day was Saturday the 27th. Thursday and Friday were mostly cold front conditions here, but Saturday was quite nice. We had a long incoming tide Saturday, so I figured there would be no hurry to get on the water in the morning and agreed with Gary and his daughter Laura to meet at 10am. The sun was now up and the water level was rising, almost half way up now and I planned to chase redfish and possibly snook as they moved in with the tide. We looked over spot number one in the mouth of a canal just inside the Caloosahatchee river but there was already a boat working the spot over well.

It wasn’t far out of our way so I turned around and headed to a nearby creek where there is decent water depth the first quarter of a mile or so. Often redfish and snook will stage just inside the creek opening waiting for the water to rise enough for them to navigate the shallow estuary that lies in the far reaches of the creek system. We fished slowly starting in the mouth with live shrimp, free lined with the current along the mangroves with the incoming tide. Instantly Laura hooked up with a nice size puffer fish, you just never know when you will catch one of those silly things. Well after that it was a lot of bait stealing as perhaps snapper or more puffer fish were robbing our shrimp. We proceeded up the deeper part of the creek we were in and not much happened until Laura caught a decent sheepshead. Well at least we were catching something.

Near the end of the deeper entrance area of the creek, I slowed down to get take our time on a nice stretch of shoreline that can hold snook and sometimes reds as well. Not long after Laura is hooked up again but this time on a drag screamer! I thought snook at first, but Laura said it was another sheepshead! Laura and her father know their fish and fishing pretty well, but the way the drag was coming out I thought maybe they were the dark stripes of a black drum perhaps? Nope, Laura was right, it was a monster sheapshead I estimate between 5 and 6 pounds! Gary finally took the hint and hooked into a nice sheepshead himself. I can’t remember much after that other than we ended up with about 12-17 nice sheepshead over one pound, a couple were in the 3-4 pound range, and the rest were 2-3 pounds. This went on for over an hour I think, as there were plenty of shrimp “fed” to our nice host of fish on that bank.

After a while the bite slowed, and although we could still see some fish, and there were a few bites to be had, we opted for another spot in search of redfish. The small Island by a deep trough was barren of fish, we did see one nice school of about half a dozen reds there, in the upper slot size, but nothing else to speak of. One more Island over that is usually good on the rising tide was barren of everything, not even mullet. I showed Gary a couple of artificial lures I like, such as the soft plastic jerk baits and jigs I prefer. With a kayak adventure planned for later that night Gary and Laura were ready call it a day and we headed in after a pretty successful day on the water. Even though we were targeting reds we found sheepshead in good numbers and sizes. Looking for areas fish hold while moving in with the tide can help you find larger concentrations of fish if you can hit them at the right time. Thing about this the next time you look over a productive area with a similar depth change. Remember, the next world record may only be a cast away! Capt. George

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Capt. George Howell is a lifelong angler and outdoor enthusiast. Nothing is more fulfilling to him than providing others with a memorable day of fishing. His fishing buddies will agree, he would rather see them hook into that monster fish than catch one himself. There are a lot of captains out there, but I will always do everything in my power to assure that the guests on my boat have the best possible day of fishing.

Contact Info:

Capt. George
201 SW 38th Ter
Cape Coral, FL 33914
Phone: 239-770-5166
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