Week Ending 3-8-08 Pine Island Sound
Capt. George Howell
March 10, 2008
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report
This week saw an extreme shift in fishing conditions. The big winds blew in on Friday, and stayed over the weekend. Early in the week we had great fishing. Weather was a little more stable, with low tide mornings, coming in to high enough water in the afternoon to allow access to the shallow water flats. Scouting early in the week I had located a few areas with reds during higher water. And the snook I have been fishing for the last couple months were still home. There is a mile or two of water, the snook just seem to shift between the islands they prefer from day to day. Good thing is that they seem to appear on the same few areas, so its just a matter of bouncing around between them until the fun begins!
Thursday, Bill was aboard for the day. We got a nice snook two weeks ago, before they were in season, and a really nice trout. We were targeting reds that day, so it made for some nice by-catch since the reds weren't home. Started the day pretty slow, with a few smaller fish, as the beginning of incoming tide was not that productive. When the water came up, we hit a spot I had a couple nice reds earlier in the week, and it was fish on! I threw out some frozen sardine tails for chum, and used the heads for bait. After a couple minutes Bill hooked into a nice upper slot red, and then another about 24 inches. Just as fast as it started, the bite stopped. With a nice red in the cooler for dinner, we went off to the snook grounds. The tide was moving just right by now, and Bill landed one snook that was a couple inches short of the slot. We moved to the next island where I had seen a half dozen nice sized fish. Bill decided this would be the last stop, as he needed to get back to meet family and friends. Sure enough, right were I had seen the fish earlier we had a taker on a live pinfish. We were slowly drifting down the bank with the current when his line just stopped drifting. The snook just ate it and sat on the bottom trying to enjoy his meal. When Bill set the hook, the drag started screaming and we new we were on a nice fish. After a little dodging and weaving, the fish put on a show with a tarpon like jump, that sent the 9 pound snook completely into the air. With 20lb leader, Bill took it nice and slow, and his patience paid off. 30" and 9lbs, that snook was a perfect keeper. Bill had never tried snook (or red fish), so it was great that he was able to take home one of each. We ended the day on that cast, and headed in.
Friday was a different beast all together. Winds were over 20 mph. At least they were out of the south, and not the north. Russ, Ken and myself stayed in the creeks and canals to stay out of that mess. And with low water in the morning it seemed the way to go. We managed about 3 short snook, a nice Spanish mackerel, some snapper, and a blow fish I think! As the tide came up, we hit a snook spot near the one Bill got his nice fish on the day before. After throwing out some live pilchards for chum, there was a little action on the surface with snook gulping them down. Ken managed to hook into one that was about 5 pounds before the action stopped. We moved down the shore a bit, staying out of the wind, but no takers. It was later in the incoming now, and with the south wind there was plenty of water in the sound. We moved to the lee side of a couple red fish islands, with only one catfish to show for it. With time running out on our day, we decided to brave the wind and go for the spot I had been doing well on reds, the same on Bill got his two nice fish the day before. After chumming up with some sardines, it was only about 60 seconds before the first fish was on. Only problem was, this fish had whiskers! A couple of double ups later, and about 20 minutes, Ken and Russ had boated about 6-8 catfish, no reds. Well it made for some action, but seems the cats had taken over my red fish hole.
All in all it was a good week, I stayed off the water for the weekend blow down. Things are suppose to get really nice this week, so stay tuned as fish are getting ready for the warm weather ahead! Remember, the next world record may be a cast away!
Capt. George Howell
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