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The Cold Fronts Are Here

Capt. Butch Rickey
November 4, 2014
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report

Week ending 10/25/14................

I had two trips scheduled for this week, as well as a meeting and lunch with my friend Bruce Grodner. Bruce and his wife met me for lunch at Gulfshore Grill on Fort Myers Beach. Bruce has recently bought a new Native Ultimate 12 FX from West Wall Boatsworks, and I had a couple of things he needed that they didn't have, which I brought for him. We had a great lunch, and the Grodners really liked the food, service, and view from the Gulfshore.


Thursday, I had a date with my longtime close friend, Mark Bess. He spent a few years guiding back in the 90's, and we did a lot of trips together. Those were great years, and I really missed Mark after he quit guiding. We had more fun than the law allowed.

Mark wanted to take his brother-in-law David, down from Tallahassee, on a kayak fishing trip. Our plan was to fish Estero Bay, but as the date drew near, it was obvious we were going to have some serious wind to deal with, and it doesn't take much wind running across the strong tides in that narrow bay to make things ugly. We decided to go to Punta Rassa Cove, out of Port Comfort Marina. It's not a bad place to be on a windy day.

Mark and David were supposed to be there at 7:30, but when I pulled into Port Comfort Marina at 7 AM they were already there. We were in the water and on our way shortly after daybreak. We weren't a quarter mile down the waterway when David reported his motor didn't seem to be working right. I checked it, but not five minutes later David reported that the motor had belched some smoke and made a popping sound, and had quit. I offered to go back and get another motor out of my van, but David said he was fine with paddling. That's only the second time I've had a motor cook since I've been in the kayaks.

We made our way down to the area I wanted to begin fishing, and I got Mark and David situated. I moved on down to check another sport where I expected a big trout bite to happen for us. But, it didn't. I caught one ladyfish, a good sized cow ray that was fowl-hooked in the left wing tip, and a few other junk fish. Talk about a wild fight. It was about like hooking a passing car while you're bridge fishing. Mark and David managed a few trout and other fish, but there just wasn't much of a bite. And the wind was howling out of the north, behind our first cold front of the coming winter.

As the water continued to come in on the tide, we switched our attention to redfish and snook. It was nothing doing! I had David stationed in a spot that always gives up redfish. He did catch a few fish there, but nothing doing with the redfish.

I fished a favorite snook spot looking to find some linesiders, but they just weren't biting on that north wind. Mark and I headed to another spot that I love for redfish, and we hadn't been there long when the waters about a quarter mile away erupted with a big school of jack crevalle busting bait. Mark headed for them, and I stayed behind. I had farther to go to get to them, and they typically move so fast that you often can't get to them before they disappear, or if you hook one, the rest of the school is gone by the time you get it landed.

The school did sound before Mark got there. Mark held his position and waited. A few minutes later the school surfaced on more bait, and they were headed my direction. I watched them closely. As they continued in my general direction I tried to set up and intercept path. They were quick and elusive, but after a while they finally erupted again withing a hundred yards of me. I headed toward the school with the motor on Hi 5, and when I was close enough I launched a lure into the wind. When it landed I cranked it as fast as I could, and it was inhaled by one of the jacks. What a great fight! And, contrary to what some think, it's very good on the table, smoked, or however you want to fix one.

The school was running all around in the general area, surfacing on bait and then sounding, each time drawing plenty of birds to take advantage of the bait being pushed to the surface. I finally got David hooked up with one of the muscle fish. We managed one more after than, and by then we were all weary of fighting the wind. We headed in.

And, that was the day. We had a good time, but had had enough of the wind for one day.


I was to fish with my friend Sam Cancelliere on Friday, but the forecast was actually a bit worse than Thursday's was. We opted to move our date into the first week of November. Sam is anxious to try out the new Ultimate 12 FX I just took delivery of recently. It's a beautiful boat, and oh, so comfortable.

Target Species:

Anything That Will Bite!

More Fishing Reports:


Top Florida fishing guide, Capt. Butch Rickey has fished the waters of Pine Island Sound around Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Islands, as well as Charlotte Harbor, Sarasota Bay, Terra Ceia Bay, and southern Tampa Bay, for much of his 65 years. He now offers guided kayak fishing trips, as well as sightseeing and bird watching tours anywhere that can be reached by kayak from southern Tampa Bay to Estero Bay.

Contact Info:

BarHopp'R Kayak Fishing
11520 E Palm Drive
Ft. Myers, FL 33908
Phone: 239-628-3522
Alt. Phone: 239-633-5851
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