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A Day Of Fishing With An Old Friend

Capt. Butch Rickey
April 18, 2013
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report

Week ending 4/6/13...........

This was a week of poor tides, with the exception of Monday. It wasn't a strong tide, but it was a big one. You can usually get redfish to bite on tides like that, even thought the ambush feeders might be tough to come by.

My Monday trip was with a long time friend and customer, Dale Grantman, from Urbandale, Iowa. This would be our first kayak fishing trip together. Dale has canoed and kayaked, but never fished from either.

I had the boats ready for the water when Dale arrived at Port Sanibel Marina at shortly after nine o'clock. We were soon launched and cruising down the main channel. I thought we'd see if we could find a trout bite on the first part of the tide. We fished all around the deeper waters nearer to the mouth of the river and caught a few trout, but the bite was very slow.

With the water moving as well as it was going to on this tide, we moved to another area to try for redfish. Our spot has been full of redfish every time I've been there, but they've been almost impossible to catch in the cold water. Dale and I staged on each side of the island and went to work. We'd no more than gotten started when a fleet of kayakers came around the end of the island and right down the shoreline, completely ignoring my presence and the fact that I was fishing down the shoreline. I think I counted eight boats! Within seconds, there were tons of redfish zooming by my boat, spooked by the onslaught of kayaks. I politely told the kayakers that a little bit of courtesy would go a long way out there. What I got was smart answers and one woman denied knowing I was fishing as I stood there in my Ultimate with rod and reel in hand. Yeah. Right!

I hoped after the kayakers were gone that the fish might come back in and settle down. They didn't where I was, but Dale did hook a redfish on the far end of his side of the island. Unfortunately, it got away. We moved on.

I parked Dale on another spot that has been good in San Carlos Bay. But, it wasn't good on this day. While he worked that spot, I went hunting. I found several large snook and a couple of redfish pods, and made mental notes. Needless to say, they didn't bite.

I went back and joined Dale, and moved us to another spot where reds usually hang. I got smacked several times in a row, and hard enough for the red to mangle the weed guard on my spoon. I finally hooked up with a nice redfish, but lost it while I was talking to Dale. I had set the hook on that fish twice, but it still managed to twist off the hook!

Around three o'clock Dale told me he was pretty tired, and ready to call it a day. I forget exactly how old Dale is, but I think he's early 80s young! And, he's a real sport and still strong as an ox. That's what I call an inspiration!

When we got back to the ramp there was a big thunder boat on the trailer hooked up to the hose. They were trying to figure out a water pump problem for a couple of hours. We waited a while, and the guys were nice enough to pull their rig over close to one side of the ramp so that I could squeeze my rig in there and pull our boats.

It had been a beautiful day on the water, but the first time since I've been fishing San Carlos Bay that I've come back without something to clean. No keepers. But, the bite should heat up with the weather!

Target Species:

Redfish, trout, and snook

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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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