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Capt. Butch Rickey
April 12, 2012
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report

Report for the week ending 3/17/12..........

This week began with three trips to run, and a day of Florida Master Naturalist class on Friday, but I only got to run two trips.

The week began on Monday with Jim Metternich, down from Illinois. We met at Castaways Marina, and were soon off to the Buck Key area to chase redfish, big trout, and flounder. Jim has to be one of the youngest looking 72 year olds I've ever seen, and he certainly didn't let the years get in his way.

We drew a pretty poor weather day, and it was downright windy for most of our fishing day. Our tide was low around 11:00 AM, and high at around 4:30 PM, and only moving 1.4 ft. of water. Not a bad tide, but not a great one, either. With the wind we'd have our work cut out for us.

Jim and I fished hard, we me putting him on spots where I knew there were fish, and then going to verify the next spot had fish willing to eat. The early bite was almost non-existent early, and very tough later in the day. The fish just didn't want to eat. The redfish repeatedly bent the weed guards on our spoons, letting us know they were there, and interested, but not interested enough to commit and eat our baits. Jim was a very easy going guy who seemed to instinctively know that catching was not the most important part of a fishing trip. We finished the day with 8 redfish and 1 trout. That's a slow day by our standards, but it was a good day with a great guy who thoroughly enjoyed the day. As did I.


My trip Tuesday was with Joe Colarusso, and his grandson Joe Colarusso, down from New York. Big Joe was a very young and vital 81 years young, and his grandson Joe was 21 years old, and they seemed to have a very special relationship. Neither had ever kayak fished, but were really up for the day. And, what a difference a day can make. The wind was down, and we had a tide that was very similar to Monday's tide, but just a little later in the day, and the high would be in the 80s.

We were on the water and on the way to our first stop before 11:00 AM. Because of the tide we made a long run to begin the day, and fished our way back with the incoming tide. Big Joe got a nice snook at our first spot early. Little Joe and I couldn't get the redfish to eat, but they were there.

After a short move, we were on fish that were ready to eat. Joe and Joe had a grand time catching beautiful redfish on jigs and spoons, but mostly on The Secret oz. gold and silver spoons. The boys caught some 16 redfish before the bite slowed, and we moved on.

At our next, and what would be our last stop of the day we managed a few more fish; a 6 pound trout and one more redfish.

It had been a very good day for us, and we'd had a ball together. It was especially nice for me to see my grandfather/grandson pair having such fun together. Back at the ramp I cleaned the fish, and we said our goodbyes. As Little Joe was getting into the car with his Grandpa, I heard him say in a most enthusiastic voice, "Grandpa! What an awesome day!" before the door closed. There's just no greater reward for a fishing guide than to hear something like that!


I was supposed to fish with David Twigg, whom I'd fished with last year and had a great day with. But, at the last minute he tore the meniscus in his right knee, and was immobilized. He was bummed, and so was I. I was really looking forward to another outing with David.


After Thursday in the office getting read, it was time for my Florida Master Naturalist Course on Friday. It's an excellent course with great instructors, and very humbling to learn just how little you know about the environment you've been raised in, and know so little about.

Target Species:

Redfish, snook, and trout

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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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