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Greatt Customers Equals Great Trips!

Capt. Butch Rickey
January 21, 2013
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report

Week ending 1-5-13........

Two trips to report on this week, and they were with great folks. Cold fronts are almost always a factor this time of year, but the fishing was good.

Wednesday morning I met Gene Osokiwicz and his son Mark, from Chicago, at Sanibel Harbor at nine o'clock. They brought their own gear, which is rare, and it was Shimano good stuff. We were at Castaways in thirty minutes or so, and getting ready for a day of fishing. We had fair weather, breezy, and a dead low tide of -0.1 ft. at around 11:30 AM. We would be fishing the few hours on either side of the low. That means mostly pothole fishing.

With the tide out there is a lot of exposed slick surface at the old Castaways ramp. The worst part is where there is old carpet still down. I had warned the boys to be careful if they walked on it. But, it's easy to get distracted with what you're doing and forget. And Gene did. I happened to be watching him when his feet went out from under him, and could hardly believe my eyes. He went down pretty hard, and caught himself with his right arm/hand, and basically did a one-armed pushup back to vertical. I don't think he ever got a bit of mud on him. That was impressive!
With boats loaded with gear, we were off to challenge the fish. Our first stop wasn't very productive, and I moved on to scout out a hole with fish that would eat. I would call the boys on the radio once I had found the fish.

I worked my way along the series of holes working the far edges. The fish relate to the edges, and ambush bait as it falls off the shallows into the hole. The wind direction was not favorable for fishing the holes, but we really had no other options. I finally found the bite I was looking for, and called Gene and Mark in to me. Once they were situated and catching fish, I moved on to the next hole in search of the big trout and redfish. It wasn't long before I had established a bite. Mark joined me first. He had been catching some nice fish on his ultralight rig, including a redfish, but he was ready for the bigger fish.

Soon Mark was catching redfish and big trout, and Gene decided it was time to come join us. Gene had already caught a 7 pound trout in the other spot, as well as a flounder and a bluefish. Gene had also had a redfish break off at the leader knot, and another got away. We fished that spot until it slowed as the tide reached a middle point on the incoming side.

We headed to another area in hopes of a few more reds and trout to finish our day. Gene got the lone big trout there before we headed back to Castaways. We finished a really fun day with lots of big trout, most of which were too big to keep, a nice flounder, a bluefish, and about a dozen redfish between us. It was a successful day with a father and son team that were great anglers, and fun to share the water with.


Friday dawned wet and cloudy for Sal Saporito, of Williamsburg, Virginia, and me. We had another cold front come in during the night and stall right over us. It was anyone's guess whether the fish would bite, or not. Adding to our challenge was almost zero visibility in the water, a stiff breeze early, and a very late tide with very little water moving for most of the day.

Sal is an experienced kayak angler, but had never fished the shallows before. He fishes from his Wilderness Systems 16. Sal also brought his own tackle, mostly Shimano Sustains, and a fly rod. But, when Sal saw what the wind was doing, he opted to leave it behind.

We headed off to try to conquer the fish on a day that looked to be challenging. Once at our first stop and boats set, Sal was quickly catching trout. It wasn't a good, steady bite, so I moved on to scout out better action. I worked my way across the flat working the edges of holes, and knowing exactly where to expect to find fish. And, I did find them. Sal was working his way toward me, and I called him in with the radio.
I parked Sal on the edge and made sure he was tossing the right baits. I fished with him for a short while, and then went off in search of the next bite. I wanted some redfish action. It wasn't long before I had the first red, and called Sal in with me. We fished that area until the bite dwindled. By that time we'd fished for about five hours, and I suggested that we head to an area closer to home to finish the day, hopefully with a few more fish. We worked that area over without a hit, and finally headed in. We took some pictures and freed our fish before heading back.

Sal, like Gene and Mark, is a very good angler. I had mentioned that the bite was not a good one for us. We're somewhat spoiled. But, Sal assured me it was a good day by their standards back home, and was very happy with the day. I don't remember his exact words, but Sal also told me that he'd been out with lots of guides, and that I was the best he'd ever been with. Wow! That's the most gratifying thing a fishing guide can hear. I'm looking forward to fishing with Sal again in the spring, when he returns to look at more property.

That was the week. It was a good one, for sure.

Pine Island Sound Fishing Forecast:

Good weather and good tides will bring good fishing for redfish, trout, flounder, and others.

Target Species:

Redfish and Trout

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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