Spring Action Begins in Southwest Florida
Capt. Bill Russell
March 20, 2012
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report
Winter closed out with a whimper as we found near picture perfect weather leading up to the arrival of spring in southwest Florida. With blue skies and shirt sleeve temperature fishing continues to get better each day.
Spring sea trout fishing is in full swing with plenty of fish around the 20 inch mark and the best time of year to catch "gators" over 24 inches. Look for the largest fish in sand potholes, off the mangrove shorelines, and oyster bars.
We are beginning to get higher daytime tides; this is helping to target redfish. We aren't locating many bunched up, most singles and pairs on the mangrove shorelines over sand bottom on the high water and in potholes on low water.
Snook, redfish & "gator" trout all prefer the same domain. Snook are moving to the same potholes, shorelines and oyster bars as the reds and big trout, with the mild days they have acquired quite an appetite for live shiners. Snook season on our coast will remained closed through the summer but are still a blast to catch, just make sure to catch and release then quick and safely.
For fun, fast paced action, it's hard to beat grass flats in six to ten foot depths. Areas off Bokeelia, northern Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor have given good action recently. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, cobia, trout, jacks, and of course ladyfish kept the drags screaming each day. This is great action to get kids with little or no experience into fishing. We had a couple days with little guys and gals under ten who never fished saltwater before, needless to say they now are hooked for life.
Spring is here in southwest Florida, my favorite time to fish. After a very mild winter fish are running ahead of schedule. Tarpon are showing up, the waters are warm, bait is thick, and the fish are hungry. What more could an angler ask for!
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