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Two Out-a Three Ain't Bad!

Capt. Butch Rickey
January 30, 2012
Pine Island Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report

Report For The Week Ending 12/31/11

I managed two out of three trips this week. The weather forced a reschedule of one trip twice.

First up on Wednesday was Luke Lawless. What a great name, but even better for a defense attorney. Luke was down from Campbellville, Kentucky, and an avid fisherman. We drew a blustery day with an extremely low tide that was scheduled to be a -0.3 ft., but was more like a -1.0 ft. because of the north wind. It would be a whole day of pothole fishing out of Castaways. There was no question it would be a tough day of catching, but Luke and I were up for it.

We spent probably the first half of the day on foot. Once we got to our fishing grounds we pulled our Ultimates up on the exposed flat, and parked them, and just walked from hole to hole fishing. Things were slow at first, but we eventually got some redfish and got on a good trout bite. We caught a lot of trout, with Luke's best one at 25 inches and a good 5 pounds.

Once the tide turned and finally began to come in, things slowed down. After being held back by the frontal wind, it came in with a vengeance. Back in the Ultimates, we made a move to another area, and were once again on trout with some redfish and a few flounder mixed in. Toward the end of our day I found another trout bite. Unfortunately, we were just a few days away from the season opening to harvest. Fortunately, the trout closed season has been repealed effective February 1st, and next year trout will be open all through the winter. That's good news for a lot of anglers.

Luke and I had a great time together, and he was a very nice young man to fish with. Our catch was around six dozen fish, all together. We took our two keeper redfish home at the end of the day.


Thursday, I was with Mark and Jennifer Robinson, of Seattle, Wisconsin. When I got to the Castaways marina that morning the first thing I saw was dead mullet and other fish washed up on the ramp. The front had blown the red tide that had been to the north of us, into our area and the Sound. We again had a very low tide around the middle of the day, but the wind was down. It would be a nice day on the water.

We got the boats ready and shoved off. Jen had a little trouble getting the hang of steering the trolling motor, and was looking like the drunken sailor for a little while, but she soon got the hang of it with a little direction.

Once we were at the fishing grounds, I realized we were going to have a problem fishing our potholes, as it was very overcast. It made it impossible for Mark and me to see. To be effective at pothole fishing you must be able to see the defined edge of the hole, and cast right on it. That's where the fish lay. We couldn't because we couldn't see. Worse, Mark told me Jen wasn't happy because she came along to get some sun. And the sun wasn't cooperating.

Mark and I worked over the potholes that are usually so good for big trout with very little to show for our efforts. The fish were in a funk. So was Jen.

We kept moving and searching and fishing. Jen moved with us. We had a very strange sky until around ten o'clock. There was a wide, straight band of clouds, probably associated with the front that had passed, that went from horizon to horizon. It just seemed to hang there. But, finally around ten it moved off to the south and let the sun come out. Jen, Mark, and me were all happy. Unfortunately, it didn't do much for the fishing.

Mark and I fished our hearts out, but didn't have a lot of success. We finished the day with a dozen or so trout, a couple of flounder, and one keeper redfish. Tough day. But, Mark loved the Ultimates, and more importantly, we had fun. Mark wasn't about catching a bunch of fish, and just enjoyed the day in the kayaks. I had a great time with Mark and Jen.

That was it. Two trips with great folks, great winter weather, and good fun. That's what it's all about.

Target Species:

Redfish, trout, and flounder

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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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