I am beginning to wonder if we will complete a week of fishing in southwest Florida without weather becoming an issue. This past week was pretty brutal on the water with lots of wind, rain and more cold. Again we are in for another lengthy stretch of cold weather, not the killer type freeze we experienced last month but enough to set our fishing back once again.
We fished a couple days this week where the winds felt Gail force strength and it was tough. I suggested canceling or rescheduling but both days were visitors from the north with a small window of time and they really wanted to get on the water. One good thing about Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound is there are plenty of places to fish out of the wind. We could not get any type of bite going in the open water areas and finally settled into fishing creeks at the northeast section of Matlacha Pass. I generally like to fish using the wind to my advantage on the windward side of Islands but it was just too strong (and cold). The fish weren’t bragging size by no means but we did have steady action and put enough fish in the cooler for a fish dinner each day. The sheepsheads bite was steady but were averaging only about ten inches, we caught several redfish but again running small with a sixteen inch average. We did work our way to some decent trout up to eighteen inches. We were fishing both live and cut shrimp on bottom, free lined shrimp and soft plastics. Even though the weather was cold we still caught most of the larger trout on a white four inch shad tail soft plastic on a quarter ounce jig head.
When you get those days when the wind is howling and the air is crisp look for creeks, canals or protected areas and spend some time there. Chances are the bite won’t be red hot, but if you are getting any action at all stick with it, you know the fish are there. Even if you are catching smaller fish than you are accustomed to, you are still catching and you never know when the larger fish will turn on. Plus it’s far more enjoyable than beating yourself up on those windy days running from spot to spot.
We are in another pattern of sustained cooler than average weather and yes its getting frustrating, I am ready for summer! But, when you look at the weather to our north we really can’t complain, if anything it should make us realize just how spoiled were are in southwest Florida.
“Catch the Action” with Captain Bill Russell