We had a good thing going this week then came the wind and rain and boy did it rain. Fishing was getting better each day as we hit our first eighty degree day in a long time. We never left Matlacha Pass the entire week for a couple of reasons, early in the week there was no need to, the fishing was good in the Pass and later in the week strong winds kept us close to home.
Each morning we looked for trout in the deeper cuts between Islands on the morning low water. The bite wasn’t red hot but was steady enough to achieve limits of quality fish. The fish we caught had a good average size from sixteen to eighteen inches and we had a few at twenty-two inches. We were fishing live shrimp either under a popping cork or free lined and white shad tail soft plastics on a quarter ounce head. Our best bite was over the incoming tide. The water was still a little cool for them to move out over the grass flats, but they should begin their move this week.
We caught redfish on the upper stages of the tide working oyster bars in the Pass. Live shrimp worked against the windward side of the bars worked for redfish up to twenty-one inches. We caught a good number of fish from seventeen to twenty inches and sighted more large redfish than I have seen in months along shorelines in the Pass. The bigger fish don’t seem to have the same appetite just yet as the little guys, but that will change very soon. We also lucked into one nice pompano while catching reds in the northern Pass.
As the water continues to warm I have sighted a lot more snook than I expected to in Matlacha Pass. They are moving out along shorelines in both the upper and lower Pass, it was really encouraging to see this many fish after the winter they suffered and there was a lot of big fish. They should start feeding really soon.
We are almost there, the water temp is slowly rising and fish are beginning to respond. Bait fish should begin to arrive very soon and fishing should really improve just in time for the arrival of spring.