Redfish, Snook and Mackerel in Southwest Florida

Fishing in southwest Florida around Pine Island we are catching a variety of fish including snook, redfish, trout, mackerel and flounder. We are still primarily fishing with live bait including shiners (pilchards) and pinfish. We carry live shrimp with us each day but there are just too many bait stealing pinfish to think about fishing shrimp as long as the bait fish are still around. A couple more cold fronts and that will change, the pinfish and shiners will move offshore and shrimp will become the preferred bait.

Some days they are a little stubborn and other days more cooperative but we are catching redfish in northern Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass and the eastern side of Charlotte Harbor. Most are of a decent average size running from twenty-two to twenty-four inches, with a few larger or smaller
Snook and some really nice trout, both, catch and release only, were also mixed with the reds. The largest trout were caught with the redfish in the Sound and the better snook action came from the Harbor and Matlacha Pass.

There are plenty of Spanish mackerel in Charlotte Harbor, average size is around fourteen to eighteen inches, with a few larger, once they get chummed up they can give almost non-stop action. We are catching the mackerel on live shiners rigged on an extra long shank 2/0 stainless J hook and on Clark silver spoons. Bonnet head sharks, trout, ladyfish and a few bluefish were with the macks in water depths averaging six to nine feet.
The Holiday Season is fast approaching with Thanksgiving not far off. It’s a great time to get on the water with friends and family and enjoy the outdoors.

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