March 20th, 2011


The last week of winter closed out in southwest Florida with a whimper as perfect weather and good fishing welcomed the arrival of spring. With blue skies and shirt sleeve temperature fishing continues to get better each day. Large fish continue to move inshore as schooling tarpon were sighted along with sharks, Spanish mackerel, big trout, redfish and snook.

For fun fast paced action it was hard to beat grass flats in six to ten foot depths. Areas off Bokeelia have given myself and many other boats pretty hot action for the past week. Spanish mackerel, some really big ones, kept the drags screaming each day, while trout, ladyfish, bluefish and sharks also joined in the fun. This is great action to get kids with little or no experience into fishing. We had a couple days with little guys under ten who never fished saltwater before, needless to say they now are hooked for life.

While the open water action as mentioned was very good, we had to work a little harder to catch a decent redfish, “gator” trout or snook. We did catch fat redfish up to twenty-seven inches in Matlacha Pass on the afternoon high water along with snook.

We caught our largest trout of the year, an honest twenty-six inch “gator” trout that was caught on a live shiner and released near Bokeelia. We also caught trout from fifteen to twenty-two inches but generally we could get only one or two from a hole then it was time to move to the next.

Tarpon are migrating into the waters around Pine Island each day; I have seen pods of several dozen in Charlotte Harbor, plus a couple cobia and plenty of sharks. Fishing will only get better and the fish bigger as we progress into the Spring fishing season.

For charter information, please contact us at:

“Catch the Action” with Captain Bill Russell
Phone: 239-283-7960
E-mail: gcl2fish@live.com