After a long stretch of unprecedented cold weather we are finally thawing out in southwest Florida. As many have already reported our snook population took a pretty hard hit as unknown numbers succumbed to the cold. Early reports suggest the number statewide is very high but too early to get an accurate count. We should have a fairly accurate estimation of how many fish were killed in upcoming days. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission executed an executive order suspending the spring snook season. Season will remain closed until September when it will be reevaluated. You can go to their website at www.myfwc.com/ for updates. With Mother Nature we have no control, just like hurricanes, events like this happen for a reason beyond or comprehension, nature’s way of keeping everything in balance I guess. Our snook population will rebound as it has many times in the past, if we all do our part it will be sooner rather than later.
Not much to report for actual fishing this week, due to the cold we moved our trips back a week or two. I did get out and do a little scouting and fishing should get back on course in a few days as the water warms. With the clear water I located really good numbers of big trout absorbing sun over grass flats adjacent to deep water in northern Pine island Sound and on oyster bar drops in Matlacha Pass. I ran across one of the largest sheepsheads schools I have seen in a long time. The school easily numbered over two hundred and most looked to be two pounds or larger. Large schools of ladyfish were slow moving but they appeared to be doing well throughout Charlotte Harbor and in the Sound. I also saw small pods of redfish scattered across the grass flats in the Sound.
Looking forward to some warmer weather!
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