Pine Island Florida Fishing

Pine Island Florida Fishing
Great fishing in Pine Island Sound, our catches included local fish such as Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Snook, Redfish, Ladyfish, Cat fish and Tarpon. However, the Tarpon came in 1 week after our fishing excursion. This body of saltwater between Sanibel and Pine Island, provided us with a picture perfect day of fishing coves and inlets tucked in with mangroves, roots and sand bars islands. Pine Island is an Island 17 x 2 miles wide, Sanibel Island is 100 sq miles in size and home to the Darling National Wildlife Refuge both are on the Gulf of Mexico, close to Fort Myers. Pine Island's shores are surrounded by mangroves with only a few small beaches, making it an ideal waterfront habitat for spawning fish, birds and vegetation life.Beginning:Our day began with an 8 am send off, with Captain Wendell (crowrock.com) commanding the vessel through a canal on Pine Island, this canal is alive with mullets jumping, manatees swimming, crabs, local fish, small minnows and birds resting in the trees;  a real treasure to see of human and nature living amongst each other.Heading into the Pine Island Sound, the morning clouds looked ugly and a chance of rain were in the forecast, discussion of a shortened day were imminent. However, within an hour or so good fortune arrived, the skies opened and the Florida rays shined down on us.Catching bait:Our first task was of netting our bait under the Sanibel causeway, finding pelicans resting under the bridge, we were informed that they knew where the fish were. Shrimp was the captain’s choice; however pinfish was the netted result. As the net was brought up, the pelicans swooped down 3 feet from our vessel waiting for handouts or castaway fish. Yes they do know where to fish!   Fishing gear:   Our fishing Rod and Reel were light weight Quantum Boca PT/ Van Staal Spin Jigs providing us with ease of use and Our Power-pro braided Spectra Fiber 30 lbs weight fishing lines gave us awesome handling performance that were cast close to shore, catching a large trout in the shadows of a boat dock and even hooking the dock, Opps! The line and hook were saved with careful, forceful tugs and pulls managing to release its snag and still having the bait attached!Our most successful area was in the coves and bays, snuggling our hooks and bait,  casting close to shore amongst the shadows of the roots of the mangroves. There we caught our bounty with Redfish, Trout, Ladyfish, cat fish and Snook.Fish Species:Red fish (Red Drum) were our choice of the day, catching sizes between 18” to 25”with shrimp and pinfish bait. Very interesting to hear a fish make noise. The drumming sounds they make are from their muscles rubbing against their inflated air bladder. These fish have been caught with an astounding 45” weighing 51 lbs in the same area! We were happy with our catches of the day!Event:Now casting is interesting depending on right and left handed anglers, as the boat turns we also follow the shores and at one point you find yourself next to the person casting in opposite hands only to find an entangled line and hooks to untwined. Our captain seems to be accustomed and with ease, helps to relieve this tense moment. If the fish were watching I’m sure they were laughing! This team of anglers on Captain Wendell vessel are dynamic and eccentric, learning oh so slowly to fall into sync. Catching the quota of a Slam gives one of the anglers, a boost to his ego and edge for success. We are proud of his feat and acknowledge his success, only to find he gloats. Shortly after another angler, myself, catches a large ladyfish, the first angler accidently bumps into the shoulder nearly pushing one over the boat! Sabotage?... On a boat?... OMG! Wendell’s fatherly skills are required to set the lines and skills straight. I think the fish are still laughing!The rest of the day faired better after stopping for lunch at a local restaurant by boat and dock side, Very quaint and Key West style with good food and atmosphere. The afternoon was with full sun, the fish were resting and did not bite as the morning but we did catch some nice size Redfish and brought home dinner. Nothing better then freshly caught fish.End of the day:Our tour ended with the skies closing, thunder clouds rolling in, mullets jumping around us and an inquisitive manatee that came so very close to the side of the boat, looking at us and observing for 10 minutes. Maybe he/she was trying to get in a laugh too!Created by Genevieve van Oers
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