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Post Info TOPIC: Report for the Week Ending 11/28/09 for Pine Island Sound


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Report for the Week Ending 11/28/09 for Pine Island Sound

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I managed another two trips this week, and had good fishing, good catching, good folks, and good eats.

First up on Monday was my old friend George McRobbie and his wife Alison, I'd fished with the previous Monday. We had a tide similar to what we'd had the week before, except that it was much weaker and we'd had another front that had stalled just to our north. I fully expected the bite to be slow.

We left the dock at 0600 hours and headed straight to B Span flats to catch bait. The combination of tide running one way and the wind the other made bait a bit tricky, but we put a ton of it into the well before it was over. We'd had trout once again popping around us as we caught bait, but not as frequent as the week before. So, once I had the boat cleaned up we sat right there and let Alison catch a bunch of trout and get used to the gear and techniques again.

When the trout slowed down we headed up into Matlacha to a beautiful area to see if we could find some snook action. We fished the area over well, and did a lot of chumming, but never got a snook to eat. We had some baits scaled, and some torn up by small snapper, but didn't catch a fish.

From there we headed back around to the Sound and stopped at another very productive snook spot, that wasn't productive at all. We could see snook in the hole, but they were having nothing to do with us or our baits. We kept moving. It was now obvious that we were looking at some serious lockjaw, as the next two stops also gave us no snook at all.

At this point we'd burned a good portion of the morning, and still had no fish to show for our efforts. So, I decided it was time to switch gears to something else, and forget about trying to catch a keeper snook. I picked a hole I generally fish only during the winter, and it usually gives up plenty of big winter trout along with some very nice snook from time to time.

Well, if the snook were there they had us on permanent ignore, but the trout were sure there in droves. Alison and George had a good time catching trout on practically every cast, whether using shiners or Exude RT slugs. It didn't seem to matter much to the fish. Had trout season not closed at the first of November, we would have limited out on keepers very quickly. We had to settle for lots of catch and release action and a few pictures. Eventually, we and the trout had worn each other out, and it was out turn to get something to eat. We were off to the Waterfront Restaurant.

After a fabulous lunch we decided to hit another spot before heading home. The tide was now right for one of my favorite snook holes. The snook were there in big numbers. I already knew that. The question was, “Would the snook eat?” The answer was a resounding, “NO!” We managed to catch one small yearling, and that was it. There was just no interest even with lots of chum.

It was time to head for home. Alison had seen enough sun, as it had been a gorgeous day as far as weather went. We'd had a couple of great hours of catching before lunch. Being with great folks like George and Alison had made it pretty much a perfect day for me. We headed home with smiles on our faces. It was great to have been able to fish with George and Alison twice during their stay, after not seeing them for nearly ten years.

When I got in Monday evening I had an email from Dr. Bob Flanders, of Houston, Texas, wanting to know if I had Tuesday open for him and his son, Matt. I did, and we booked it. We met Tuesday morning at 0600 hours, and headed off into the darkness for B Span flats. Bait was great, and we loaded the well with no problem. As we rode to our first spot Bob told me he'd been coming to the islands for about nine years, and had fished with several guides. The guide he'd fished with for the past three years had been very good. Bob was just looking to get a new perspective on things, learn some new spots and techniques. I hoped I could live up to his expectations.

Our first stop was at a beautiful place in Ding Darling that is virtually always full of snook, as well as other species like big trout, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, and the occasional redfish. The no-seeums kept us from getting in deep enough to get out of the breeze, and the snook didn't eat. Matt did catch a couple of beautiful winter trout, and we had a few baits scaled by snook. But, the vote was in, and the snook weren't buying. We moved on.

Our next stop was at an area I have fished for decades for snook, and it rarely disappoints. But it did on this day. We couldn't buy a bite. And, I kept my eye on another guide boat a few hundred yards away, and never saw him catch a fish, either. It seemed to be more of the same.

We headed to the place where we'd caught one small snook the day before, but had seen many. I knew they were there. They're always there! I hoped today would be the day they came out of their frontal funk.

It wasn't long before we had our first snook or two in the boat. Hmm. Maybe it was going to bust loose. Then Bob hooked a great fish that gave him fits, and sent me into the coaching mode. Bob did a great job of following my lead, and ultimately put a beautiful 31 ¾ inch snook into the boat. He said it was his best snook ever, and his first keeper snook. I was as thrilled as he was. The snook went into the well.

A short time later, Bob again struck blood with a nice snook that was just a hair under 28 inches. Then, Matt got into the act with a beautiful 31 7/8 inch snook that slightly bested his Dad's fish. That was his biggest and first ever keeper snook, as well. In all, the boys caught about a dozen snook before the action subsided. But, we weren't done.

I wanted to put them on some great big trout action. I headed out to one of my favorite potholes, but to my chagrin, in the overcast conditions, I couldn't find it. There aren't easily used landmarks to help you find this hole. I moved on to another hole that is always full of trout, but they don't have the size of the fish in the hole I was looking for. This hole has easily useable landmarks, and we were quickly on the fish. We caught them on shiners and RT Slugs, and stayed with it until it was time for us to go to lunch. We capped off a great day with another world class lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant. It had been a great day with some action and some great fish, and Bob seemed to be very happy with the results.

That was it. Another big front brought in some heavy rainfall in some areas just before Thanksgiving, and then some very cold temperatures. The prospect for fishing early in the week doesn't seem all that good, and then by Wednesday we have another front coming in. Kinda sounds like winter, doesn't it?

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Best Fishes! Capt. Butch
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