We had another great day on the water Tuesday out of Punta Rassa, in Fort Myers. For the first time on my boat were Dale and Linda from Wisconsin. The trip was a bit of a treat for Linda to celebrate her approaching birthday. We began the day right on time, headed towards the Sanibel lighthouse and quickly ran across a few dolphins on the move. As soon as we got under the causeway, a just big enough chop on the water to make the ride uncomfortable, slapped the bow of the boat. With my plan for the first fishing area spoiled by the waves, I turned towards the C span of the causeway to investigate a few boats throwing castnets for bait. On the way I spotted a manatee tail and slowed to get a look. It appeared that several manatees were “frolicking” at the surface in the 20 foot deep water we were traversing. Several times we saw a manatee come out of the water on the back of another, in what seemed like an attempt to push each other out of the way. After a few minutes they sounded and we continued on our way. It only took a few throws of the net at the bridge to acquire a couple of dozen mixed whitebait and threadfins, from good sized to monster ones, to add to the shrimp in the livewell. With some very nice baits, I was very optimistic for a good day as we sped to the first fishing spot, to find not much going on.
We got a small trout to the boat, and then finally Linda says she is on, and we see her fishing pole bent double as the 12# test monofilament line is quickly leaving her reel. I try to help, and we get a better angle with the pole to put some pressure on the fish, and a very nice snook breaks the surface of the water and screams off another run.  The big snook came to the surface once again and somehow threw the circle hook not to be seen again. We missed another bite at that spot before I decided to head to another area, not too far away. We had trouble finding any fish there as well, but Linda did have another smaller snook on for a minute or so. The next spot made our day on the half day Charter. As soon as we anchored up, a small shark and then a large stingray casually cruised by the boat,  in the fairly clear 3’ deep water. A likely looking shoreline and point didn’t have any fish, but the lush grass flat farther out was holding some feeding trout that helped make our day. We went back and forth between trying shrimp and livies for bait to keep the bite going. Most of the fish were fairly small, but Linda got the first keeper, a spotted seatrout just over 15”.

Dale finally broke the ice on a few small fish, and then got a nice bite that battled him fairly well. The fish fought hardest right at the boat, and Dale did a great job and led the fish right to the net at the perfect time. The trout measured over 20” and was added to the livewell.
We added one more nice 18” or so fish to the livewell, giving us 3 keepers out of the 10-15 fish that we caught, before the bite tapered off and we headed to 1 last spot. With not a nibble at the last spot we worked our way back to the dock where I cleaned and bagged the fish before we said our goodbyes and ended another great day on the water.