A Tale of Unbelievable Redfishing in Pine Island Sound, Florida

Mike Henry

After careful studying of the tides, moon and the stars (and a call to Butch), Lew, the internationally famous guide/liquidator and Mike, from the wilds of Canada, decided to go on another quest for the elusive fish of Pine Island Sound.

The day started out without incident and we met a "real" guide from BarHoppr2 named "Butch". We noticed that he had another famous guide with him and we got worried!! Had Butch called up reinforcements because the fishing was that BAD!

We met Butch at the Chino Flats and he motioned us over to his boat because the water was alive with white bait. It seems to me we spend more time trying to catch bait than we do actually fishing. Lew says he loves catching bait so I joined in. Butch filled his live wells with bait and left to go to one of the 'secret spots'. Lew and I continued for another 1/2 hour to fill our live well. Lew was completely soaked from the net and tired from throwing the net. We started to clean up the boat and I noticed water leaking back into the boat. We opened the hatch in the back and I fixed the hose and tightened the hose clamp. We felt everything was solved and we were on our way to a good day of fishing.

We went to some of our 'secret spots'. The first spot normally has very nice sized Redfish in it. We stopped there and chummed and I immediately had a hit but we didn't land anything. The second spot we fished was in front of a small island and had another hit immediately, I missed it again but Lew quickly threw his bait out and caught the only Redfish within 3 miles of that island. The next spot I had been catching one Snook everytime I stopped there. The last time we were there we brought in about a 24" Snook and a large Snook of about 25-30# hit it and tried to steal it from us, so I had dreams of tying into this large Snook. I casted out and shortly caught a small Snook. After this Lew decided that my spots weren't producing to his satisfaction and that he had a 'secret, secret spot' that had been consistently producing good fish. I turned the key on the motor and it barely started. I asked Lew if this had ever happened before and he said he thought it had been doing this. We buzzed off to the next spot, by now it was close to 5:30 p.m., we anchored and chummed and immediately started catching Snook and Redfish. The action was nothing short of FANTASTIC. We had caught and released between 25-30 Redfish. We noticed that all the live wells had quit operating. We checked the motor, trolling motor, auxiliary power and found out that everything was dead. Three batteries deader than a doornail. How could this be?!?!? Lew said not to worry and called Sea Tow. He was confident in them.....he new they would show up! We were told they would be there in 45 minutes. The fishing continued to heat up, the bait would barely hit the water and something would grab it. Mike had broken off several times and his bobbers were circling the boat with fish attached. The fishing was so good we hoped Sea Tow could not find us for atleast another 2 hours. We caught fish right up until the Sea Tow tied up to our bow and pulled us back to Punta Rassa where we arrived at 10:00 p.m. I told Butch earlier in the day that a pig rutting around for acorns sooner or later finds them. We found them, the mother load!

It was a great day with a great person and friend as my fishing partner, Lew. One I will never forget for the rest of my life. That's what fishing is all about, not the fish you kill but the memories and friendships you build for a lifetime.

Lew and I are thinking about producing a fishing video (similar to Butch's) called "Redfish, Snook and Sea Tow USA". --

Pipestone Fly-In Outposts
Mike & Renae Henry
(807) 482-1143
e-mail: catchfish@pfo.net
web site: www.pfo.net

If you have any questions or comments, would like to book a trip, or would like to submit a story, please email me at capt@barhoppr.com.

Bottle at Sea Or, call 1-239-633-5851.
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