Pine Island Sound is a vast inland sea that extends from the southern tip of Sanibel Island north to Charlotte Harbor and world-famous Boca Grande Pass. It’s bordered on the west by barrier islands — Sanibel, Captiva, Cayo Costa — on the east by the mainland areas of Fort Myers and Cape Coral.
On the east side of Pine Island is Matlacha Pass, a protected thruway to the Old Florida community of Matlacha and northward to eastern Charlotte Harbor.
That’s a lot of water, much of it covering an extensive system of grass beds, which provide habitat for large and very selective redfish and snook.
In the spring, giant tarpon migrate northward along the beaches off the barrier islands on their way to Boca Grande Pass and eventually to spawning sites in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pine Island Sound
Above, a wading angler casts to tailing redfish on a Pine Island flat.
At right, Californian Greg Mau picked off this healthy redfish in only inches of water.
George Anderson puts the heat to a Pine Island tarpon. Giant tarpon start showing up in Pine Island Sound in early spring.