February has been unseasonable warm with zero cold fronts and the forecast is for the warm weather to continue for the rest of the month. The water in the backcountry is in the high 70’s so consequently tarpon and sharks have shown up. The tarpon fishing is not as good as it will be in March and April but it’s nice having the options.
Fished long time client Ransom and his son Pratt yesterday, we fished around the backcountry catching a couple snook and a bunch of jacks as we waited for the tide to come in and bring the nice clear gulf water into some of the backcountry bays. We managed to hook and fight a scrappy 5′ black tip shark which was the highlight of the morning.
As we move into March the snook fishing will improve as the backcountry snook start to migrate to the passes and adjacent bays. The tarpon and shark fishing will also improve until peak tarpon time in May and June. I do get booked that time of year so if you want to tarpon fish better book soon.
Overall, in lieu of the warm weather the fishing is pretty much like winter fish. A few nice fish, a shark or tarpon thrown in and good action.
A few pictures of some catches.
A rare “fat” snook, first one I’ve ever caught.
Spring is hear in Southwest Florida. Signs include the arrival of the Swallow Tailed Kites and Purple Martins which I’ve spotted both this week, I’m sure exhausted from their long flight from Brazil. Manatees are becoming more prevalent and…tarpon and sharks have started to show in the backcountry!
Fishing has been hot and cold which is not uncommon this time of year. The last two days it’s been blowin’ about 20 knots out of the NE which doesn’t help things but better than blowing out of the west.
Jacks have been everywhere, snook, redfish, snapper and sheepshead have been the most prevalent species with a few pompano mixed in along with a few rare backcountry permit.
Looking forward we have a full moon next Sunday which will give us strong spring time tides with high water mid day and low water around sunrise and sunset. The new moon is March 27th with similar tides.
Tides play an important role when fishing. Almost every spot I fish is because of the height and or direction of the tide. Call ahead when booking a trip so we can optimize the day and the tide.
Sharks and tarpon will continue to frequent the backcountry into late through April. Tarpon will thin out in the backcountry by early May and will start to show off the beaches as the spring migration begins!
Some bigger snook are being caught as they have started to move out of the backcountry towards the passes for their early summer spawn.
Call me to talk fishing or book a trip. Capt. Mark – 239-450-9239
The winter solstice arrived early this morning, at 5:44am, EST. The winter solstice is the exact moment that the Northern Hemisphere is tilted the farthest it ever gets from the sun during the year. This lowers the amount of the sun’s warming energy that reaches Earth, hence, winter!
What does all this mean? It means the days are getting longer as time marches on towards summer and the longest day of the year June, 21.
This also means winter is here and we’ve adjusted our fishing techniques. In the winter we use more jigs, fish more open water and bays and catch typically a wider variety of fish. Although, with the extended period of 80 degree weather we’re having and are forecast to have warm 80 degree days for the next 10 days, I’m not using jigs as much as I usually do for this time of year and the live bait fishing is still good.
For example yesterday I fished good client and friend Jan Vangorder and his wife Linda, we only fished two spots but caught six species including nice jack crevalle, mackerel, ladyfish, snapper, bluefish and lots of snook. We had non stop action in the backcountry and rarely saw any other boats.
They’re are also lots of bait fish off the beaches and plenty of mackerel. The bonita which I anxiously wait for every fall have not shown in the numbers they should so they should show soon. Maybe when the weather cools a little more.
Recent fishing pics below.
I still have openings for the week after Christmas so give me a call if you want to get on the water fishing with your kids, grandkids or wife or significant other.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
November into December could be a couple of the best months for fishing and the weather in Naples and Southwest Florida is superb. Beautiful puffy white clouds silhouetted against blue skies with temps around 80 in the day and 60 at nite.
We’re catching quite the variety of fish including Snook, Redfish, lots of jacks, snapper and the Kingfish and Bonita are starting to show off the beaches. Tides are good this weekend into next week with incoming water all morning. Thanksgiving week the tides get better as the week progresses. I do still have openings that week so give me a call to book a trip. It’s a nice way to spend four or six hours with a son or daughter or grandkid or friend.
Also Christmas will be here before we know it so book ahead as it’s one of the busiest times of the year.
A couple pics from a recent trip. Sam always out fishes her dad.
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to fish. In the gulf we get tarpon migrating south, snook can be sight fished along the beach, sharks and screamer bonita should show up in a few weeks..
Overall fishing is what is should be this time of year. Bait fish are thick off the beaches and mackerel, ladyfish, snook, tarpon and other species are all feeding on these glass minnows and small scaled sardines. I think this is mother natures way of fattening up all the fish for the less abundant winter months.
This time of year I’m still fishing in the near shore Gulf areas, the passes as well as adjacent bays. Recently I ventured fairly deep into the backcountry and the water was very warm and off color and we only caught a couple small snook.
I had the pleasure of fishing with Dr. Steven Flores recently, team physician for the Houston Texans and Rockets. He was in town doing some labs with medical device company Arthrex. He caught a beauty 18lb snook, a nice keeper red among other fish. Pics below.
Give me a call if you’d like to discuss a trip. I supply everything, you just need to show up with hat and sunglasses.
Capt. Mark 239-450-9230
Dr. Steven Flores with a big snook
Although it’s hot mid day fishing around Naples and Marco Island, the bite can be and is very good especially mornings and late afternoons. Sight fishing the beaches for snook has been very good although can get challenging when the water is very calm and clear. It’s almost like bone fishing in the keys or the bahamas.
I’m finding tarpon in the passes and a few select places off the beaches but this time of year they bite best at first light so we head out early.
Pompano are around the passes and sandy shoals and are biting best on good incoming or outgoing fairly strong moving tides.
There are also a few redfish around on the higher tides phases in the backcountry.
I’m also targeting sharks and goliath grouper off the near shore wrecks.
Going forward we have good tides coming up the beginning of August and again middle of the month.
A few recent pics and one of a baby bonefish that I caught in my cast net which is rarely seen in these water.
Fishing in Naples and Marco Island the last few days has been quite good in lieu of the unusual west wind we’ve had for two days. Typically this time of year we have a light east breeze in the morning and an afternoon west sea breeze. Lately it’s been steady out of the west 10-20 knots. This makes it hard to get bait, makes the beach tarpon and snook fishing tough and basically eliminates all gulf beach fishing.
Yesterday morning the bite was slow in the backcountry and I knew a spot along the beach that had lots of snook on it so we did venture off the beach and managed to anchor in the waves and caught about 12 snook. There was also big spanish mackerel, pompano, snapper and ladyfish in the mix. Overall a good morning in adverse conditions.
The winds should subside towards the end of the weekend and next week should have some great fishing with the upcoming full moon. Snook in the passes, tarpon off the beaches with mackerel, pompano and sharks in the mix.