Naples, FL Winter Fishing Report

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian things have for the most part returned back to normal save the random floating debris and some changes to sandbars, beaches and shorelines.

I love fishing in the spring namely May & June in large part because tarpon are as abundant as they get in SW Florida. Besides those months fall fishing typically is very good and a great time of year to fish. The weather has cooled from the hot summer months, a wide variety of fish are available, the weather is typically stable and overall just good fishing.

Snook are still along the beaches, passes and adjacent bays and are also starting to migrate to their backcountry haunts. This gives us a lot of options. As always live bait works well but also jigs and plugs are effective and fun to use. We typically catch less fish on artificials but I find using them is more rewarding. Just trying to make that perfect cast up along the shoreline is fun. As I tell my clients if you don’t get it caught in the mangroves once in a while you’re not getting close enough.

This morning we had long time clients Chuck & Deborah out, first spot caught zero, second spot we caught about seven snook with Deb’s eight pounder the biggest. We worked our way south through Rookery Bay fishing different shorelines. Some spots we got blanked and others we caught fish. Was actually a fairly slow day but they had a ball as they always do. At the end of the day we caught snook, snapper and jacks.

Naples, FL Snook Fishing Charters

The variety of fish that we catch is directly contingent on how we fish. For snook, redfish, jacks and snapper we use live bait being live pilchards (scaled sardines) or shrimp. Sometimes we might use pinfish or mullet. When we’re fishing for pompano we most often use jigs tipped with shrimp. For trout live bait, jigs or a float with a shrimp is used. Bonita (false albacore) can also be off the beaches this time of year and for them we sometimes drift with live bait, or run and gun using paddle tail jigs or spoons which we can cast a long ways and crank back fast. 

Going forward a cold front is forecast for Thursday which can spark some tarpon activity in the passes and can turn on the trout and pompano in the backcountry. The north wind with eliminate the beach and nearshore fishing but the north wind will not last long and return back to east after a couple of days.

I still have some openings Thanksgiving week as well as Christmas week. Gosh, it seems like summer was just here now, we’re talking about Christmas.

Time flies and goes faster every year so take a friend or family member fishing and build some memories.

Capt. Mark

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