The fishing isn’t quite as hot as it was a couple of weeks ago but still good action with a variety of species. Nearshore wrecks, the beaches, passes, adjacent bays, as well as some backcountry bays, are fishing well.
Let’s start with the nearshore and beaches. I had a client recently, Josh and his son Joseph, who after an excellent morning of catching lots of snook and snapper decided they wanted to extend their trip from the scheduled 1/2 day, 4 hours trip to a 6 hour trip and mix it up a little.
So we did, we ventured off-shore a mile or so and got into the Spanish mackerel pretty well using spoons and white swirl tail jigs, I suggested we fish for sharks or goliath grouper so we sent down a half a mackerel and within 10 minutes hooked into a big goliath. Josh fought the behemoth for almost a half hour before breaking him off. It had to be huge as I don’t think we ever had him off the bottom. Nice way to end the day even with the lose.
Closer to shore we’ve had some great sight fishing conditions fishing for snook along the pristine beaches south of Naples with gin clear water and almost windless bluebird days. As the picture shows below there can be a lot of snook along the beach. This school had to be over 50 fish. They do get finicky and spooky in those conditions so I go down to a 20# leader and smaller #1 Kahle Black Platinum Eagle Claw hook which helps some. Good accurate casting is essential as well as good distance.
Snook seem to sense the boat when there within about 60’ so a good accurate long distance cast brings more hooks ups. It’s also not uncommon to see schools of jacks swim by as well as pompano and once in a blue moon a redfish. Great challenging fun.
Peak redfish time is right around the corner. September into August is typically peak with schools showing up along the beaches, passes and individual reds in the backcountry. Some of these fish can be hefty in the 25”-35”
Tarpon are still lurking about. I’ve recently seen some in the passes, along the beaches busting on schools of small bait fish and we even hooked a nice one on but bait in a backcountry bay while shark fish. I’ve always found tarpon in certain backcountry bays but it usually happens when the water hits 73 degrees in the spring and they are in there till about mid June but this year we’ve hooked them as late as last week.
In those same bays, we catch sharks, specifically bull sharks, lemon sharks, nurse sharks, and black tip sharks. It’s always amazed me that these big creatures lurk and live in such shallow bays. I’ve caught 100# tarpon in 4’ of water!
Going forward we have good tides around and either side of the upcoming full moon August 22. Strong tides and good moving water makes for better fishing.
It’s really a great time of year to fish as the saltwater fishing is typically very good with the fewest boats on the water of the year and good water conditions.
Tarpon Season 2022
I’m booking tarpon trips for next May & June and have already booked 14 days so if you’re interested it pays to plan ahead and get the best tides. The tides below I’ve selected based on past experience and most of them are before and after the full and new moons.
May 10, 11, 12, 13
17, 18, 19, 20, 21
26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, June 1, 2
June 9, 10,
11 & 12
17, 18, 19, 20
Give me a call to talk about it 239-450-9230
Capt. Mark Ward
Are you ready to plan your Naples fishing trip?
Experience the backcountry saltwater mangrove estuaries of Naples, Marco Island, the 10,000 Islands and Everglades National Park. Light tackle sport fishing for snook, redfish, tarpon, trout, pompano, bonita, sharks and other saltwater species. Contact Capt. Mark to plan your Naples fishing charter, call: (239) 450-9230
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