Fishing has been great the past couple of weeks in the Naples and Marco Island area. Especially last week we caught really good numbers of fish.
Snook have been really prevalent but not as much as the mangrove snappers. “Mangs” are everywhere and most of them are keepers which is over 10”. I fish around the passes and adjacent bays and beaches this time of year because that’s where the fish are. It’s fairly easy fishing as opposed to fish mangrove shorelines where there are frequently over hanging beaches you need to get your bait under.
I’m pretty good and telling what the species is as soon as my clients hooks up, well…the other day Joe hooked up but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. it was fishing like a snapper but really hard. Turned out to be a cubera snapper, Lutjanus cyanopterus, I believe the first one we’ve got on my boat. Cubera’s are not very common and can reach up to 125 lbs.! See pic below.
More About Cubera Snapper
Cubera snapper, also known as Cuban snapper, inhabit the western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia south to Brazil; however, it tends to frequent tropical waters. This fish is the largest snapper in its geographical distribution. Cubera snapper may often be confused with gray (mangrove) snapper because of its similar coloration. It is dark to pale reddish gray. This fish tends to have a slenderer body than other snappers. Juveniles can have pale bars along their sides but these fade with age. Comparatively little is known about this species of snapper.
Snook are plentiful and active. Lots of smaller fish with a few nice ones mixed in. I love seeing lots of small snook as it bodes well for the fishery.
Sharks are still frequenting the Naples backcountry as well as off the beaches and adjacent bays. We’ve done well lately with lemon sharks in the 50-70lb range in the backcountry, perfect size for a good fight but not too big the fights too long.
Tarpon are scattered and sometimes tough to get on. I saw some big fish this morning busting on small bait fish off the beach. There’s also some in the backcountry up to 30 lbs. plus some babies lurking about.
It’s great time of year to fish so give me a call to book a trip.
I’m also booking days for tarpon fishing next May & June and have already booked 15 days so if you want to get in on that action and get good tides give me a call.
Capt. Mark Ward
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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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