Fishing the Naples and Marco Island area the past couple of weeks has been a blast. I’ve been concentrating on fishing the gulf and nearshore waters. Spanish mackerel have been active and prevalent, sharks seem to be everywhere, tarpon are cruising up the beaches and snook are cruising the surf line tight along the beach.
The water has been very clear with lots of action. We’ve been having fun catching Spanish mackerel which we’ve been using for cut bait for sharks off the beaches as well as sharks in the backcountry along with tarpon. Spanish mackerel is the preferred cut bait as they’re bloody and oily. Besides the fact we catch them for bait, they’re a lot of fun to catch and the bigger ones are real screamers.
What I’ve been doing is chopping the first one we catch in half and tossing it out on a shark rod just in case a shark is lurking while we catch more macs. Recently we’ve caught two hammerheads, a spinner, a nurse, a black nose and a huge one that we never saw that dragged us a mile into the gulf before he broke us off and a barracuda. We’ve also been sight fishing black tips on these white sand shoals in 2-4’ of water. Black tips are all muscle and real screamers, lots of fun on light tackle.
Tarpon Season in Naples, FL
Tarpon are running fairly consistently along the beaches and there have also been fish in some of the back bays not far from the passes. Crabs are the bait of choice for the beach fish and cut mackerel for the back bay fish. I love the early morning tarpon fishing.
We typically leave the dock at 6am although as the sun comes up earlier we switch it to 5:30, it’s a great ride down the beach at first light looking for fresh turtle tracks on the beach as we go. I typically set up in 10’ of water looking for rolling tarpon and making depth adjustments depending on where the tarpon are. I use 8/0 circle hooks so when the float goes down you only need to reel, no hook setting necessary. The tarpon average 80-100 lbs. with bigger fish not uncommon.
Going forward we have really nice tides right now with high tides midday and good moving water both in the morning and afternoon. Full moon is on Sunday the 15th so the ties will be good most of next week.
I still have some tarpon dates open in June. The calendars with my availability are below.
Give me a call – tight lines. – Capt. Mark