SW Florida Spring Inshore Fishing Report

I love Southwest Florida’s marine environment, especially this time of year. The gulf, beaches, passes and adjacent bays are alive with life. The video below is only the third sawfish I’ve ever seen and I will probably never see another like it again. We were sight fishing snook along the beach and I looked ahead and saw it coming. What a magnificent creature. 

Sight fishing snook along the beaches has been great, they are spooky and they don’t all eat but the challenge is fun, they fight good and they’re all a light sandy color matching their habitat. Schools of big, brawny, hard fighting jacks have also been cruising the beaches as well as mackerel.
The beach tarpon migration is in full tilt plus sharks along the coast and we’re still catching sharks and tarpon in the backcountry, see pics below.
Leading up to the full moon the tides were great but the backcountry fishing was tough but luckily the coastal fishing was good. 
I’m booked thru May but still openings in June. Call to book a trip.

Interesting Facts About Sawfish in Naples, Florida

Biologists still have a lot to learn about smalltooth sawfish biology and ecology, but research conducted over the last two decades has improved our understanding of the species. Smalltooth sawfish can grow very large, up to 17 feet (5.2 meters) long and 700 pounds (315 kilograms). They have 21 to 30 unpaired teeth on each side of the rostrum (saw); males typically have more rostral teeth than females. Smalltooth sawfish of all sizes feed primarily on fishes such as mullet and rays, using the rostrum (saw) to slash through schools of fish, stunning them before they are consumed.

Like other rays and sharks, sawfish take several years to reach maturity and are long-lived. Biologists are not certain of the size of smalltooth sawfish at maturity, but males appear to mature around 11 feet long (3.4 m) and females likely reach maturity at larger sizes—around 12 feet long (3.8 m). Females reproduce every other year and return to the same nurseries to give birth. Like other rays and sharks, smalltooth sawfish have internal fertilization, and embryos grow inside the mother until they are born alive. Biologists estimate the length of the smalltooth sawfish’s gestation period to be 12 months.

Juvenile Sawfish

Smalltooth sawfish in Florida waters give birth primarily in April and May. Females can give birth to approximately 7–14 young measuring 2 to 2.7 feet (0.6 to 0.8 meters) long. Prior to birth, the calcified teeth on the rostrum (saw) are covered in tissue to prevent injury to siblings and the mother. The tissue covering the teeth completely disappears about two weeks after birth so the young sawfish can feed effectively and defend themselves.

Juvenile smalltooth sawfish most often inhabit brackish water within a mile of land. They can be found in a wide range of habitats, including mud bottoms, sand bottoms, oyster bars, red mangrove shorelines, seawall-lined canals, and near piers. Juveniles will also travel many miles up rivers if freshwater inflow is reduced. Sawfish use some portions of their nurseries, called nursery hotspots, for months at a time, and researchers have observed movement between these hotspots when environmental conditions such as changes in river flow cause them to relocate within the nursery.

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

View Naples fishing charter rates, click here.

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