Tarpon are starting to show and the fishing in Naples and Southwest Florida has been very good the past few weeks. A very warm balmy February has kept the water in the mid 70’s. During the winter months I tell my clients we don’t typically catch a lot of big fish so our goal is to catch a lot of fish, have good action, and catch a lot of different species which has been the case. Sometimes we’ll set a goal of ten species which makes it challenging but fun. We’ve had a fair amount of ten species days. The other day we caught snook, redfish, pompano, permit, trout, snapper, pork fish, ladyfish and more.
Now that March is here we’re starting to catch bigger snook and reds, tarpon and sharks are starting to show and overall the fishing will just get better as we get closer to summer. Tarpon are showing in the backcountry and although they’re tough to catch they’re a spectacular game fish. In another six to eight weeks they’ll start to show off the beaches migrating north. Snook are starting to migrate from the backcountry to the passes and adjacent bays.
If you’d like to book a trip March and April are our busiest months so call ahead so we can look at tides etc. to make of the most of your fishing adventure. May and June, peak tarpon season is also busy so book ahead.
Below are a few pictures from recent trips. The osprey dive bombed the fish my client was bringing in and after a tussle was released unharmed.
Capt. Mark 239-450-9230
February has been unseasonable warm with zero cold fronts and the forecast is for the warm weather to continue for the rest of the month. The water in the backcountry is in the high 70’s so consequently tarpon and sharks have shown up. The tarpon fishing is not as good as it will be in March and April but it’s nice having the options.
Fished long time client Ransom and his son Pratt yesterday, we fished around the backcountry catching a couple snook and a bunch of jacks as we waited for the tide to come in and bring the nice clear gulf water into some of the backcountry bays. We managed to hook and fight a scrappy 5′ black tip shark which was the highlight of the morning.
As we move into March the snook fishing will improve as the backcountry snook start to migrate to the passes and adjacent bays. The tarpon and shark fishing will also improve until peak tarpon time in May and June. I do get booked that time of year so if you want to tarpon fish better book soon.
Overall, in lieu of the warm weather the fishing is pretty much like winter fish. A few nice fish, a shark or tarpon thrown in and good action.
A few pictures of some catches.
A rare “fat” snook, first one I’ve ever caught.
The winter solstice arrived early this morning, at 5:44am, EST. The winter solstice is the exact moment that the Northern Hemisphere is tilted the farthest it ever gets from the sun during the year. This lowers the amount of the sun’s warming energy that reaches Earth, hence, winter!
What does all this mean? It means the days are getting longer as time marches on towards summer and the longest day of the year June, 21.
This also means winter is here and we’ve adjusted our fishing techniques. In the winter we use more jigs, fish more open water and bays and catch typically a wider variety of fish. Although, with the extended period of 80 degree weather we’re having and are forecast to have warm 80 degree days for the next 10 days, I’m not using jigs as much as I usually do for this time of year and the live bait fishing is still good.
For example yesterday I fished good client and friend Jan Vangorder and his wife Linda, we only fished two spots but caught six species including nice jack crevalle, mackerel, ladyfish, snapper, bluefish and lots of snook. We had non stop action in the backcountry and rarely saw any other boats.
They’re are also lots of bait fish off the beaches and plenty of mackerel. The bonita which I anxiously wait for every fall have not shown in the numbers they should so they should show soon. Maybe when the weather cools a little more.
Recent fishing pics below.
I still have openings for the week after Christmas so give me a call if you want to get on the water fishing with your kids, grandkids or wife or significant other.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Although it’s hot mid day fishing around Naples and Marco Island, the bite can be and is very good especially mornings and late afternoons. Sight fishing the beaches for snook has been very good although can get challenging when the water is very calm and clear. It’s almost like bone fishing in the keys or the bahamas.
I’m finding tarpon in the passes and a few select places off the beaches but this time of year they bite best at first light so we head out early.
Pompano are around the passes and sandy shoals and are biting best on good incoming or outgoing fairly strong moving tides.
There are also a few redfish around on the higher tides phases in the backcountry.
I’m also targeting sharks and goliath grouper off the near shore wrecks.
Going forward we have good tides coming up the beginning of August and again middle of the month.
A few recent pics and one of a baby bonefish that I caught in my cast net which is rarely seen in these water.
Fishing in Naples and Marco Island the last few days has been quite good in lieu of the unusual west wind we’ve had for two days. Typically this time of year we have a light east breeze in the morning and an afternoon west sea breeze. Lately it’s been steady out of the west 10-20 knots. This makes it hard to get bait, makes the beach tarpon and snook fishing tough and basically eliminates all gulf beach fishing.
Yesterday morning the bite was slow in the backcountry and I knew a spot along the beach that had lots of snook on it so we did venture off the beach and managed to anchor in the waves and caught about 12 snook. There was also big spanish mackerel, pompano, snapper and ladyfish in the mix. Overall a good morning in adverse conditions.
The winds should subside towards the end of the weekend and next week should have some great fishing with the upcoming full moon. Snook in the passes, tarpon off the beaches with mackerel, pompano and sharks in the mix.