Fishing has been great the past few weeks. There are still some snook sneaking around the passes and adjacent bays, redfish have been prevalent the past two months and pompano, trout, snapper are fishing well plus a few tarpon will be cruising the flats the next few weeks.
Snook fishing has been good, the linesiders are fairly prevalent and we’ve been catching quite a few smaller fish in the 12-20″ range which is good to see and indicates a healthy fishery.
In the last month or so the red fishing has been great. These smaller “rat” reds seem to have appeared out of nowhere which sometimes happens in the fall. This is a good indication that we have a thriving healthy backcountry environment. We’ve probably caught close to 30 in the last couple days and they seem to be on many shorelines. Shrimp, live pilchards and jigs have all been working.
Although I haven’t been pompano fishing too much of late we have caught some nice fish on the outgoing tides in the passes and troughs. As the cooler weather approaches and we use less live bait we’ll be jigging more and catching more pomps and trout.
Snapper seem to be everywhere although they’re not as big as a couple months ago, we’re still catching some keepers, my favorite eating fish.
Although it’s not peak time for tarpon the upcoming fall cold fronts will push them into the passes on the strong full and new moon tides.
Now’s a good time to book for the holidays and I usually get booked up.
Some recent catches
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 Naples and Marco Island in September can be and has been very good. This time of year the bait is pretty much everywhere and the predator species such as snook, redfish, mackerel, tarpon, sharks and other species are all feeding and fattening up before winter.
I’ve still been on the tarpon at first light although they’re not biting as good as they were. There is so much bait around that the tarpon have been gorging on mouthfuls of pilchards. It’s been quite a sight watching them feeding next to the boat but also frustrating. We did hook up the other day although he threw the hook on the second jump.
Snook have also been active in the passes and the backcountry bays closer to the inlets. Depending on your preference live bait, plugs and flies are all productive.
Redfish have also shown, not sure where the go or come from, but they weren’t here much this summer but they’re back now.
Going forward fall is a great time of year to fish. Lots of options such as near-shore, off-shore and backcountry and a good variety of fish. I’m getting calls for Thanksgiving and Christmas already so call me to book your trip.
Capt. Mark 239-450-9230
Below are some recent catches.
Keith Kissee with a 36″, 16# snook, Miranda Grubb, Christi Shaw, Paul Weckerly
I had the pleasure of fishing with Daniel Bauder and his son Logan again this week. We fished two split full days and the action was great. The highlight was, the last couple hours of the last day we went three for four on sharks. The action was great. The sharks are mostly bulls this time of year and are a great size. Not so big they take hours to get in but big enough to give a good fight.
The next couple of moths are some of the best fishing of the year so give me a call.
Capt. Mark Ward – 239-450-9230