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
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.
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