Naples to Flamingo
Includes Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City and Chokoloskee
Weather and Tides
Expect air temperature to be on the hotter side this weekend, hovering in the mid 80’s! This has the water temperature climbing quickly into the mid to upper 70 degree range in the backcountry. Winds should be SSW on Friday and Saturday and then switching to the ESE on Sunday with a chance at scattered showers. Tides will be strong as we come off the big full moon earlier in the week.
Tripletail have moved back in the 20 to 35-foot range with numbers of smaller fish on select crab trap lines, so now is the time to play, especially if you have someone on board who hasn’t caught one before. Remember, they must be 18 inches to box them.
With the water temperature in the mid 70’s the tarpon are on the move with triple digit sized fish in the mix. Some very good reports continue to come out of the southern part of the region, with fly and artificial guys hooking multiple fish on their trips. Try the countless bights and sounds south of the Chatham River, but don’t be surprised to see fishing starting to roll closer to Marco Island. If the water temp remains high and continues to rise, and we don’t have any cold fronts the next few weeks, it is going to get real good, real fast. Buckle up.
Snook have been loving the warmer water temperature and are cooperating well for most anglers. Pilchards are readily available as well, so good reports of dozens of fish being caught on white bait around current rich mangrove lined islands. Artificial guys are doing well too on soft plastic paddletails in natural hues along with soft plastic jerkbaits and scented shrimp imitators.
With the warm up, the offshore game has been quite strong this past week. Great reports of snapper fishing as shallow as 40 feet all the way out to 80 feet of water. Yellowtail are on the deeper side of that range, with good sized lanes and mangrove snappers a bit closer and with the passing of the full moon, they should still be eating well.
The 50 mile mark has been special all year and that continues. Amberjack seem to be everywhere on the wrecks and the red grouper fishing continues to shine on live bottom with plenty of fish being caught on live pinfish and cut threadfin herring. On the deeper side of the spectrum, black grouper are also being caught on bigger live baits.
With the spike in water temperatures, the permit and cobia are also being caught. Remember that those reefs and wrecks with the higher relief are the key areas to target when fishing for permit and crabs are the key bait. Check with Brian at Serenity Bait in Naples for his stock on crabs, as he generally has them in stock.
For those looking for quick dinners, the grunt and porgie fishing continues to be awesome. While not the most desirable of species in our waters, they are delicious and make great table fair and are doing very well in that 15 to 25 mile range, so you don’t have to run all that far. Live shrimp has been the key.
Captain Steve Dall
USCG Licensed Captain- 10K Islands & Estero Bay