October 15, 2021
Naples to Flamingo
Capt. Matt Sturdivent of Old Florida Angling discusses fishing from Naples to Flamingo, including Marco Island, Everglades City and Chokoloskee.
October 15 - 17
Red October! What a sight to see. This past Monday I came across a school of redfish which had to have been three hundred fish strong, all over 20lbs. We made two attempts at the school, the first ended after about 30 seconds of screaming drag in the mouth of a massive bull shark and the second ended with a line break stoned drag trying to pull the fish out before the taxman got it. In good sportsmanship, we stopped the angling pursuit and just watched in awe the gentle moving school. I'm confident not one fish could be landed from that school intact. I paused to asses the situation, I counted over 30 sharks circling around the boat in just one frame of view. The odds were not good. To hook a fish in those conditions would certainly mean a death sentence.
On a lighter note, I'm absolutely loving this weather! Cooler mornings and evenings mean more time to see fish in shallower waters. Where I've been fishing water temps have been holding low to mid 80's, which in my opinion is the best of the best temps for our inshore species. The low incoming waters this weekend should produce some great action on island points and corners. Start out deep, on low tide look for where the water will cover the exposed bars when it gets high, and start around a 4 foot depth out beyond those areas. I have a feeling the fish will be eagar to push up and check out what's going on on the higher water.
Small jigs tipped with a shrimp have been lethal on falling water, but there has been tons of good bait every where you look. Finger mullet, pilchards, threadfins, it's all out there for the taking now! I've switched down to the 1/4 inch mesh cast net for this time of year because some smaller chum pilchards have been mixed in with the bigger baits too, it will help avoid the messy net that you can get with the 3/8th mesh. Snook have been on the smaller side, the big spawing fish have been on the move, to where I will not say! But good 20 to 25 inch fish have been plentiful and easy to feed!
Captain Matt Sturdivent