Thursday, October 21, 2021

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in May

Jeff with a nice black drum caught on a Captain Rapps Charter.

Jeff with a nice black drum caught on a Captain Rapps Charter.

Capt. Pete Rapps

Spring has sprung, and with it, it brings one of the best months for fishing: May. Because of the mild and dry weather patterns and light wind, May is the perfect month to enjoy our local waters. The water is warming up into the 80s, attracting the fish to set out on their annual migration from the back country waters into the near Gulf flats and island areas.

In May the new moon falls on the 7th and full moon on the 22nd. May is one of the months that we will not have any extreme negative low tides around these moon phases to be concerned with during the day. The extreme tides will occur during the night.

Looking at the solunar bite times, in May I like what I see for peak bite days on the 5th through the 9th and the 20th through the 24th. Refer to my website for the current solunar calendar. There is a link on the bottom of my home page for “Solunar Bite Times.”

When fishing offshore on the various wrecks, keep an eye out for permit, which will gladly feed on small live or artificial crabs and jigs. You can find cobia there as well, and if you bring along a few live finger mullets, you’ll be sure to have lots of fun!

If fishing for redfish is more your speed, they can be found near oyster bars, especially during high tide. They will gladly accept live bait like pilchards, thread herring, shrimp, or fiddler crabs, and you can also try a GULP shrimp on a ¼ oz. weighted jig head or a gold spoon.

Snook season is open again, and the mother snook are starting to show their faces, working their way out of the back country and into the Gulf. If you plan to target snook, please remember to take extra care not to wear

Dave and crew caught some nice reds and trout. Submitted Photos

Dave and crew caught some nice reds and trout. Submitted Photos

them out using light tackle, and make sure to take a couple of extra minutes to ensure their full revival before releasing them. Snook season will close on May first and remain closed until the first of September.

This month, the flats are alive with speckled trout, which you can find by drifting through grassy areas 3 to 5 feet in depth. You can guarantee fast action fishing if you throw in 1/4 or 3/8 ounce buck tail jigs tipped with a small piece of shrimp, and you can also try all types of soft plastic jigs, spoons or top water plugs. The speckled trout will happily feed on live baits like shrimp and pilchard, and most of what you catch will be in the slot. When you find a good area, mark it to keep coming back for more!

Is catching a tarpon on your “Bucket List”? Well this month some of our fleet and I will be in Big Pine Key to get in on the annual tarpon run at the Bahia Honda Bridge. We still have a few openings left for our Florida Keys tarpon-only charters so drop us a line and let’s get you hooked up to some giant tarpon!

Contact Captain Pete Rapps at
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides: 239-571-1756, or visit the website at:

Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their vast knowledge and experience of the area, and easygoing demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class website for booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and more at  

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