Capt. Pete Rapps
January is typically our coldest month of the year. The days when the fronts are absent, the sun is shining, and the thermometer gets up into the mid 70’s, can make for some awesome fishing!
January is another month when you should keep an eye on your tide chart before planning your day on the water. We have some extremely low tides around both the Full and New moons. If you get caught in a -.5 low tide that you did not anticipate, it could ruin your day! Be extra careful with the morning low tides January 7th – 11th, and the 20th -24th.
Speckled Sea Trout season re-opens January 1st and will now remain open year round without closure. Local rules for our area allow 4 per person, between 15” and 20”, and allows you to keep just one over the 20” mark. These rules do vary so be sure to confirm them with current regulations by the FWC at www.myfwc.com
The shallow flats are alive with Trout, Bluefish, Ladyfish, Jacks, Spanish Macks, and some Pompano. Among my favorites are DOA jerkbaits and shrimp, both in rootbeer and white color.You can also use 3/8 oz bucktail type jigs tipped with a very small piece of shrimp.
The oyster bars hold Sheepshead & Redfish. If presenting natural bait, they both like to eat crustaceans like shrimp, sand fleas, and fiddler crabs. Fish for these guys on the oyster bars on the incoming tide.
Snook are being caught in the backwaters, but please remember that they are catch and release only, and still in a recovery state since the 10 day freeze of 2010. Take a quick photo and quickly set them free. We have been catching Snook over oyster bars and up against the deep pockets of the mangroves on good moving tides, They have been hitting a variety of bait including jigs, soft plastics, and live bait.
Capt. Rapps has been fishing the Chokoloskee area for just over 20 years. He offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10000 Islands of the Everglades National Park. You can book a charter right online 24/7. See the online availability calendar, booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and first class web site at www.CaptainRapps. com and you can reach him at 239-571- 1756.