Friday, January 28, 2022

January Fishing in the Islands



Capt. Pete Rapps

January is typically our coolest month of the year. The days when the fronts are absent. The sun is shining, and the thermometer gets up into the mid 70s. This can make for some awesome fishing!

The full moon this January falls on the 5th, and the new moon is on the 20th. In January, we typically have some of the most extreme tides of the year around the full and new moon. We will have extreme low tides the mornings of Jan.1-8 and the 17-24. They will still be great days to fish, but just be sure to do your tide chart research if fishing those days. You will want to avoid fishing during some of these extreme negative low tides. An east wind and cold temperatures will make the tides lower and last longer than a tide chart prediction shows. I use to view local tides in the areas that I fish.

Speckled sea trout are a primary target all winter. Local rules for our area allow four

Bob with a flounder. SUBMITTED photoS

Bob with a flounder. SUBMITTED photoS

per person, between 15-20 inches, and allow you to keep just one over the 20-inch mark. These rules do vary so be sure to confirm them with current regulations by the FWC at

The shallow grass flats are alive with trout, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, Spanish mackerel and some pompano. One 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. A favorite “go to” bait has been 3-inch Berkley Gulp Shrimp. Use them on a ¼ oz Cotee Live Eye jig head.

The oyster bars hold sheepshead and 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, but please remember that they are catch-and-release only, as they are still in a recovery state since the 10-day freeze of 2010. Take a quick photo and quickly set them free. We

Nice Bull Redfish caught recently on a Captain Rapps Charter.

Nice Bull Redfish caught recently on a Captain Rapps Charter.

have been catching snook over oyster bars on good moving outgoing tides. They have been hitting a variety of baits including jigs, soft plastics and live bait like some nice 3-inch-long live pilchards.

If you have been wanting to get out on the water and learn a bit more about fishing the 10,000 Islands, please do not hesitate to send me an email, and let’s get you and the family out for a fun day of fishing.


Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and spring time Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch fleet accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going 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 web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at

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