Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Midsummer near shore fishing in the 10,000 Islands




Capt. Pete Rapps


As we approach the end of July and head into August, you can bet your Jalapenos that we are in the hottest season of the year here in the 10,000 Islands. If you plan your day right, it can also equate to some of the best and most productive fishing our area has to offer. By mid day, air temperatures are now averaging around 93 degrees. Water temperatures are warm – right around 87 degrees. Although it does get stifling hot by mid day, the daily thunder storms will usually drive you back to the dock just as the bite turns off. After the thunder storms are gone and things have cooled off a bit like a big scoop of sour cream on a hot bowl of chili, head back out again for some great early evening & sunset fishing action. Our morning trips have been going out from 7:00-11:00 am, and afternoon trips head out from 4:00-8:00 pm.

Snook typically bite best on an outgoing tide around the outside islands and cuts. If you can get some live Pilchards, Thread Herring, or Finger Mullet, you will be rewarded with some nice big momma Snook! Remember to give them a thorough revival after a quick photo…. Since the water is so warm, they get tired quickly. Be patient and expect a proper revival to take several minutes. Snook season is closed here so remember not to take any.

Speckled Sea Trout will usually bite best on an incoming tide, on the near shore and outside flats in about 3’- 5’ of water. I really like to use a . or 3/8 oz. bucktail type jig with a little flash in its tail. Tip the jig with a very small piece of shrimp for awesome results. Another great rig is the DOA Deadly combo with a rootbeer colored Shrimp!

Redfish will bite best on an incoming tide, on the near shore oyster bars, on live Shrimp, Pilchards, or Thread Herring. Try a popping cork with about 3’ of 25 lb. fluorocarbon leader and an appropriate sized circle hook to match your bait. Many artificials are equally as good and I really like a Gulp! shrimp – natural or new penny color on a 3/8 oz red jig head.

Shark are now around in good numbers. Bull, Blacktip, Lemon, Nurse, Sharpnose, Bonnethead and others. Use 4-5’ of 80 lb. wire leader and cast out a chunk of Mullet or Ladyfish where the water is moving in a river mouth or channel. Hang on because they usually arrive pretty quickly.

Tarpon will bite best on an outgoing tide on the outside flats and deep channel cuts. If you have the opportunity to sight fish for them, try a large soft plastic bait like a DOA swimming mullet. Live baits such as Ladyfish, Thread Herring, and Pilchards are Tarpon candy! Fish for Tarpon at first light and again near sunset.

Captain Rapps’ Fishing Charters offer expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park. Capt. Rapps’ top notch guides accommodate men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their 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 www.CaptainRapps.com

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