Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Prime Fish to Target in the 10,000 Islands




Capt. Pete Rapps

The shallow waters of the 10,000 Islands offer many different species of fish to target throughout each season. As each season changes, so do our target species, and also the methods of how and where we fish for them. The most popular targets here include redfish, speckled trout, and snook. In addition to these three, we also catch snapper, tarpon, sheepshead, tripletail, puffer fish, shark, pompano, permit, grouper, cobia, flounder, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, and a few others.

Redfish are a primary target just about all year round, using light spin tackle. We look for them over shallow oyster bars and hard rocky bottom areas. These areas offer crustaceans a place to hide and thrive, so the redfish will be found picking around these areas looking for them. Since they are looking for crustaceans, we primarily use shrimp as bait. Redfish are easily identifiable by the body spot near their tail. They typically have one spot on each side, but sometimes have more. Current rules allow for a licensed angler to keep one redfish between 18” and 20”.

Speckled trout are also targeted year round on the shallow water grass flats in about three to five feet of depth. When hooked, a fighting trout will give you quite a show as it dances and thrashes about on the surface. Speckled trout are silver in color with greenish tints on their back, and numerous small black speckled dots. The upper jaw has two prominent canine teeth. Many anglers like to use artificial baits for trout, including soft plastic jigs, bucktail type jigs, topwater plugs, and live shrimp. Current rules allow for a licensed angler to keep four trout between 15” and

John with a speckled trout.

John with a speckled trout.

20”. Of those four allowed, one can be over 20”.

Caught on a Captain Rapps Charter

Snook are considered a prime game fish in our area. There is great prestige in catching this elusive and highly sought after fish. In the months of April to November, look to fish for snook in and around the islands and shorelines along the edge of the Gulf. In the months of December to March, look for snook in the backwaters as they move deep into the back bays and creeks where the water is warmer. A popular way to fish for snook is by casting a live bait, like thread herring or pilchards. Snookw are known for their lighting fast runs and big jumps. Current rules allow for a licensed angler to keep one snook between 28” and 33” only in September, October, November, March, and April.

If you want more tips and some “on the water” lessons, please let us know. We are happy to assist you in catching more fish in the 10,000 Islands on one of our four or six-hour charters.

Contact Capt. Pete Rapps by email at CaptainRapps@Outlook.com or by phone 239-571-1756. 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 springtime tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our 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 www.CaptainRapps.com

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