Tuesday, December 7, 2021

September fishing in the 10,000 Islands

George Scribner lands his first ever Tarpon on his first cast of the day.

George Scribner lands his first ever Tarpon on his first cast of the day.

FOLLOW THE FISH By Capt. Pete Rapps 

Hang in there for just one more month as September will be the last HOT and rainy month of the summer here in the 10,000 islands and the Everglades National Park. The day time air temperatures will average around 92. Water temps will stick around 86. Typical to our warmest summer months, September days get so hot by mid day, that the bite will usually drop off some in the afternoon. We will still get mid day storms which will cool things off a little, and produce a late afternoon and early evening bite right up until sunset.

Typically Snook season opens in September, however due to the 10 day frost and Snook kill here in January 2010, Snook season will remain CLOSED. Be sure to check out current regulations online at www.myfwc.com. We are catching a decent amount of Snook right now, so the closure appears to be helping the population to rebound.

Snook are feeding on a good, moving, out-going tide around the outside river mouths and barrier islands. Try live baits for your best bet. I like Thread Herring, Pilchards, and Pinfish. Use them under a cork or just natural for best results. Artificial lures and jigs are always a fun way to catch Snook too. Check out your local bait shop and ask them to show you what is currently working.

Speckled Sea Trout are around the shallow grass flats in good numbers. Hit your favorite spots during a good incoming tide. Most of the action will take place in the 3-5’ depth range. Trout will hit artificial bait just as well, if not better, than some live baits. I like Berkley’s GULP! Shrimp in the white, natural and new penny colors, DOA deadly combos, and of course live shrimp under a loud popping cork will wake them up for sure.

Redfish also like to bite on an incoming tide on the outside oyster bars with live Shrimp, Pilchard, or Thread Herring under a popping cork. Of course many artificials are equally as good and I really like to use some of the same types as mentioned above for Trout.

Tarpon are still around here and there, although not as thick as they were earlier this summer. The larger Tarpon will be out feeding on the outside bays and flats early in the morning and again late in the afternoon. In our area, they are naturally looking for live baits like Ladyfish, Thread Herring, and Pilchards. My choice is to live line one of these live baits out on a nice stout spinning rod. If you have opportunity to sight fish for Tarpon, try a large, soft plastic bait like a DOA Swimmin’ Mullet.

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 Everglades National Park, and is happy to accommodate anyone from men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Pete and his captains have easy going demeanors, are extremely patient, and love to teach. You can book a charter right online 24/7. See an online availability calendar, booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and first class web site at www.CaptainRapps.com 

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