Saturday, June 25, 2022

Spend more time on the water doing what you love to do!

Scott Newsome with a nice winter Trout. PHOTOS BY CAPT. PETE RAPPS

Scott Newsome with a nice winter Trout. PHOTOS BY CAPT. PETE RAPPS

by Capt. Pete Rapps

The new year is upon us and along with that comes some changes to our local fishery. We normally receive several cold fronts accompanied with high wind.  It is because of this that we spend a lot of time in the back country where we can duck away from the elements.

Keep an eye on your tide chart because we have some extremely low tides around both the new and full 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 low tides January 1st – 3rd, and 17th -22nd! Wind direction affects the tides dramatically. A North or East wind will make the tide lower and longer than expected as it blows the water out and delays it’s return.

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!

The shallow grass flats are alive with Trout, Bluefish, Ladyfish, Jacks, Spanish Mackerel, and Pompano. You can use many different types of artificials on the flats for all of these guys. Among my favorites are DOA jerkbaits and shrimp, both in rootbeer 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 or fiddler crabs. Fish for

Quinn with a Trout.

Quinn with a Trout.

these guys on the oyster bars on the upper end of the incoming tide.

The backwater bays and rivers hold Snook, Mangrove Snapper, Ladyfish, and other fun to catch species. When fishing for Snook, It’s hard to beat live baits like Pilchards and Thread Herring.  I have had great results using High Roller brand topwater lures like the original “HighRoller” or “RipRoller” in greenback or shad patterns. Snapper will gladly accept pieces of shrimp, and the Ladyfish love jerkbaits and bucktail jigs.

I have developed a Species Availability Chart specific to the Backwater and Nearshore areas that I fish in the Everglades National Park. You can see it at

Tight Lines, and remember to make someone giggle today! Capt Pete Rapps

Hailing out of Chokoloskee Island Park Marina, Chokoloskee, FL, 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.

If you are looking for a fun, easy going, and enjoyable day fishing and exploring in the Everglades National Park, look no further. Capt Rapps accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and individuals with special needs. Between his vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanor, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 with his online availability calendar, and see his first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at

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