Monday, December 6, 2021

Winter Fishing in Southwest Florida


Katelyn with a flounder caught on a Capt. Rapps charter Photos by Capt. Pete Rapps

Katelyn with a flounder caught on a Capt. Rapps charter Photos by Capt. Pete Rapps

Florida is one of the best spots if you want to plan a winter fishing trip for some much needed downtime and relaxation. The weather is generally cooler and more moderate than usual, and the winter also brings some of the best species of fish, which provides you with an outstanding selection that is sure not to disappoint.

While the fishing is great year-round, you should keep in mind that fishing during the winter months in Florida is a bit more relaxed and laid back. Follow a few of these helpful tips and suggestions to make it the best trip yet. Slow Down and Be Patient

The Nelson crew with some nice winter redfish and trout.

The Nelson crew with some nice winter redfish and trout.

Every avid fisher, hobbyist or professional understands the role patience plays while you are fishing; more so during the cooler winter months. Cooler water causes the fish to have a much slower metabolism than they would in warmer temperatures, so they will be choosy about the bait they are going for. Take your time, carefully work the bait and lure and wait for the fish to come to you.

Don’t become discouraged if you do not see any activity right away. Give it some time. The fish will eventually stop ignoring the bait, and you will get the catch you have been patiently waiting for. Warmer and Deeper Water

Black Drum caught by the Wicklunds.

Black Drum caught by the Wicklunds.

Even though the water temperatures are a bit cooler, you will still be able to find some pockets of warmer water, and these pockets may have more fish than the other spots you have been frequenting. Likewise, deeper water also provides opportunity because the temperatures will not swing and vary as much as the other water. Maintain a slow rhythm and patience and try to touch closer to the bottom in these areas and you should see success. Choose a Different Time

If you are used to getting up early to begin your fishing journey, you should reconsider. Sometimes starting a little later in the day during the winter months may be better than starting early. Early times experience the cooler weather. Wait until later in the day when the temperatures are more likely to rise, and you should see an increase in the number of active fish you come across.



No matter where you decide to fish or what time of day you decide to go out, you are sure to find Florida to be one of the best spots to enjoy some mid-winter fishing.

I hope that these forecasts serve as educational and beneficial to you, and that they will help you become a better angler. If you have any questions or would like to book an instructional charter, please contact us at the below email. We have a team of incredible captains that are very patient and love to teach.

Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch team accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their 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, see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site at, or call 239-571-1756.

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