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Follow the Fish


Four Things to Pack For Your Charter Boat Trip


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps When you go out on a charter boat trip, you want to be prepared to have a really great day out on the water! In order to make sure you’re prepared, there are some things you can bring along with you to make your trip even more successful.   The 4 things you should pack for your charter boat trip are: Snacks and water – The proper nourishment will keep you fueled up to reel in the big one! It’s important to remember that spending a day out on the water, especially when it’s ... Read More »

A Simple Recipe to Make You Fall in Love With Spanish Mackerel


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps November fishing in the 10,000 Islands is great for catching Spanish mackerel, and here is a simple recipe that can make you fall in love with this fish for the first time, or all over again. Many people are turned off by the mention of Spanish mackerel, however, if cleaned and treated correctly at the fillet station, you will be left with some awesome fillets that will impress. Simple and delicate, but able to be paired with so many sides, it’s a perfect way to embrace the flavor of the fish while also making ... Read More »

The October Fishing Season in the 10,000 Islands


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps For us fishing enthusiasts in the 10,000 Islands, fall can prove to be our absolute favorite time of year! While the sun can still be strong during October, and the air will still be a bit thick, you can expect the regular rainstorms to taper off, as the changing of the season starts to take place. With warm air and water, at temperatures around 87 and 81 degrees respectively, October offers some great fishing in the area, and it can pay to know what to expect. Looking at the Solunar calendar and tides, I ... Read More »

Keeping Your Kids and Yourself Safe From the Sun While Out on the Water

Hats offer both kids and adults protection from the 
sun’s rays while fishing. PHOTOS BY CAPTAIN RAPPS

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps When you’re going out on the water you want to have a great time; but the sun is strong down here in Southwest Florida, and it’s important to keep yourself and your kids protected. Fishing trips are great learning experiences for kids of all ages, and it can be the start of a lifelong hobby they really love, so you’ll want to make sure their experience is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. Sun exposure isn’t often thought of while you’re having a great time, but it should be. A few tips for keeping yourself protected ... Read More »

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in September

Jack with a juvenile 12-spot redfish. PHOTOS BY CAPT. PETE RAPPS

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps September is about our hottest and wettest month of the year. Our typical daytime temperatures will hover in the mid to high 90’s each day, and dropping down to the chilly 80’s at night. Before heading out on the water, be sure to have a good look at the current weather report and keep an eye on the local radar. Typically, if you get out at sun up you will have a good opportunity to get some good fishing in before the daily storms arrive. Also have a look at the local tides to ... Read More »

Protecting Yourself From the Summer Sun When Out on the Water


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Many flats fishermen have their boats set up for efficient casting. This involves minimizing items in the boat that can create obstacles and snags. Many anglers fishing out of flats boats do not have bimini tops or T-tops for this reason. Because of this, there is no shade or any way to duck out of the direct sun. You have to dress properly to stay cool and prevent sun exposure. Out on the water, you have sun baking you from two directions. The most obvious is from above, but few think about reflection. The ... Read More »

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in July


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Here in the Ten Thousand Islands, the weather in July is somewhat predictable, as are the fishing patterns. Expect the bite to drop off during the mid day heat and slack tides. The bite is early in the day, and again late in the afternoon/early evening after the mid day storms cool things off a little. Day time air temperatures are now hovering around 90 degrees each day, bringing the water temperatures up to 87 degrees. Anglers can get into some nice Snook on the outside islands. Top water plugs and suspended soft plastic ... Read More »

Prime Shallow Water Fishing Targets of the 10,000 Islands

Young fisherman with Redfish. PHOTOS BY CAPTAIN RAPPS

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Here in the 10,000 Islands we target many different species of fish throughout the year. As the seasons change, so do our target species and methods of how and where we fish for them. Our top shallow water targets include Snook, Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Tarpon. In addition to these four, we catch Snapper, Sheepshead, Shark, Tripletail, Pompano, Permit, Cobia, Gag and Red Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Flounder, Catfish, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, and a few others. Below is a very brief explanation of our top four targets. Snook: There is great prestige in ... Read More »

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in June

Kelvin with a nice redfish.

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps As May rolls out and June rolls in, we begin our summer fishing season and enter into our four warmest months of the year. With midday time air temperatures now hovering around 90 degrees each day, your best bet for fishing the shallow flats will be to start early in the morning before both the peak heat of the midday sun, and the almost daily afternoon showers. We are now fishing mostly on the outside flats and shorelines and have pretty much left the farther backwaters for the summer. The Snook will be feeding ... Read More »

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in May


By Capt. Pete Rapps   Spring is here and one of my favorite months of fishing is among us. Mild weather patterns make May a perfect month to enjoy our local waters. It is typically a dry month with light winds. The water is warming up into the 80’s and the fish are on their annual migration from the back country waters into the near shore Gulf flats and Island areas. Snook season was again open for a couple of months, but will close on May 1st and will remain closed until September 1st. The big “momma” Snook are ... Read More »

Fishing the Ten Thousand Islands in April


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Spring is here and April is a more than welcomed month here in the Ten Thousand Islands. Spring is here, the cold fronts and windy days are about over, and the fishing is typically fantastic! Near coastal water temperatures are averaging 80 degrees, with air temperatures in the mid 80’s. The full moon this April falls on the 4thth and the new moon is on the 19th. April is the first month of the year that we will not have any extreme negative low tides to be concerned with. We will have some ... Read More »

March is a Great Month to Hit the Water!

The Gerard family father and son team with some nice Trout and Sheepshead.

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Typically the month of March brings some of the best Speckled Trout fishing our area has to offer. If you can find areas where you have grass on one side of the boat, and sand on the other, you could certainly get into some fun fishing! In these areas you can fish the same flats for both Speckled Trout and Pompano. Try casting out 3/8 oz bucktail jig tipped with very small fresh shrimp pieces (cut a shrimp into 6-8 pieces). You can buy them at Everglades Bait and Tackle next to the grocery ... Read More »

The Convicts have arrived! Convict fish that is…

Jim with a Sheepshead. photos by captain dan rapp

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Winter time here in SW Florida is synonymous with the arrival of huge flocks of snow birds, but did you know that convicts arrive here in big numbers too? Yes it’s true, and these are much welcomed convicts… AKA Sheepshead fish. These fish arrive in good numbers each winter to spawn. They inhabit many of our near shore structures, oyster bars, and the deeper mangrove pockets in the back county river mouths. We call them convicts because of the black and white stripes they bare. In addition to being called Convicts, Sheepshead are sometimes ... Read More »

Mid-Winter Fishing in the 10,000 Islands

Snook are a sporty catch and release fish in the Winter.

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Our mid-winter fishery here in the 10,000 Islands can prove to be full of action if planned properly. We have so many species of fish available to catch in the shallow flats and back water areas. Typical catches right now providing some good fresh fillets for dinner include speckled sea trout, sheepshead, redfish, black drum, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, pompano and silver trout. Other fish we are consistently catching for sport are snook, bluefish, ladyfish, black tip sharks, bonnethead sharks, jack crevalle and more. Looking ahead at the moon and tides, our full moon ... Read More »

January Fishing in the Islands


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps January is typically our coolest month of the year. The days when the fronts are absent. The sun is shining, and the thermometer gets up into the mid 70s. This can make for some awesome fishing! The full moon this January falls on the 5th, and the new moon is on the 20th. In January, we typically have some of the most extreme tides of the year around the full and new moon. We will have extreme low tides the mornings of Jan.1-8 and the 17-24. They will still be great days to fish, ... Read More »

Take the Kids Fishing


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Just remember: It’s more about quantity, not quality. Forget the trophy. Just put them on action. When I was young, my grandfather used to take my brother and I fishing all he could. He loved to have us out on the boat. Sometimes, he would take us out to the shallow reefs, and we would drop cut squid or live shrimp down on small hook. We would have a blast reeling in grunts, porgies, snapper and the occasional trigger fish. We would laugh and giggle as we pulled in one after the other ... Read More »

December Fishing in the 10,000 Islands

Brian with a nearshore Gag Grouper on a Captain Rapps Charter. photos By Capt. Pete Rapps

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Each December, we see some major changes to our local fishery. Around the middle of the month, we typically see our first major cold front come rolling through. We have already seen a few minor cold fronts come through in late November which brought the night temperatures down into the high 40s. The fronts also brought some days where the wind hit 20+ mph. Expect Gulf water temperatures to drop down into the mid-60s later this month. I always mention to be extremely diligent at reviewing your local tides in December before planning ... Read More »

November Fishing in the 10,000 Islands

David Goodenough caught and released this Snook with  Capt Kurt on a Captain Rapps Charter. PHOTOS BY CAPT. PETE RAPPS

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps November is one of my absolute favorite months here in the Everglades National Park! The reasons are numerous, and I could go on forever describing them, but some of the highlights are: 1) Mild weather patterns with little rain and light winds; 2) Fish are actively following and feeding on the huge bait pods just off the coastal beaches; 3) Daytime temperatures are comfortably hovering in the high 70s to low 80s; 4) Migratory birds are actively arriving for the winter…and the list goes on! The change of seasons will begin to affect ... Read More »

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in October

Walter Donavan holds a nice Redfish as Danielle and Jasen bust a move.

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Our first fall month is upon us, and the daily rains will start to diminish throughout the month. It will still be hot out there, but it sure will be nice to see the change of seasons. October is here, and what a great month it is to fish the 10,000 Islands! Our day time air temperatures are now averaging around 87 degrees, as water temps hover around 81 degrees. Typically, we will begin to see some nice schools of large live bait like pilchards and thread herring pour into the area. Get ... Read More »

Stay Cool, Beat the Heat While Late Summer Fishing

Kurt is staying cool in the summer sun. PHOTOS BY CAPT PETE RAPPS

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Out on the water, we have sun baking us from two directions. The most obvious is from above, but few think about reflection. The reflection from the water and the white deck of a boat can be equally as strong as directly from the sun. It is imperative to completely cover up if you want to beat the heat and avoid a bad burn. Sunscreen is the most obvious first line of protection, but there is a lot more to protecting yourself from sun exposure. Wear light colored and light weight clothing. Have ... Read More »