Capt. Pete Rapps
With July ending and August only just beginning, we are approaching the hottest season of the year in the Ten Thousand Islands. With the right planning, you can easily take advantage of the best and most productive fishing our area can offer you.
At around midday, the air temperatures will begin to average around 93 degrees. Likewise, the water temperatures will warm up to about 87 degrees. Although this time of day can be stifling hot, there are daily thunderstorms around the time the bite turns off. Once the thunderstorms have come and gone, you can enjoy a little coolness while you head back for some great evening and sunset fishing action.
Looking at the moon phases this month, we will have the new moon on the 3rd and the full moon on the 18th. These moon phases will produce the highest high tides and lowest low tides. With the large movements of water coming in off the Gulf, the nutrients that the fish eat will be washing in and out, therefore typically producing the best bite times of the month for a couple of days before, through a couple of days after.
Redfish will typically bite best on an incoming tide near the shore oyster bars with live shrimp, pilchards or thread herring. You should try a popping cork with around 3’ of 25 lb. fluorocarbon leader and a good-sized circle hook that will match your bait. However, there are several artificial that are equally as good. I recommend using Gulp! Shrimp – natural or new penny color on a 3/8 oz. red or white jig head.
Snook tends to bite best on an outgoing tide around the outside islands and cuts. If you are able to get some live threads, pilchards, or finger mullet, you can eagerly expect to find yourself to be rewarded with a nice big momma snook! Still, you should keep in mind that, since the water is so warm, they will tire quickly. Remember to be patient when releasing and expect a good revival to take a bit longer than normal.
Tarpon will also bite best on an outgoing tide. However, for this you should be prepared to head out to the outside flats and deep channel cuts. Fishing around first light, and then again at sunset, will give you the best chance to snatch one of these beauties. If you have an opportunity to sight fish for them, you should try a large and soft plastic bait like the DOA swimming mullet. Live baits like ladyfish, thread herring, and pilchards are all tarpon candy!
Trout will best on an incoming tide that is on the near shore and outside flats in around 3’-5’ of water. I’d recommend using a ¼ or 3/8 oz. bucktail type jig with a small flash in the tail. For even better results, tip the jig with a very small piece of shrimp. The DOA Deadly Combo with a root beer colored shrimp is another great rig to keep in mind.
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the Ten Thousand Islands of the Everglades National Park, and Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch fleet 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, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com. Captain Pete Rapps can be reached at 239-571-1756.