Right now we are smack dab in the middle of one of my two favorite fishing seasons in Southwest Florida. For those who know me, the last two weeks of April and all of May are my favorite spring seasons, followed closely by October and November.
There are many reasons why I love fishing this time of year so much. First off, the winter is gone, and the water temperatures are on the rise. The end of April and beginning of May generally bring the Gulf surface temperatures in our areaup into the high 70’s and low 80’s. With these warmer temperatures comes lots of live bait being followed by hungry fish! Some other reasons why I love this time of year are that the winter winds have generally ended, the summer storms have not yet arrived, the air temperatures are in the mid 60’s to the mid 80’s, the humidity is bearable, and the seasonal population has been cut in half therefore reducing the fishing pressure on the fish.
Snook are HUNGRY this time of year. They are on their annual migration of heading out of the backwaters and looking for love. They have eaten just enough to survive all winter, and are eager to fatten up. You can catch them on both live and artificial baits, but nothingbeats live finger sized Mullet, Pilchards or Thread Herring. Try fishing for them on the outgoing tide.
Tarpon are on their annual migration north, and they are found in shallow waters eating anything from ladyfish, Pilchards, Thread Herring, and Crabs early in the morning just after sunrise, or early in the evening before sunset.
Trout are gorging themselves on all of the live bait swimming in the flats with the tides. This is the time of year that you generally catch all slot sized Trout. They prefer the last part of the incoming tide.
Redfish are also around and feeding on live baits and crustaceans near the oyster bars also on the last part of the incoming tide. Try throwing them alive Shrimp, a Gulp Shrimp on a lead head, a DOA shrimp, or a live Pilchard.
Cobia, Permit, Spanish Mackerel, Tripletail, Shark, and many other species of fish are feeding too.
It’s hard to beat the spring action our pristine area has to offer! Get out there and catch some fresh fish, and cook a celebratory meal for all of the wonderful Mothers on Mother’s Day! Be sure to visit my web site for many recipes and cooking videos on cooking local fish!
Captain Rapps offers expert guided light tackle near shore and backwater fishing trips for anyone from beginner to seasoned pro. His trips and tours begin from Chokoloskee Island, which is just south of Naples and Marco Island in the Everglades National Park. Visit www.CaptainRapps.com for full details about charters, along with Captain Rapps’ availability calendar.