With all of that tropical storm activity that has been going on out there, it’s nice to see the change of seasons. It seemed as though summer would last forever. October is here and what a great month it is to fish the 10,000 Islands! Our day time air temperatures should now be averaging around 87 degrees, as water temps hover around 81 degrees.
Usually right now, we will start to see some nice schools of large live bait like Pilchards and Thread Herring pour into the area. Last October the live bait came, but was not as plentiful as years past. Get your cast net out and scout for them close to the shorelines at higher tides. In lower tides, have a look out a little deeper. Look for birds working schools and you will be rewarded with the best bait around.
Our primary targets change each season, and I especially love to hunt for Reds in October! We have been seeing an exceptionally nice number of Reds all summer long. Now with the change of seasons, cooler water temperatures, and the influx of live bait, It should prove to be a stellar month for slot size Redfish. It’s hard to beat the sight of schooling Reds tailing as they work over a submerged oyster bar! Throw them a live shrimp under a popping cork for almost instant hookups. If you have some live whitebait like Pilchards or threads in the well, get them out there, too! We have caught more 30”+ Reds on live 4” whitebait than anything else! As far as artificials go, I love Cotee’s 3/8 oz. Liv’Eye jig heads in Red along with a Glitter Shad Body. Tie them up to 3’ of 20-30lb. fluorocarbon leader tied to 10-15 lb. braided line.
Just because Snook season is closed in our area, does not mean that you cannot target them for some awesome “Catch and Release” action! They are on the move into the back waters and will gladly accept some of those live baits. Tie up 3-4’ of 40lb. fluorocarbon leader to 30lb. braided line, and pitch those whitebaits into the deeper eddies against the mangrove shores. For some great top water action, try a High Roller “RipRoller” 4.25” Greenback.
Need some lessons? Book a charter and we’ll show you how it’s done!
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 10000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and is happy to accommodate anyone from men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Pete and his captains are extremely patient and love to teach. You can book a charter right online 24/7. See the online availability calendar, booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and first class web site at www.CaptainRapps.com and you can reach him at 239-571-1756.