Capt. Pete Rapps
March is typically a pivotal month where the weather begins to change from winter cold fronts and strong winds, trending to calmer and warmer water temperatures and warmer daytime air temperatures as spring approaches.
The State of Florida is easily considered the Fishing Capital of the World, and our Ten Thousand Islands area here in Southwest Florida is one of the best areas in Florida for shallow water targets such as snook, redfish, speckled trout, snapper, drum, sheepshead, tripletail, permit, cobia, tarpon, and more.
March is the perfect month to seek out many of our local fishing targets due to the subtle weather changes and the less powerful cold fronts. Below are three of the many shallow water species that we like to target now.
Snook- These fish tend to prefer live bait and can tend to be very elusive creatures. Snook like to congregate around docks and mangroves and anywhere there is a small current and where they can easily scoop up their food, such as pilchards, as they hide from their predators. Each licensed angler can keep one snook between 28” and 33” only during the months of March, April, September, October, and November. I still consider them a sport fish, and do like to release them all.
Speckled Trout- This fish is fun to catch because it presents a head shaking and light tackle challenge that can be very entertaining. These fish are silver with olive-green tints with black speckles on their backs. The season to keep these fish is open year round. Each licensed angler can keep up to four speckled trout between 15” and 20”, with just one of the four allowed to be over 20”. The average size of a speckled trout is 14-18 inches, and they can weigh up to three pounds. They are most commonly found in shallow water grass flats.
Redfish: These fish can be found in the oyster beds and flats and can be caught using light spin tackle. The redfish is also a shallow water fish, and the more shallow the water is, the bigger the challenge there is to catch them. Redfish are identifiable by the body spot near their tail on each side. Season is open year round and each licensed angler can keep one between 18” and 27” long.
I hope this information serves as educational and beneficial to you, and that it will help you become a better angler, or even just more interested in fishing and boating in our area. If you have any questions or would like to book an instructional charter, please contact us at CaptainRapps@Outlook.com or 239-571-1756
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year-round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips just south of Marco Island in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and springtime tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our 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 website www.CaptainRapps.com for booking info, videos, and more.