Capt. Pete Rapps
In the Ten Thousand Islands in July, two things can be predicted with some accuracy – the weather, and the fishing patterns. Plan to start your fishing and boating early in the morning due to the midday heat and thunderstorms. The fish will tend to bite better during the cooler morning periods, and again in the early evening after the storms rip though and cool things off a bit.
At this time of year, the daytime air temperatures reach the 90s, bringing the water temperature up to the mid 80s. The new moon falls on the 4th of the month and the full moon on the 20th. Expect higher and lower tides around these moon phases. With these higher and lower tides, you have more water movement, which means more nutrients are being moved around for the fish to feed on. The solunar bite calendar for our area says the 2nd–7th and the 18th–22nd should produce some of the better fishing days of the month.
One bite that remains steady is the speckled sea trout. These are generally smaller in size than the winter trout, but they are around in great numbers. They take any bait from live shrimp, to a topwater plug, to a buck tail jig, and fishing early on the incoming tide will get you the best results.
Redfish can always be counted on to take a 3” Gulp shrimp on a ¼ jig head, especially around oyster bars or mangrove-lined shorelines. Live shrimp under a popping cork works great for redfish as well, and we use this method on most charters.
On the outside islands, anglers can expect to get into some nice snook fishing. Top water plugs and suspended soft plastic artificial baits tend to produce some decent morning fishing action, though nothing beats a livewell full of pilchards and thread herring. You can live chum with a handful of these and follow up with a nice bait on your hook.
Around this time of year, tripletail like to hang around markers and structures, and will gladly take live shrimp on circle hooks. Permit and cobia like to hang around offshore structures; bringing some small silver dollar-sized crabs with you will be sure to attract the permit. For the cobia, be sure to cast some nice 6” mullet to present to them, and you’re sure to have a catch on your hands.
The mangrove snapper tend to be larger in size this time of year in comparison to the rest of the year, and can be found around the mangrove roots. Mangrove snapper are hungry for live shrimp, and will take them eagerly.
Contact Capt. Pete Rapps by email at CaptainRapps@Outlook.com or by phone 239-571-1756. Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips 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 for booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com.