Sunday, March 7, 2021

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in September

Deborah, Sharon and Zaida caught some nice redfish, snook, trout, and sheepshead. Submitted photos

Deborah, Sharon and Zaida caught some nice redfish, snook, trout, and sheepshead. Submitted photos

Capt. Pete Rapps

B5-CBN-09-02-16-2September is the warmest and usually rainiest month of the summer here in the 10,000 Islands. You can expect the daytime temperature to remain about 92, with the water temperature hovering around 86 to 88 degrees. Our average monthly rainfall in September is 9.2 inches. The tidal movements here are not huge like they are in the winter, so in September, scheduling around extreme negative tides will not be much of an issue. This September, the new moon falls on the 1st and the full moon on the 17th. Looking at the solunar calendar for peak bite days and times, my favorite days would be 8/29-9/4, 9/15- 9/19, and 9/29-10/3. Be sure to check out the tides in the areas you are fishing. We have the solunar bite times published on our website.

Due to the September heat, the bite will usually drop off early afternoon. Thankfully, we do get a lot of cooling mid-afternoon storms to give you a little relief from the heat, and it produces a nice late afternoon to early evening bite. At night you can expect it to drop as low as the 80s for a chilly evening.

If you are on



the lookout for snook, try some of the outside barrier islands with a good moving tide. If you prefer to use natural or live bait, pilchards are my personal favorite. With a decent cast net you can catch them and keep them in a very well circulated and aerated live well. However, if you are using artificial instead, I’d recommend trying a DOA TerrorEyz, a 3” Berkley Gulp Shrimp or even a nice top
water plug.

Speckled Sea Trout
If you were hoping for some good eating fish, you should head out in search of the speckled sea trout. Head out to the grass flats to hit a good spot that will last an hour or two around the incoming tide. You will find that a lot of the action will happen around the 3’ to 5’ depth range. I would recommend using a 3” Berkley Gulp Shrimp, a DOA Deadly Combo, or a nice live shrimp under a popping cork. In the Florida south region, regulations will allow you to keep four trout per licensed angler between the sizes of 15” and 20” with the exception of one of the four can be over 20”. These rules can change and are updated by the FWC, so be sure

Top and above taken on a Captain Rapps’ Fishing Charter in the 10,000 Islands.

Top and above taken on a Captain Rapps’ Fishing Charter in the 10,000 Islands.

to regularly check their website at

If redfish are your target, I would suggest fishing on an incoming tide on the outside barrier islands and oyster bars. If you are planning to use an artificial bait, try going with a gold spoon, Berkley Gulp Shrimp on a jig head, or a good buck tail jig. If you prefer to use natural bait instead, a live shrimp, thread herring, or pilchards under a popping cork will do nicely. Make sure to work that popping cork in order to attract the fish. I would recommend popping the cork about a foot for every 8 to 10 seconds.

Contact Capt. Pete Rapps by email at 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

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