Capt. Pete Rapps
As November rolls into December, our winter fishery is finally here and some big changes are coming along with it. We can usually expect to have our first major cold front hit us around the middle of the month. We can expect Gulf water temperatures to drop down into the mid 60s later in the month.
Don’t let the chilly weather fool you into staying home! You can expect a lot of great and tasty fish action this winter season. Just be sure to layer up before heading out on the boat as the cool mornings turn into beautiful warm sunny days.
I would recommend starting your fishing trip out in the 3-5’ grass flats on an incoming tide with a bucktail type jig handy. Bucktail jigs around 3/8 oz. will have a lot of flash in them, and will have the fish going crazy for you. Try throwing them with a 10 lb. line,with a 3’ of 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader. With this powerful combination, you can expect to find bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, pompanos, trout, and everything in between.
The flats aren’t the only place coming alive this season. Head over to the backwaters and you can find plenty of great action, too. If you are looking for some sporty snook to catch, try going to the back of the creeks and back bays. You can expect them to be hiding out in the deeper mangrove root pockets waiting for their next meal to swim by on the outgoing tide. I would recommend using a Gulp Shrimp, live shrimp, or even better, some live pilchards!
When you are over at the hard oyster bottoms and deep mangrove root pockets in the Gulf side river mouths, you can expect sheepshead, redfish, and mangrove snappers to become a regular catch. With some live shrimp and a bit of finesse, you should have notrouble grabbing a few of these bad boys for dinner.
If you are looking for some personal lessons, or would just like to get the family out for a 4, 6, or 8 hour trip on the water out of Goodland, Everglades City, or Chokoloskee, please let us know – we are happy to teach.
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.