Capt. Pete Rapps
While January is typically found to be our coldest month of the year, it also makes for some really excellent fishing in the 10,000 Islands. Temperatures can rise into the mid 70s, and with no fronts around, a nice sunny day on the water is actually quite comfortable. With the month of January comes a lot of great fish to be caught!
January is another month that you should keep an eye on your tide chart before planning your day on the water. We have some extremely low tides around both the full and new moons. If you get caught in a -.5 low tide that you did not anticipate, it could ruin your day! Be extra careful with the morning low tides January 7-13, and 21-26. These dates are also the peak solunar bite days of the month. Try to arrange your day to push off the dock at the start of the incoming tide and fish that rising tide for your best bet. The current solunar bite times can be found at a link on the front page of our website.
January is an excellent month to target speckled sea trout on the flats. Local southern region rules allow keeping four fish per person, ranging within 15 and 20 inches, with one over 20 inches allowed. These rules are subject to change rather frequently, so we always recommend checking the current regulations with theFWC at www.myfwc.com.
You’ll find your trout in the shallow flats, where you’re also likely to see bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, Spanish mackerel, and a few pompano. To catch them you may find success with DOA jerkbaits and shrimp, in the rootbeer and white shades, but if you’d prefer, they also seem to like 3/8 oz. bucktail jigs topped with a small bite of shrimp.
If sheepshead and redfish are what you’re after, you’re going to want to fish the oyster bars, and they tend to go after a more natural sort of bait. When looking to catch sheepshead and redfish, try going with small crustaceans like shrimp and fiddler crabs, and they’re known to go after sand fleas as well. When the tide is incoming, the sheepshead and redfish tend to be more active, so you’ll see a really exciting time fishing.
Snook are also still around in January, and you’re going to find them along the mangrove shorelines in the backwaters and also over the oyster bars. They’re being caught using all types of bait, from natural to jigs, so you can really have fun and get creative trying to reel them in. Just remember that snook are illegal to take right now so be sure to take a quick photo and send ‘em back in the water.
The 10,000 Islands present us with a great deal of exciting fishing during the January fishing season, and days on the waterduring this month are plenty enjoyable as well. Whether you’re looking to catch and release a few snook, or you’re trying to bring home a speckled sea trout for dinner, there is plenty of excitement to be had during your day out on the water!
I hope that these forecasts serve as educational and beneficial to you, and that they will help you become a better angler. If you have any questions or would like to book an instructional charter, please contact me at the below email. I also conduct free instructional seminars and workshops to various groups, clubs, tackle shops, and other venues throughout the year. If your group could benefit from a workshop, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also be sure to check out our website for dates of future workshops.
Contact Capt. Pete Rapps by email:
or phone: 239-571-1756. Check out his website at: www.CaptainRapps.com.
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.