Thursday, August 16, 2018

My Favorite time of year!

Jeff Zellers and a nice 29 inch Snook. Photo by Capt. Pete Rapps

Jeff Zellers and a nice 29 inch Snook. Photo by Capt. Pete Rapps

We are approaching one of my absolute favorite seasons here in the 10,000 Islands and Everglades National Park!

My reasons are numerous and I could go on forever describing them, but some of the highlights are: 1) Mild weather patterns with little rain, lower humidity, and light winds, 2) Fish are actively searching and feeding on the huge bait pods just off the coastal beaches, 3) Daytime temperatures are comfortably hovering in the high 70’s to low 80’s, 4) Migratory birds are arriving in mass quantities for the winter……. and the list goes on!

With the change of seasons, comes a change in tides. Watch those extreme negative low tides of both the new moon and the full moon. Look at your tide charts and you will see extreme low tides for a few days before and after these lunar phases. A low tide of -.04 could ruin your day if you did not anticipate it. If you are out on the water, use these low tides as opportunity to educate yourself as to where those shallow oyster bars and deep pockets lay.

From now through the first

Lou Clementi Jr. and a nice backwater Snook. Photo by Capt. Pete Rapps

Lou Clementi Jr. and a nice backwater Snook. Photo by Capt. Pete Rapps

cold fronts in mid-December, the near coastal areas will be absolutely full of Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Jacks, Ladyfish, and other super-energized fast swimming species. Look for the flocks of birds hitting the water and feeding on the scraps of an underwater frenzy. This is where you want to throw your baits! When you hit one of these frenzies, it will typically produce an instant bite. Use a light wire leader to avoid being cut off by Mackerel and bluefish.

Around the Islands, look for tailing Redfish on the incoming tide that are poking around the oyster bars or coastal underwater grass reeds. Use a D.O.A. Deadly Combo Root beer Shrimp to get their attention. If you have live shrimp, send one out either free lined or under a popping cork. If you can throw a cast net, any of the available live baits like Pilchards or Thread Herring will work great too.

Stock up on D.O.A. Baitbusters and head backwater to battle with the Snook as they head way back in the creeks and rivers for the winter season. As the tide is outgoing, fish the eddy

Mike Torres and a nice Redfish. Photo by Capt. Pete Rapps

Mike Torres and a nice Redfish. Photo by Capt. Pete Rapps

side of the points. Again, if you can throw a cast net, any of the available live baits like Pilchards or Thread Herring will work great too. Snook are catch and release only until September 2011.

Catch up those Spotted Sea Trout until the end of October as they are closed all of November and December. Fish in 3 to 5 feet of water on the grass flats the last hour of the incoming tide to have your best success. I like to use small and flashy 3/8 ounce bucktail-type jigs tipped with a tiny piece of shrimp.

Tight Lines, and remember to make someone giggle today!

Capt Pete Rapps

Hailing out of Chokoloskee Island Park Marina, Chokoloskee, FL Capt Rapps has been fishing the Chokoloskee area for just over 20 years. He offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the Everglades National Park, and is happy to accommodate anyone from novice to hardcore seasoned pro. Pete is extremely patient and loves to teach. You can book a charter right online 24/7. See his online availability calendar, booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and first class web site at www.CaptainRapps.com

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