Since the month of September tends to be warmer, bites will most likely drop off in the early afternoon hours. However, storms will come through later in the day to cool things off a bit, so you have a good chance at some early evening fishing when it isn’t as hot outside.
If it is snook that you are looking for, then the outside barrier islands will generally be your targeted fishing areas this time of year. Fish the good moving tides and use natural or live baits like thread herring or pilchards. Snook season opens in our area on September 1st and closes again on December 1st. Remember that during open season in addition to a saltwater license, you need to purchase a snook stamp in order to possess just one fish between 28” and 33”.If you want to catch some speckled sea trout, then heading out to the grass flats and fishing in 3’-5’ of total water depth is your best bet. We like to use both artificial soft jerk baits on a 3/8 oz. jig head, in addition to live shrimp under a popping cork. Just be sure to keep in mind Florida regulations when catching trout at this time of year. You are only allowed to keep four trout per licensed angler when they are between the sizes of fifteen and twenty inches. If you are looking for redfish, then you should fish on the incoming tide on the outside barrier islands and around the oyster bars. The best artificial bait to use would be a gold spoon, Berkley Gulp Shrimp, or a buck tail jig. For natural bait, you should use live shrimp, thread herring, or pilchards under a popping cork. Each licensed angler can keep one redfish between 18” and 27”.
If you are looking for tarpon, they are still around but not in higher numbers as they were toward the beginning of summer. The tarpon can be found in the outside bays and flats early morning or in the late afternoon when the weather is a bit cooler. Live bait is usually the best for tarpon. You can use ladyfish, thread herring, and pilchards. Tarpon are a sport fish only, and should all be released after a good healthy revive.
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and tarpon only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch team accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their 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, see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site at www.CaptainRapps.com, or call 239-571-1756.