This week’s best bet: Snook plentiful in the waters around Naples


Captain Todd Geroy out of Naples reported before the stormy weather caused by Tropical Storm Colin, the waters around Naples were crystal clear and sight fishing hungry snook was easy. Before the storm his anglers were releasing up to 50 snook on a half-day charter. Most of the action was taking place in the passes and the fish were in the 23- to 34-inch range. Live baits such as pilchards and threadfin herring have been the best. Redfish are being caught in the same areas. Large bull, lemon and blacktip sharks have been plentiful in the back bays, and large spawning sea trout are being caught on the bottom, where there are deep holes near the outside passes.


John Albano of Delaware and Gary Kopesky of Maryland fished two days in blustery winds caused by Tropical Storm Colin in Biscayne Bay and caught and released more than 50 fish of 13 species. Part of the catch included kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cobia, tarpon, sharks to 40 pounds, mutton snapper, sea trout, porgies, barracudas and large ladyfish. Their catch was made using Rapala hard plastic lures and free lined mullet and pilchards. Captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters was their guide. Captain Bob LeMay reported nighttime tarpon, snook and snapper action in Biscayne Bay has been excellent. During a recent nighttime charter, his clients had action from tarpon that ranged in size from 40 to 80 pounds. The action came late at night and around bridge shadow lines and under docks that had lights. The fish ate artificial lures.


Captain Nick Stanczyk from Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported the catch of a 211-pound bigeye tuna that ate a bonito belly bait rigged with a 9/0 7691 Mustad hook that was intended for a swordfish. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the day bite has been off but the night bite has been getting better each night. Plenty of yellowtail snappers are coming over the rail along with medium-size mutton snappers. There has been plenty of baitfish around as well. During the 2nd Annual Skippers Dolphin Tournament held out of Skippers Dockside Restaurant in Key Largo, the Hicks & Spics team of Miami took first place with a three fish combined weight of 85.2 pounds of dolphin fish. Their largest dolphin weighed in at 40.5 pounds.


Nedra Maxwell of Sebastian Inlet District reported inlet fishermen that have braved the weather reported catching large redfish and a few snook at night. During the daytime, snapper, black drum and bluerunners were being caught by jetty fishermen. Offshore anglers were doing pretty well on big gag groupers before the stormy conditions set in.


Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported that before the stormy conditions caused by Tropical Storm Colin, the snook fishing along the coast north of the Flamingo boat ramp was very good. Casting soft plastics, Rapala hard plastics and live baits along the shorelines that had submerged dead trees and at the points of creeks and river mouths, snook to 15 pounds were easy to catch. Hobales urged anglers to remember that snook are spawning and out of season. So make sure you revive your fish before releasing. Mixed in with the snook were a few redfish, sea trout, tarpon and big sharks. Over the shallow flats of Florida Bay, large schools of redfish were available to anglers that had boats that drafted real shallow.


Captain Gary Mounce of Fishin Finatic Charters out of Everglades City reported decent amounts of redfish have been available along the points and creek mouths along the Gulf shorelines. These fish have been eating finger mullet and scaled sardines. Snook to 35 inches are feeding alongside the redfish and have been eating the same baits as the reds as well as Rapala SkitterWalks and X Raps.


Freshwater fishing guide Alan Zaremba of World Wide Peacock Bass reported peacock bass have started their second spawning cycle in the urban canals of South Florida. Casting the AZ Jungle jigs at fish that were spotted along canal banks, next to culverts, docks and bridge pilings has resulted in the catch and release of fish to 6.5 pounds. In the Everglades in canals that had moving water largemouth bass to 2.5 pounds can be caught using Berkley minnow baits.