This week’s best bet: catch-and-release snook fishing off Naples


Captain Todd Geroy of Captain Todd G. Geroy Charters out of Naples reported the catch-and-release snook fishing in his area has been excellent. On recent charters his clients have released up to 50 snook to 23 pounds during a half-day charter. The snook have been schooled along the beaches and passes and at times can be sight-fished. The snook have been eating a wide variety of artificial lures and live baits. Redfish are scattered along the mangrove shorelines, and big tarpon are feeding along the beaches early and late in the day.


Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported lots of bonefish and permits have invaded the flats of South Bay. Most of the action has been early in the day and on the outgoing tide. The best action has been on the Oceanside flats south of Soldiers Key all the way to Ocean Reef, but there has also been plenty of action on the western shoreline flats of South Bay. Big tarpon are starting to move north from the Keys and can be targeted along the Oceanside flats if you have the patience to wait for them.


Captain Billy Delph of Delph Fishing Charters out of Key West reported his clients are crushing the big mutton and red snappers on his day charters. Along with the snappers have been big black groupers and a few dolphins. IslamoradaSportFishing.com reported dolphin fishing has been hit or miss with the best action coming 18 to 20 miles offshore. If you are lucky enough to find that magical piece of floating debris then chances are you will load up on dolphins plus a few tripletail. Over the deeper reefs and wrecks, large mutton snappers, vermillion and silk snappers are being caught. Lots of snappers and sea trout are being caught in Florida Bay.


Captain Michael Savedow of Edgewater River Guide reported the fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon has been very good. Looking to catch a variety of species in a day has been his best way to keep the clients’ rods bending. Fishing the shallow grass flats, the deeper edges of the flats, the mangrove shorelines, channels and back waters of the Indian River his clients have caught up to 19 different species in a day. Part of the catches has included snook, pompano, redfish, sea trout, croakers, whiting, jacks and ladyfish. The fish ate live pigfish and artificial lures.


Local anglers Gil Muratori and David East fished out of Flamingo in Florida Bay and caught-and-released more than 20 snook to 26 inches. The snook ate live pilchards and jigs tipped with soft plastics. Late in the day the fishermen moved out into open water and fished an area of hard-bottom structure and caught bluefish to five pounds, sea trout and jacks to four pounds and a cobia plus a few more snook. In both areas, lots of lemon and bull sharks tried to eat their fish. Along the coast they fought a giant sawfish to the boat on 10 pound braid. The sawfish ate a live pinfish.


Captain Pete Rapps of Captain Rapps Fishing Charters out of Everglades City suggested snook anglers concentrate on the outside islands and cast top-water plugs and soft plastics along the shorelines. If you can find some live pilchards or threadfin herring, the snook can be quickly chummed into a feeding frenzy and then targeted with either live or artificial baits. Sea trout will be a bit smaller than the ones encountered in the winter but will be active in the mornings on the incoming tide. Look for the trout around the grass flats edges. Look for redfish and snapper to be feeding along the deeper mangrove shorelines. Tripletail, cobia and permits can be targeted around the markers and hard-bottom structures out in the Gulf. Plenty of sharks will be in the area, and large tarpon are feeding along the shorelines in the mornings and can be targeted with live mullet and ladyfish.


Toby Trosclair and his son Owen of Louisiana caught 75 peacock bass to four pounds plus seven largemouth bass to five pounds. The fish ate live shiners, stick baits, top water plastics, crank baits and jerk baits fished in the urban freshwater areas of South Miami. They fished with captain Jim Anson.