NAPLES — How about that wind? Between the southwest wind pushing water into the bays and tons of rain, my seawall was under water for the better part of three days. Tide fluctuation was minimal until Tuesday, and the water was pretty churned up to boot. Winds are expected to start subsiding by the weekend and turn a bit to the southeast, which will help to start the process of water clearing.
Remember that gag grouper season opens on Sunday. Hopefully good weather will allow a lot of anglers to go looking for a nice grouper dinner (if water clarity has improved). Snapper actually like the water a little stirred up and may be a better offshore bet this weekend.
Inshore all the fresh water pouring into the bays will certainly have a negative effect on fishing for a few days. Most of the bait that was around has been pushed into the Gulf. Even the shrimp boats have not been going out, which will result in a shortage at most bait shops. You might want to call ahead to make sure you can get them.
One fishery that all the freshwater might help is with the little tarpon. It seems that once we get some increased freshwater flow coming out of the creeks and rivers they seem to become more active. Of course with all the freshwater this is an all artificial bait fishery.
Anything from jigs to topwaters can work. Weighted paddle tail baits are my favorite.
Ten Thousand Islands: Capt. Glen Poupolo fished out of Everglades City on Saturday and did quite well on the redfish. He had his anglers using shrimp under a popping cork around the mangroves, and fish in the three- to five-pound range seemed to eat them up.
After putting some fish in the cooler it was on to the grass flats for some trout. Fish up to four pounds were brought in, again using shrimp.
Naples/Estero Bay: On Saturday, Capt. Seth Hayes worked hard to put some live pinfish in the well, but it paid off on the redfish. His anglers were father and son John and Matt Raymond and they boated 10 reds in the 21- to 27-inch range. Most of the fish came from way under the bushes.
Bob and Roger McMorrow fished with Seth on Thursday and used Gulp shrimp tossed under the mangroves to score 15 reds, all in the slot.
Braving less than wonderful conditions, Capt. Steve Sabara fished out of the Naples area on Monday. Steve said that all the rain, wind and overcast skies had lowered the water temperature to 78 degrees. On a half day his anglers put four red in the boat that ranged 22 to 25 inches and five snook in the 22- to 27-inch range. Best fish of the day was an estimated 12-pound red that was released.
Offshore: Not too many boats made trips offshore in the past week, but Capt. Tom Robinson took his “Sea Legs” out for a half day Friday with Cary and his sons on board. Braving waves to four feet and continuous rain they caught several grouper, including four keepers to 22 inches.
They also caught a bunch of nice lanes and assorted bottom fish. Tommy says it will take a few days for this to clear out and the water to start cleaning. As the water improves look for a good snapper bite.
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