Redfish And Sea Trout

Posted on by Captain John

Redfish and sea trout have been the target the past few weeks. Its been a good bite when the tide is moving and the wind is lower. We have had a few cold fronts and the water dropped for 71 to 65 degrees. The fish are moving with the tide over dark bottom. This dark bottom allows redfish and sea trout to warm up a bit. The dark bottom attracts the sun and can be 2 or 3 degrees warmer.

The best bite has been on the low and slow method. Jig tipped with shrimp in either brown or brown with gold have been most productive. There have been a few very warm days when a jerk bait like Rapala get some good strikes from larger sea trout. We have been seeing some 20-24 inch trout on the flat edge on outgoing tide.

There have been some snook around. We have found them on the dark bottom and edges of the oyster bars in the second bays back. Live shrimp or jigs have been productive. Careful accurate casting is needed to cast to these laid up snook. They spook easily. Snook have been pretty receptive to a properly presents fly. Baitfish pattern or shrimp pattern with do the trick. Make sure you don’t shoot over them or they will blow right out of there.

I want to just touch on one subject, RED TIDE. We do not have any red tide in the Ten Thousand Islands. Most of the red tide is north of Marco Island and has dissipated with the cooler water. So get on down to the water.

So to sum it up its been a good winter season this year and I see it sustaining through the spring. I still have a few days open in Feb and 10 day open in March. Come fish in one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. The Ten Thousand Islands is waiting for you.

Steve and his two sons had a banner day!!

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Speckled Sea Trout

Posted on by Captain John

Speckled sea trout are here in good numbers now in the Ten Thousand Islands south of Marco Island. The water is clean and no RED TIDE down south. We have been fishing the moving tides over dark bottom. The water temps are still in the 70’s. The moon tides have made the clarity a bit turbid due to the larger tide change but fishing at the right tide has produced good numbers of sea trout with some 22 inch plus fish mixed in.

I have clients using soft plastics and Rapala Jerk Baits to find the sea trout. Using these search baits allows you to cover large areas until you find a school of fish. You can then switch to shrimp tipped jigs and popping corks rigged with a 1/8oz jig head and a shrimp threaded on the hook. Small flies resembling shrimp or crab also gets plenty of action.

Redfish are also in the mix. It seems most are just under or just over slot but its good to see many of these smaller fish. They are the future. Jigs tipped with shrimp and soft plastics like Gulps have been effective. Once the water cools a bit we should see some larger slot reds move into their usual haunts are oyster bars and mangrove shore lines. We had a couple days last week when we saw some larger fish but they had lock jaw. It happens.

Snook are here. we have released several in the 30inch range past couple weeks. Top waters in the morning around ambush points has produced strikes. After sun gets up about 10 go to suspended jerk bait like Rapalas.

I have been fishing the 10k islands for 30 years. It still excites me every day. Even when the fishing is tough there is always something unique to see. Getting surprised by a flock of Rosette Spoonbills or a manatee right under the bow is a thrill for any angler.

The holidays are coming quick and open days are getting tight. Let me know if you would like me to tailor a trip for you. It is the  perfect trip for bringing you son, daughter or grandkid as I keep the anglers to 2 or 3. This way I can give my full attention to an enjoyable and memorable day.

Capt. John




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Posted on by Captain John

Snook and redfish are waiting for your cast.

I just finished up the tuna season up in NJ and can’t wait to get my clients on the snook and redfish bite. Despite the media coverage of the redtide which has been a problem north of Naples the Ten Thousand Islands south of Marco Island are teaming with game fish. The top water action has been very productive in the early morning and the hour before dusk. My program promotes the use of artificial lures and clients love it. We are fishing before the bait guys get their live wells full. No wait, we are on the fish first cast.

For me in NJ the tuna bite was good and I am eager for my clients to those snook and redfish on topwaters like Rapala Skitterwalks and later in the morning on jerk baits. We will also fish all the structures from the mangrove banks to oyster bars and sand beaches. Sight casting a top water to a 30 inch snook is a visual experience you will never forget. There is plenty of other species also like big jacks and false albacore. These fish are built for speed and waste no time pumping 50 or 100 yards of the reel.

Fly fishing remains consistent. I like to do evening trips this time of year fishing the dock lights with bait fish patterns to entice a strike. It is important to fish the dark outer edge of the light. Those bigger gamefish lurk in that shadow and will pounce on unsuspecting baits as they swim by.

So now is the time  to get your trips on the books. Don’t wait until its too late. Get the prime tides and you will be rewarded. Once the weather cools its all about the tide on those points.

Give me a call  and Ill set you up on a great trip. Don’t forget to bring your son or daughter. Since a run a small skiff I am personally coaching your son, daughter or grandkid to give them an experience they won’t forget.


Capt. John



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Posted on by Captain John

Tarpon, snook, and redfish are here in good numbers. The water temps are unseasonably high. We are usually fishing water in the mid 60’s this time of year. The water temp yesterday was 75 degrees.

Tarpon have started to show and if the water temp stays consistent we should see an increase in numbers. We have not had opportunity to try the buggy whip but we jumped an 80lb class on bait a few days ago. The bait is getting a bit bigger and that is the sign we need to see.

Snook are starting to show on the outside points. Top water plugs early in the morning have produced a few nice snook and it will get better, We had a bit of west wind yesterday and the water got murky. The strong moon tides did not help either. We are on the other side of the phase now and thing should settle in nicely. I suspect that the snook will start hitting suspended plugs and the action will be good. Also late afternoon and evening trips will also produce but all that is tide related.

Redfish are here but have been a little tough to get them to bite. I think the warm water temps has some fish confused but they will become more active. There is a small cool front coming through tonight and a slight drop in water temp could be a motivator. Redfish have a tough time resisting a big fat shrimp with a good presentation.

Speckled sea trout are still biting well. Jigs and Rapala Jerk Baits have produced some the largest trout seen in a few years. You have to figure them out. Trout are finicky and their pattern changes day to day. You find them and get them biting for an hour then like a light switch goes off they stop.

I still have a few days left open in March and will be running through  April here. Give me a call and we can chat about what you are looking to achieve. I’ll customize a trip for you and as always work hard to achieve your goal.

Here is nice gator trout caught by Pat. This day we released over 60 trout.

#rapala #stcroix #allenflyfishing

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Fishing Is Hot South of Marco Island in The Ten Thousand Islands

Posted on by Captain John

Fishing Is Hot in the Ten Thousand Islands. The weather has been cool but it has not deterred the bite at all. I have been leaving a bit later in the morning to allow the sun to warm up the flats. Spotted seatrout have been very cooperative. The old reliable jig tipped with shrimp has been the answer.

The redfish have been cruising the edges of flats and oyster bars and the darker bottom. The water has been quite clear so dropping to 2o and 15lb fluorocarbon leader has produced many more bites. Most of the reds have been eager to bite the jig and also just a shrimp when you get a shot at cruising fish.

Leaving a bit later in the morning has advantages. The flats warm up a bit and the fish become more active. If the cards line up with an outgoing tide that only makes it better. That warmer water that was in the backcountry can be as much as 6 degrees warmer. It’s all timing this time of year. Fishing the tides and not the clock is part of it but giving that extra couple hours after a cold front is the key. I look for dark bottom with grass and light color sandy bottom mixed in.

This next week will prove to be one of the best as the temps are going back to 80 degrees. The flats will come alive and reds, spotted seatrout, pompano, jacks and some sharks will be cruising.

The next couple months will be some of best the winter fishery has to offer. There will be days we may have to leave late but the fish are here in good numbers. The bookings are very strong right now but there are days open in between bookings. Lets go fishing. Give me a call and I’ll tailor a trip for you. Remember to take a kid fishing. Its a great time for bonding with grandkids or your daughter or son. These trips are memories you will cherish and maybe start a spark for another fishing adventure.

So give me a call, send an email or text me. Just a heads up I am on the water everyday. This means that I do not have a cell signal most of the day as I am in the Ten Thousand Islands.   So please leave a message and I will get back to you by the evening. It means something that I am out everyday on the water.


Capt. John




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Naples Fishing Guide Report

Posted on by Captain John

Ok folks here is the Naples Fishing Guides report for for Naples and the Marco area. The backwater fishing in the Ten Thousand Islands has been very consistent. The speckled trout and redfish have been very eager to bite over the past two weeks. Rapala Shadow Raps and Xraps and jigs tipped with shrimp have produced good numbers and all the other suspects such as jack crevalle, mangrove snappers, ladyfish and silver trout have been keeping the anglers very busy.

The first cold front of thee season came through this weekend and the fish responded as usual. Leaving a bit later in the morning allowed the flats and backwater bays to warm up a bit. Fishing the tides and not the clock we connected with the trout and reds during both the incoming and outgoing tide. the speckled trout were stacked up at time along the deeper edges of flats. The offering of Rapala Xraps and jigs tipped with shrimp produced very good bite. Slowing down your presentation is critical when the water temps drop. The redfish were out on the flats on darker bottom and around the edges of the oyster bars. There are a few snook around as the day warms up. They will be on the darker bottom and will respond to a low and slow retrieve. I cant stress enough that when these cold fronts come through try to leave a couple hours after sunrise and find darker sun exposed bottom.

Shrimp and popping cork presentations have produced good trout, snook and snapper bites during lower light conditions. That popping cork is like ringing the dinner bell. Use light leader about 18 to 20 inches from the cork. Keep you rod low to water and give that cork a sharp pull to create that sound of fishing feeding.

I want to thank all my clients for a great 2017. I have been honored to guide you.

Above is a picture of Jake Flippen with a very nice speckled trout. Below is Jake with a redfish. He and his father John did a great job using the Rapala Jerk Baits and had fish on from the first cast.

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On Fire Naples and Marco Island Backwater Fishing

Posted on by Captain John

Fishing has been on fire in the Naples and Marco island area. Snook are still on the outside points and in the first bays. I have been guiding clients in the Ten Thousand Island south of Marco Island and the bite is as good as it gets.

Snook are still outside in good numbers. We have had good success with shrimp and suspended plugs. Early morning and the incoming tide have been best but now since the sun is lower in the sky the bite has been most of the tide.

Along with the snook the seatrout bite has also been on fire. Rapala Shad raps and Xraps have been the ticket. Some of the seatrout have been over slot and are just hammering the plugs. Shrimp tipped jig and popping cork presentation have also taken its share . If the tide is moving the trout are biting.

Redfish have been showing up now on the deeper edges adjacent to flats. The usual oyster bar areas have also produced good shots at reds and snook. The passage of a good cold front will drop the water temp and the reds should become more active. As the water cools they will move into the backwaters.

The holidays are coming and bookings are strong. If you are coming to the Naples/Marco Island area and want to experience the Ten Thousand Islands fishing give me a call or email. I’ll tailor a trip for you. I fish the tides not the clock! There will be days as it gets cooler when we might leave the dock at 7am or 10am. This all depends on wind and weather.

Now that the holidays are near don’t forget the kids. I have special trips designed to keep kids busy and get them hooked on fishing. I personally instruct them and keep their interest.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Capt. John

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Snook, Redfish and Seatrout On artificials

Posted on by Captain John

Artificials such as jerk baits and suspended plugs have produced very well in Naples, Marco Island and Ten Thousand Islands. Double digit  days with trout for every client and some nice snook to spice things up. There is just something, a feeling you get when you catch a trophy on artificials.

The redfish have been roaming the edges and have no problem engulfing a jig tipped with shrimp or popping cork presentation. They have been also hitting artificials. Jerk baits worked slowly but erratically  have produced big strikes.

The weather has been cooperating all week. The water temps are hovering in the 75 Degree range. This should continue until we get another cool front. The tides are coming off the moon and the water should be clearing. The opportunity for sight fishing will improve. We will continue to focus on the snook first thing in the morning then switch to trout and redfish.

The best action has been at the lower end of low tide. That is how the tides are lining up for the weekend with outgoing every morning. Setting up on the edges of the points and casting artificials up on the flat and dragging over the edge has been very productive. The trout are lying in that trough just waiting to ambush your offering.

On the fly fishing front the usual bait and crustacean patterns have been doing their job. Now that the tides have settled we will have better chances at sight casting. With redfish a bit of a lead such as 10 or 12ft places your offering in the path. Short strips as the fish approaches will end up with a hookup.

Just a reminder that if you can pin down your dates now I can tailor a trip for you using the tides I can optimize your fishing time.


Capt. John

Naples Fishing Guides

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Redfish and Gator Seatrout Using the Rapala Jerkbait

Posted on by Captain John

Angling for redfish and gator seatrout using Rapala jerkbaits has been very productive this week. There is bait around the points and with the strong moon tides the redfish and gator seatrout have been waiting for the right presentation. The flashy Shadow Rap has been proven  winner with the higher water and turbid conditions. We always have off color water during the full moon phase when the range of tides is 4 foot or better.


Redfish have been in their usual haunts cruising edges of oyster bars and flats. They have been waiting for enough tide to slide up on the flat at higher tide. The Rapala jerkbait and also jigs tipped with shrimp have been very productive.


The seatrout have been the largest I have seen in several years. 24 inch fish have been common. The seatrout have been very happy attacking the Rapala  jerkbait the Shadow Rap as well as jigs tipped with shrimp and popping cork presentation.


Snook have been around but a bit off on the bite this week. Once this turbid water clears up the next couple days it will improve. We have released many in the 20 to 24 inch range at first hour or so of daylight.

On The Fly

Its been a bit windy but the good caster can punch through it. With the turbid water from the full moon sight casting has been limited to higher tides. Shrimp and small baitfish patterns have been productive. Blind casting the points and oyster bars has produced reds and snook.

The season is really taking off. Bookings are very strong. Get your reservations on the books especially if you looking around the holidays. Days are becoming limited and I don’t want you to get shut out of some great fishing.

Capt. John



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Posted on by Captain John

Well the late fall season is just incredible. Irma did its damage but the fishing for snook on topwater in the morning has been spectacular.  The outside points have been loaded with 20 to 30 inch snook and the reds are cruising hard bottom and oyster bars. Top water plugs have been also taking some very large jacks and we have encountered some early tarpon action also.

Redfish have been very eager to jump on the topwater Rapalas even with the 20 knot winds we have been experiencing. Walking the dog and poppers have been productive early then switch to suspended baits as the sun rises. The sun is getting lower in the sky so that has extended the morning bite for several hours.

Flyfishing has been excellent for snook around the outside points and redfish are on the oyster bars using baitfish and crab patterns. Also topwater gurglers that push water are also productive.

The next few months should continue to have a great deal of activity. As the water cools we will venture into the second bays and the seatrout should be showing along with all the other usual suspects. As the days get shorter snook and redfish will begin to get into their pattern in the back and will be eager to eat jigs and shrimp.

Now is the time to book your trips as I can pick the best tides for you and tailor a trip for you. The booking are coming in and you don’t want to miss out on choice dates that fit in with your schedule.

Remember kids are welcome and I will keep them busy and they will have a great experience in the Ten Thousand Islands. So if you are in Bonita, Naples or Marco Island over this winter give me a call and let me tailor a trip for you.


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