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.
“FISH THE TIDES, NOT THE CLOCK”