Snook, crevalle jack redfish found along the beaches of Naples and Marco Island

Warm temperatures have prompted anglers to opt for early departures while keeping an eye to the skies for powerful weather activity. After all Southwest Florida anglers, it’s August, a month when early risers catch the worm and those who fish in the afternoon are often entitled to a free boat wash during their mad dash to a safe harbor.

Gulf anglers venturing beyond the horizon enjoyed excellent sea conditions and lighter winds. Water depths greater than 90 feet produce both reef and wreck species using a variety of live and dead natural baits.

The ledges have been successful for yellowtail flounder and mangrove snapper, while the wide-open, hard-bottomed areas produce red grouper, snapper, white grunts and red snappers. Showing up on the scene with enough chum product, frozen squid/herring, and an assortment of live bait will keep the catch on the rail and in the bucket.

Grouper season is ending soon:Catch the red grouper while you can, season ends August 30

Southwest Florida Fishing Report:Fresh offshore waters allow anglers to catch their prize

Closer to shore and along the beaches, the water clarity was exceptional. The clear water and vast schools of smaller sardines provide several reliable catches for anglers exploring the shallows by boat and on foot.

Although the waters around our area are not a popular destination for sight fishing fanatics, now is a great opportunity to see and cast cruiser snook, sneaky rockfish and voracious crevalle along the beaches. from Naples and Marco Island.

Here, along the beaches, capture success is achieved through stealth presentations that match or mimic the forage present. Precision throws well ahead of the target combined with natural recovery rates will result in connections.

Whether you are standing on the bow of a boat or walking on the sand, keeping a low and quiet profile is paramount as these species are very lively and well aware of their shallow water surroundings.

Hang on, hold on tight, and stay cool, anglers.

Offshore Fishing in Southwest Florida

“Offshore gave us a mixed bag of catches,” said captain Brandon Lawson. “We enjoyed fast bottom and wreck fishing out to about 70 miles.”

Lawson enjoyed several sea excursions aboard his Port O Call Marina-based charter boat, the Solo Lobo. Surveying water depths ranging from 75 to 140 feet, a wide variety of reef fish made their way into the fish box for her crews. The deeper trips had red snapper and gag grouper limits while the standard full day outings produced red grouper and a wide assortment of reef species.

Closer to shore, Lawson offered his anglers some fun action with light tackles. At anchor and adrift, Lawson’s anglers were busy reeling in Spanish mackerel with blacktip sharks and barracuda while casting rigged herring, tube lures and chunky bait.

Fishing Conditions Naples/Estero Bay

Aboard my Naples City Dock-based guide boat, the Grand Slam, our best action happened early in the fishing day. The waters around Naples and Marco Island were clear on both phases of the tide.

With the snitch well loaded, my anglers enjoyed fast action for the first part of the morning towards current swept spots, rock jetties, residential docks and some sections of mangrove shoreline.

Taking the bait was lots of snook, crevalle jack, juvenile goliath grouper and endless numbers of mangrove snappers. Scale sardines rigged on a 1/0-2/0 circle hook attached to a generous length of 30 pound fluorocarbon leader was my live bait technique of choice. When fishing in deeper current areas, I found that attaching a small pinch weight or split shot made a difference in hooking more snook.

Cast your net around Ten Thousand Islands

“Baitfish are prevalent throughout the islands, as are gamefish,” said Captain Chris Turner. “If you don’t have a favorite spot, select an unoccupied shoreline and start prospecting as the fish are active.”

Early and late in the fishing day, Turner and his casters can be found concentrating their efforts inside area passes, mid bays, outer island cuts and along the beaches of the Upper Ten Thousand Islands. Employing a 20/30 pound test leader and appropriately sized kahle hook, snook, rockfish and mangrove snapper made their way into Turner’s dip net.

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