August and September are typically the warmest months of the summer here in the Everglades National Park. Day time air temperatures are averaging around 92. Water temps are hovering between 86-88. Typical to our summer months, it is now heating up so much by mid day, that the bite is dropping off by early afternoon. We have been getting a lot of mid afternoon storms which cool things off a little, and produce a late afternoon/ early evening bite.
September 1st used to mark opening day of Snook season here, however, Snook season will remain closed due to the winter freeze and fish kill of 2010. Keep up to date and check out current regulations at www.myfwc.com.
Also be sure to check out www.snookfoundation.org
You can still fish for Snook, however, be sure to do the right thing and give'em a break - practice catch and release with Snook. The big momma Snook are feeding on a good moving out-going tide around the outside barrier islands. Try those live baits for your best numbers. Artificials are always productive and fun too… See Mike at Tall Tales Bait and Tackle in Naples for a great selection!
The Trout are around the shallow grass flats in decent numbers. Hit your favorite spots the last hour or two of the incoming tide. Most of your bites will happen in the 3'-5' depth range. They will hit artificial bait just as well, if not better than some live baits. I prefer a 3/8oz buck tail jig that has a little flash in the hair. Tip your jigs with a small piece of Shrimp.
Fish for Redfish on an incoming tide on the outside oyster bars with live Pilchards or Thread Herring. Live shrimp work well under a popping cork too. Of course many artificials are equally as good and I really like a Gulp new penny Shrimp on a 3/8" red jig head.
Tarpon are still around, although not in as many numbers as early summer. The big gals will be out feeding on the outside bays and flats early in the morning and again late in the afternoon. They are naturally looking for Ladyfish, Thread Herring, and Pilchards. My choice is to live line one of these delicacies out to them on a nice stout spinning rod. If you have opportunity to sight fish for them, try a large soft plastic bait like a DOA.
Captain Pete Rapps
Captain Rapps' Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park. Capt. Rapps' top notch guides accommodate men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps' first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com