Winter fishing in the Naples and Marco Island area offers a great opportunity for our anglers to catch a variety of species. Those fish are going to be found in the backwater areas in deep channels and holes staying warm. We can find sheepshead, redfish, flounder and snapper. On top of the deeper grass flats we can find trout and pompano. Snook are still possible but bait must be presented in close range of their face for an eat. They will not waste much energy chasing down bait if the water temps are cooler than what they are comfortable in.
We have had a few cold fronts push through but as it has recently warmed back up the juvenile tarpon came out to eat. Generally, they are lockjaw with any sign of cooler weather. In just a couple months when the warmer temps are consistent - tarpon season begins and we will be targeting them much larger in size between 20-100lbs.
Jack crevalle don't mind the changing seasons and stick around with other species or in larger schools of their own. They will aggressively eat just about anything that is moving in range of their senses. If you've never hooked up to a jack crevalle before - be ready to hang on!
Winter is the most ideal time of year to find large black drum as they migrate around the east and west coast of Florida. They are often found traveling in schools. If quiet enough you can even hear them "drumming" when close to the boat. They are bottom feeders and are known for poor sight so black drum will eat a chunk of cut bait or shrimp with no problem.
I look forward to getting out on the water with you soon!
Capt. Tim Daugherty
The latest Naples inshore, backcountry and Gulf fishing report by Capt. Tim Daugherty.
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