The inshore fishing has been a mixed bag of Fun !!!! My favorite part of fishing around the Naples and Marco Island area is the variety of species of fish that we can catch on any given day. Snook are always top on my hit list but we also have redfish, pompano, sea trout , grouper , snapper and Tarpon to name a few.
With the gulf waters now in the upper 70s, I am starting to see some big tarpon showing up in the back bays and passes . This is a great time of year to get up super early and target some of these giants with artificials or livebait. The best conditions are light winds as these big tarpon are easy to spot at first light. Look for fish to be rolling or just under the surface, pushing a wake . Always remember to present your bait well in front of a cruising fish and drag it into their cone of vision. Make sure if you’re on the trolling motor searching ,to keep it slow and steady not to make sudden speed adjustments as his fish can be spooky in the shallow waters.
As gulf waters warm up even more look for the fishing to just get better and better.. Another one of my favorite fish to target is pompano . Not only are they exceptionally tasty, but they are a great fight on light tackle. Concentrate on the incoming tides around passes and near shore sand flats . These fish are cruising the bottom, so make sure that your jig is making bottom contact. Any bright colors(chartreuse and pink) seem to work well and you can tip those jigs with a finger nail size piece of shrimp and you got yourself a dynamite pompano rig. Looking at the extended forecast, we are due to have another exceptional week of warm weather. That means get up early to beat the heat and enjoy some great March fishing. C yah all on the water!
Capt. Tim Daugherty
The latest Naples inshore, backcountry and Gulf fishing report by Capt. Tim Daugherty.
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