The fishing seems to be holding its own on all fishing fronts in Southwest Florida. There has been an increase in the number of fishing reports coming in.
Marco angler and Marco Sportfishing Club member Jim Rumph e-mailed his report and pictures of his wife, Linda, holding the largest redfish she has ever caught.
“Of course, I was the guide,” Jim noted.
Another e-mail from Jim was a picture of his nephew, Preston Smith, from Little Rock, Ark., holding a 35½-inch cobia and a goliath grouper close to 50 pounds. Both fish were released. They were fishing about 35 miles off Capri Pass.
“Fished two additional days but found the bite slow,” Jim said, adding that it was the first time he has been able to spend some time with Preston. A great time was had by all.
While our offshore grouper fishing will remain at a fair mode, you should be able to have some fun fishing the patches of bait with Spanish mackerel, a few bonito, bluerunner, jack and just maybe a tarpon or two from the passes out.
Drifting into the bait and using lighter tackle rigged with tipped jigs, spoons, live shrimp and minnows works well.
Some cobia, amberjack and permit will remain on our offshore fishing at the wrecks, towers and locations with hard bottom and some profile. Grouper grabbers will have their work cut out for them for keeper-size grouper. Going deeper and using live bait should give them an extra edge.
Tarpon fishing seems to be holding up as anglers manage to find the silversides in the inland, passes and outer shoreline. Junior Marco angler Alvin Jennings caught a fighting tarpon using live minnows. The fish made two spectacular jumps before being brought to the boat to be released.
You should continue to find tarpon from 20 to 80 pounds in the backwaters, addition tarpon from 80 to in excess of 100 pounds in the passes, outer shoreline and near shore fish havens for the rest of July.
Soaking live or fresh cut bait including pinfish, mullet, grunts, minnows and small catfish will work.
Snook will remain strong inland and at the deeper holes at the passes.
Most of the live and cut bait will also work. The redfish will remain on the scene but be slightly on the slow activity as they are getting hit hard by anglers.
An old saying suggests that every action causes a reaction. The same goes with the rules and regulations for fishing. While closing the season to certain species will in turn put extra pressure on the ones open with good food value.
The powers to be have and will continue to have their hands full in years to come as Southwest Florida grows and brings many more anglers to our area.
I still think it is time for catch and release areas only.
No taking of any marine life in certain areas would allow anglers to fish and enjoy it, and, just maybe, bring back the fisheries. Of course a fish hatchery program for Collier County would put an even faster gear for fishery recovery.
What do you think? Let me know.
Local angler Bud Shaefer decided to add a little extra pleasure to his cruise vacation by chartering a bone fishing trip at Maya, Mexico. He found a bunch of bonefish in crystal-clear water.
They were very strong fish for their size and noted, “The reason I am squeezing this one so hard is, it took three times for me to hold it up so we could take a picture.”
Bud is now back on the Chesapeake Bay until October. He said he was going for some rock fish and striped bass and would send some pictures if he was successful.
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Larry Block, president of Naples Fishing Club, reminds us the July 18 meeting will be held at the VFW located on Neffs Way on the corner of Pine Ridge Road and Collier Boulevard. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., followed with a members fishing roundup.
Members tell their fishing tales of recent trips at 6:50 p.m. and at 7, the club splits up into two groups: one for offshore and the other for backwater fishing.
There will be a 10-minute break at 7:30 p.m., followed with featured speakers Ray Russell and Barry Weisler, who will talk about offshore summer fishing in Southwest Florida.
The public is welcome to come to the meetings and then join the discussion if they would like. The club offers inshore and offshore club fishing trips and other outings — including their annual bus trip to the Miami International Boat Show in February.
You may call Larry at (239) 455-2801 or visit the Web site www.naplesfishingclub.com. Have a great week!
Red Stier is a weekly contributor to the Marco Eagle. He also produces and hosts the Angler’s Outlook TV show at 7 a.m. Saturday. It is replayed at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Check today’s TV section in the Eagle for the station in your area. Questions or comments may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 172 Trinidad St., Naples, FL 34113.