June has arrived and should offer Southwest Florida anglers some of the finest fishing. The large spawning snook will continue to move into the wrecks and nearshore fish havens and lay up near the bottom in the deeper holes. They will also be found running the outer shoreline, flats, and deeper holes during the midday hours.
Baits to use near the bottom for snook at these locations are tipped jigs, mutton minnows, live pinfish, and crabs — but remember — snook season in closed until Sept. 1, and you must throw them back. The early morning or late afternoon hours will also be a great time to walk and stalk the snook with spoons, lures, and tipped jigs at the outer shoreline during a high incoming or high falling tide.
Anglers fishing deeper waters should make sure the snook and other species are revived to a healthy stage before releasing them as they make easy targets for the giant goliath grouper, shark, barracuda, and other large predators out there looking for a meal. Capt. John Brossard of Naples Fertilizer took Steve Klosterman and his son Brandon of Fargo, North Dakota shark fishing just offshore and as Steve says in his e-mail, we had a great time. They caught and released seven blacktip sharks, had a ten-foot-plus sawfish swim by their boat in the crystal clear water. Brandon caught and released a 36 inch snook using Gulp bait. You may contact Capt. John at (239)263-8858 or visit his Web site at SharkChaserCharter.com.
Our offshore wrecks and towers should be loaded with additional shark, and barracuda should be lurking near the surface. Snapper, grouper and giant goliath grouper should be near the bottom. Permit will continue to be waiting near the surface for your tipped jig or live crab. You will need tough enough tackle to pull the permit free of the tower.
Permit can be so thick that two or three could hook up at the same time. Some captains leave the motor running and pull the permit clear of the tower while the anglers just hang on until he stops, and then the fun begins for them. Our inland and outer shoreline should be producing a nice selection of species such as redfsih, snook pompano, some trophy size tarpon, ladyfish, some good size jack, and of course, catfish.
While the tropical rain storms have not arrived in full force, as I prepare this article, it is a good bet they have started by the time you read it. The storms should drive some of the fish out of the inland waters into the passes and outer shoreline.
An e-mail from Marco angler Andy Jocke who caught what just might be a record of some kind. Here in part is what he had to say: “Red, I came across the largest hermit crab I’ve ever seen while fishing on what I call old Coconut Island, now a point off Hideaway Beach. It was filmed and immediately released. Thought you might like to see the picture. Talk to you soon, Andy.”
Andy, that is one large hermit crab, I hope we can get your picture in the article. Thank you.
Another e-mail in from Denny Martin, president of the Coastal Conservation Assoc. Naples/Collier Chapter reads: “Hi Red, I just wanted to pass on (that) the banquet this year was again another success. We had 240 people attend the banquet and managed to raise $36,000. Much needed money to protect our rights, not only as fishermen but boaters in general.”
I wrote Denny back, and asked him if he could get the information about where their fundraiser placed in the other Florida CCA chapters. I’ll let you know when I find out. Don’t forget the Naples Fishing Club meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month at the VFW Post 7721, 800 Neff’s Way, at the corner of State Road 951 and Pine Ridge Road. It all starts at 6:30 p.m., and the public is welcome to come. You may contact Kat (239)595-3122 for more information. Catch you later!
Red Stier is a bi weekly contributor to the Marco Island Eagle. Questions or comments may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 172 Trinidad St., Naples, Fla., 34113.