Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mid-July Fishing Action in Naples Backwaters

I am finally catching up on my fishing report for July after taking some time off for family the first week of July and then having surgery a week ago for which I have a two week recovery time off the water.  I am really getting cabin fever, but know that I letting my body heal is critical.   My son, Capt. Ben has kept busy filling in for me, fishing daily and having some very good summer action.  With lots of snook, redfish, grouper and sharks all cooperating keeping rods bent and anglers smiling.

Snook have been very active since the full moon last week with some trips releasing as many as 35 in a half day.  On an evening trip earlier in the week a young angler released the snook of a lifetime, weighing in at over 20 lbs before release!
20 lb. snook released with Capt. Ben Geroy 7/15/14
20 lb. snook released with Capt. Ben Geroy 7/15/14

Shark fishing is reliable as always this time of year with bull, blacktip and lemon sharks cruising the shallow back bays looking for an easy meal.  The sharks are running from 4.5 foot scrappers to monsters ranging to 8 feet in length and 275 lbs.
There are plenty of big tarpon in the gulf just off the beaches.  They have been gathering in good numbers around dense concentrations of bait fish.  For success, it is critical to get out early in the dark and fish the “magic hour” before the sun gets above the tree line.  Late evening can also be productive, but afternoon thunder storms have put a damper on many an evening lately.  Before I was laid up, I hit the tarpon several mornings in a row hooking up on several each trip.  We were throwing DOA Baitbuster lures.  Other guides have been hooking up on the same as well as live crabs, ladyfish, thread herring and live mullet.

I will be back on the water by the middle of next week and hope to have more to report by the weekend.  Check back in to find out what’s biting

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Snook Action in Naples, FL

June 12, 2014
I have been on a bit of a writing hiatus for the last month, with no excuse other than a busy fishing schedule and some relatively slow fishing for this time of year.  While we have had to work really hard for the fish so far this summer, our efforts have produced some great catches with a few tarpon and some big snook coming to the boat.

This is peak tarpon season here and there are some big fish in the area.  For some reason, this year I have only had a few anglers wishing to dedicate their trips to fishing the silver kings with most anglers opting for action fishing for other species. We have jumped a few tarpon and also boated a few.  Most of the larger fish are now congregating off area beaches near the numerous schools of small bait fish.  The best time to target them has been at first light and near sunset.

Snook fishing has been our main focus and my anglers have been having success with some large fish running up to 29 inches.  Live baits (scaled sardines) are taking the largest fish but we have also had success on the smaller snook with flies and a variety of plugs and soft plastic baits.  Incoming tides have been most productive.  I have been targeting most of the snook near the passes or just inside where they are staging for spawning this time of year.

On Tuesday of this week, I had and angler hook up with a large snook against the mangroves on a very high tide.  The fish put up maximum resistance against Neil making several long runs into the cover before becoming completely entangled.  Determined not to lose this prize, I slipped into the water and waded into the entanglement of roots.  I managed to get hold of the fish and return to the boat to celebrate the great catch before releasing the 15 lber back to the water.
  My guests snapped a photo of a determined guide!
Capt. Todd returns to the boat after retrieving a 15 lb. snook from deep in the mangrove cover.
Capt. Todd returns to the boat after retrieving a 15 lb. snook from deep in the mangrove cover.
Neil Henges proudly shows off his 15 lb. snook before release on 6/10/14
Neil Henges proudly shows off his 15 lb. snook before release on 6/10/14

Wednesday I fished with Jim Cober of Dallas who has been a client for over 20 years.  He brought his 14 year old grandson, Tucker along for his first experience fishing in saltwater.  We had to work hard, as we found numerous lazy snook slapping at the baits and not connecting and only seeming to be able to boat one fish per stop.  At the fourth stop, Tucker’s first cast was quickly consumed by a giant snook!  The fish made a long run down the shoreline and tried desperately to get into the cover, but Tucker was able to maneuver the fish and boat it after a long battle.  The fish was released after a quick photo to remember a great catch!
Tucker with a 39 inch snook released 6/11/2014 with Capt. Todd Geroy
Tucker with a 39 inch snook released 6/11/2014 with Capt. Todd Geroy

Snook and tarpon will remain the main targets for the rest of June.  Baby tarpon action should heat up once the summer rainy pattern settles in and runoff pushes these fish out of the back country creeks into the bays.  Redfishing has been spotty, but they are large fish in the 26 to 30 inch range when we find them.
-Capt. Todd Geroy

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Fishing Action Getting Better

After running a full schedule for the last few weeks, I am taking a day off as another strong frontal system barrels its way down the coast of Florida.  Windy conditions and the threat of heavy thunderstorms mid-day forced our decision to stay on land today.  These fronts have been disrupting our activity on a weekly basis, as we keep assuring ourselves that this is the last one of the season.

When the weather has been stable, my anglers have been getting a taste of some great spring fishing as snook and redfish action continues to improve.  I might add that with spring break in full swing, I have enjoyed many great trips with young anglers cathcing some nice fish!

Many trips have been scoring on multiple redfish to 30 inches along with plenty of slot size fish.  I have encountered more schooling fish during the last week with double hookups common.  Live sardines have been getting the bites, however it is interesting to note that several of the fish I have filleted have been engorged with crabs.  NCM_0058NCM_0061
The snook bite has really improved with warmer water temperatures now approaching 80°.  The snook are scattered all over the backcountry with most of the action being along mangrove points that are either facing the wind or tide or both.  Again the live pilchards are candy to these fish, although we have had success with  Mirrolure plugs with green backs also.
Young angler Nick Seitz and dad, Mike with a nice double on snook during a recent April trip.
Young angler Nick Seitz and dad, Mike with a nice double on snook during a recent April trip.

Springtime brings big jack crevalle to the backwater channels.  I have been having great success with jacks ranging to 18 lbs. recently.  These bruisers will eat anything that moves and put on a great battle on light tackle!
Mike helps Nick with a giant jack crevalle!
Mike helps Nick with a giant jack crevalle!

There are plenty of big sharks in now as well as a good number if tarpon for those that want the tug of a lifetime.  My recent outings have been opting for action fishing, but I do look forward to tangling with some giants in the next week or two.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Transiton Fishing in Naples Backwaters

Spring transition continues on the local waters as we continue to successfully target a variety of fish through out the week.  With mild fronts still moving through each week, it has been a roller coaster of conditions from one day to the next controlling where we can fish with some strong winds and what we fish for as water temperatures fluctuate.
Over all last week was great.  Early in the week, my clients enjoyed some of the best pompano fishing so far this year.  We used 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with shrimp outside of area passes to catch limits of these tasty fish on several trips. Inshore, live sardines provided some great action with snook, redfish baby tarpon and jack crevalle while fishing along mangrove edges.
George and Ilsa Gibson with a beautiful back country redfish last week.

After the passing of a cold front on Friday morning, I fished a group of anglers from St. Louis not quite knowing what to expect with high winds and cooler conditions.  We had a great morning fishing with live shrimp around creek mouths in Rookery Bay.  We ended up with a limit of mangrove snapper to 15 inches, some hefty black drum, sheepshead and goliath grouper and snook also in the mix.
Large tarpon and plenty of big sharks are also in the area, but we did not invest any time in them last week as clients were interested in other quarry.  I’m looking forward to another week of good fishing ahead.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chilly Weather Fishing Can Be Rewarding

The coolest weather since last March blasted through SW Florida early last week bringing dreary days, gusty winds, and temperatures into the low 40's for a couple of nights followed by chilly days. While nothing to cry about compared to what the northerners endured, this is a sub-tropical zone and the fish quickly switched behavior as water temperatures fluctuated dramatically during a four day period. Water temps went from 72 degrees last Sunday to 62 degrees on Tuesday, then back to the 69 degree range by Saturday.

While the weather forced a couple morning trips to cancel early in the week, we did run afternoons as well as double half days Thursday and Friday. We had success with a variety of fish coming aboard during the colder weather, while action got tougher as it warmed up. Weak tides late in the week contributed to the slow down in action.

During the colder period, we concentrated on deep holes in back country. Rigged with a 1/4 ounce jig head with half of a shrimp, we managed quite a few black drum, loads of sheepshead, a few pompano, mangrove snapper, sea trout, gag grouper, flounder and a few redfish.

I fished for the first time with Kirk and Vicki Strand along with daughter Valerie on Thursday afternoon. The family caught a bunch of fish consisting of most of the previously mentioned. Vicki caught the largest fish, a 12 lb. black drum.

The pompano run we were enjoying for the previous week or two slowed down as the tides became less favorable. We did catch a few last week, just not in the numbers as the previous weeks. I expect that to improve during the next few days.

- Capt. Todd Geroy

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Fishing Delivers Some of the Best Action of the Fall

November 21, 2013

The month of November has continued to deliver fantastic weather and along with it some great days of fishing on the inshore waters of SW Florida!

There have been plenty of snook around from numerous fish in the 20 to 24 inch range to some impressive snook catches with fish ranging to 38 inches.  Live baits have provided the best action, and several trips have released as many as 30 snook on half day trips.

Dave Thoresh boated and released this large snook with Capt. Ben on 11/19/2013
Dave Thoresh boated and released this large snook with Capt. Ben on 11/19/2013

Redfish also continue to please anglers with plenty of nice fish caught in the last week or two.  The reds are running from 23 to 28 inches.  They can be caught sight fishing in the shallows at low tide or in pockets along mangrove edges on the flood tide.  We have been catching reds on live baits as well as jigs and flies.  The redfish action should continue for the next several weeks.

Brothers Bill and Jack Forte' doubled up on 30 inch snook and 30 inch redfish in one backcountry hole!  Released 11/14/13
Brothers Bill and Jack Forte’ doubled up on 30 inch snook and 30 inch redfish in one backcountry hole! Released 11/14/13

I have found an increasing number of sea trout showing up on trips.  I expect the trout fishing to really take off once cooler weather finally settles into our area.  Along with trout, pompano and bluefish are due to make a strong appearance as well.

I am looking forward to some fine fishing for the remainder of the month and into December.

- Capt. Todd Geroy

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall Fishing Snook, Redfish and Tarpon in Naples, Florida

September is winding down and while we have had a great month of fishing in the Naples area, I expect October to only get better. October and November are in my opinion, the two very best months to fish the backwaters of Southwest Florida. The slight cool down of water temperatures provide action all day long and push more fish into the back bays from the outside beaches and passes.

The last week had a few challenges with weather in our region as periods of heavy rain showers forced us off the water on a couple of occasions. I did manage to fish a few half days and those anglers were rewarded with some nice catches of redfish and snook as well as baby tarpon action on each trip. The "baby tarpon" are juveniles ranging in size from 12 to 30 lbs. We have been finding them with great success in the last month for the first time since the fish kill caused by freezing temperatures during the winter of 2010.

One notable trip was Friday morning. I fished with long time client John Shroyer of Naples and friend Dr. Paul Richards. The duo enjoyed the best weather of the whole week and boated numerous snook and redfish. The reds ranged from 23 to 25 inches while the snook ranged from 22 to 32 inches. John managed a "Grand Slam" with a tarpon release along with his snook and redfish.
Dr. Richards with a nice 32 inch snook...
Click to Enlarge Photo

I am looking forward to some better weather conditions during the upcoming week. Tides are going to be especially favorable as we approach the new moon phase.
Get out and enjoy some great fall fishing in SW Florida!

- Capt. Todd Geroy