By: Capt. Travis Freeman
The Everglades/10,000 Islands area are filled with miles and miles of mangroves and marshlands which hold many different species of fish, some which migrate only by coming around during certain seasons. Some species stay year-round and continue to be some of Southwest Florida’s most common game fish. Spring is here and snook season is in full stride. I get to call this beautiful area home and I can’t think of a better region to fish this time of the year! The waters are much warmer, 80 plus degrees as we are nearing summer, and with warmer waters always comes aggressive and active predator game fish following the big schools of bait fish coming in and out of the channels and passes which lead in and out of the Gulf of Mexico. One great tip on how to catch these amazing tasting fish, is always fish structures and or deeper places with moving water. I like to use a live mullet or pilchard 3” to 4” in length, hook that bait to a #4 J hook, with about 2 1/2 to 3ft of 40lb fluorocarbon leader tided to my 30lb braided power pro fishing line, and with this setup I always have great success. I also like using a 1/4oz egg weight just above the hook with a live white bait on the hook. I use this technique a lot when fishing in a hard flowing tide and or fishing deeper waters 5ft to 12ft this way the 1/4oz weight holds my live bait down on the bottom where it needs to be. You can always cast a sinking mirror lure, green and silver in color 3 to 4 inches in length, for snook and reds all along any structures, oyster bars, mangrove trees, bridges and more. I have been using them and catching numerous species each day using this tackle. Redfish are still around and like always they love a live pilchard and or shrimp rigged up on a popping cork with 3ft of 30 to 40lb fluorocarbon leader tided to a number 3 or 4 J hook. Fishing oyster bars and mangrove islands seem to be the best for big reds this time of the year in April. If you are ever down here in my neck of the woods give us a call @239-285-2971 or 239-431-1261 and let’s get you out there today!