Change Is in The Air

By: Capt. Bart Marx

Hello fellow anglers, I was just sitting here trying to figure out how many years I have been contributing to this awesome publication! I began contributing around the year 2010, however, I will need to ask Robert, the manager at Fishin Franks as he is the one that got me started writing these articles. This year, I have had some of the best sheepshead catches that I have ever had and most of the keepers we have harvested have been in the 15″ range. We have been working the boat docks close to the Gulf and the near shore reefs out to about 35-40 feet of water. We have been using a knocker rig with live shrimp, the shrimp I use are about 3″ seem to work the best and, in these depths, there have been some mangrove snapper too. Near the end of the month the water may start warming up and the reds and trout will fire up. This month the snapper start to pile up in the passes along the edges where there are those little out cropping’s of rock ledges. Yes, this time of year is a transition time from cool water to summertime water temperatures. If you run offshore start looking for the large schools of bait and you may find blackfin tuna or a king mackerel flying along the edges of these bait balls, and some of the reefs that are in 100′ of water may be holding yellow tails. If you find a structure that holds them, anchor up from the structure and start chumming to pull to your boat away from the wreck. This helps with the goliath problem. With that said, you may still have to deal with cudas and sharks. If you are able to get them chumed away all you need is a hook with bait and let it float down with the chum, watching your line come off the spool when it speeds up flip the bail and hold on till the hook is set and start reeling to bring the fish in before the tax man in the grey suit comes to collect, and he will! If you don’t have a boat, you can call on Capt. Bart Marx 941-979-6517 or e-mail and we can schedule your trip to try some of these techniques, have some fun catching something to eat! And for you guys that have recently moved to Southwest Florida with your boat call me and I can help show you how we do it, as I do training sessions on your boat and show you how and where you can use your boat and gear too. It always helps to shorten your learning curve when you fish with someone local!  And always remember singing drags and tight lines make me smile.