Chokoloskee, Everglades & Everglades National Park October Forecast

October is the last hot month of the summer season here in SW Florida and it sure will be nice to see the change of seasons. This change and much welcomed slight cooling trend, makes it one of my favorite times of the year to fish the 10,000 Islands and the Everglades National Park! Our daytime air temperatures will now be averaging around 87 degrees, as water temps hover around 81 degrees.

As fall approaches, we typically will begin to see some nice schools of live bait, like pilchards and thread herring, enter into the area. Get your cast net out and scout for them close to the shorelines at higher tides. In lower tides, have a look out a little deeper. Look for birds working schools and you will be rewarded with the best bait around. The full moon falls on the 6th and the new moon falls on the 20th. Fishing a few days before and after the peak moon phases typically produce a good bite as the baits get washed in with the big tides.

I especially love to hunt for reds in October! We have been seeing a nice number of reds all summer long. Now with the change of seasons, cooler water temperatures, and the influx of live bait, it should prove to be a stellar month for slot size, and larger redfish. It’s hard to beat the sight of schooling reds tailing as they work over a submerged oyster bar! Throw them a live shrimp under a popping cork for almost instant hookups. If you have some live whitebait like pilchards or threads in the live-well, get them out there too! We have caught more 30”+ reds on live 4” whitebait than anything else! Hook the live baits on a 6/0 circle hook on 3’ of 20-30lb fluorocarbon leader tied to 10-15 lb braided line on your spool.

Snook are on the move and will be on the outside bars and cuts. Next month they will begin to move into the back waters and will gladly accept some of those live baits as they are fattening up for the winter. Tie up 3’-4’ of 40lb fluorocarbon leader to 30lb braided line and pitch those whitebaits into the deeper eddies against the mangrove shores.

Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year-round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park and springtime Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys.,, 239-571-1756