July Fishing Forecast: Chokoloskee, Everglades City, Everglades National Park

July is the first month of our South Florida rainy season and we can pretty much expect a daily storm. Usually, they come in the afternoons, but keep a close eye on the weather radar before you leave the dock in the morning.

Kristine Olson with a nice tarpon she caught while with Capt. Pete Rapps.

This July the full moon falls on the 9th of the month and the new moon on the 23rd. Expect higher and lower tides around these moon phases. With these higher and lower tides, you have more water movement which means more nutrients are being moved around for the fish to feed on. The Solunar bite calendar for our area says the 7th-11th, and the 23rd-26th should produce some of the better fishing days of the month.

Speckled sea trout will be around on the grass flats. They are generally smaller than the winter trout, but around in good numbers. They will take anything from a live shrimp to a bucktail jig, to a topwater plug. Fish early on the incoming tide for your best results. You can count on the redfish to take a Gulp shrimp on the last half of the incoming tide. Live shrimp under a popping cork works great for reds too!

Look for some nice snook on the outside islands. Top water plugs and suspended soft plastic artificials will produce some nice morning action before the wind starts to blow. Of course, nothing beats a livewell full of pilchards and thread herring. You can live chum with a handful of these guys, then follow up with a nice one on your hook.

Permit and cobia love to hang around offshore structures.Bring some small silver dollar sized crabs with you for the permit. Cast net some nice 6” mullet to present to the cobia. Mangrove snapper are larger in size than most of the year and are hungry for a live shrimp around the mangrove roots.  Shark are all over the place and love ladyfish. Tarpon remain solid early in the morning and in the evening and are looking for live ladyfish and mullet.

Captain Pete Rapps
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides

Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch team accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their vast knowledge and experience of the area and their easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site at www.CaptainRapps.com.