by Capt. Justin Napior
Hello everyone, Captain Justin Napior here, local fishing guide, avid fisherman, and conservationist. I grew up fishing the waters of South West Florida from Naples to Chokoloskee. Snook and tarpon are my specialty! I’m very excited to share some awesome fishing stories, reports and some tips and tricks with you!
The month of June is a killer month for snook and tarpon fishing. The snow birds have flown away and the love bugs have flown in. By June the tarpon have already started showing up along the beaches and in the passes of SWFL and larger breeder snook have come out from their winter homes. Live bait is pretty easy to some by, so load up on them large pilchards or pass crabs. Rig those on a 3/0 to 4/0 circle hook with a 40LB leader. Or if you’re an artificial person, a large white paddle tail rigged on a 3/0 twist lock hook or a classic jig head is a go-to color for most anglers during the summer months. Fly fishing is also very productive. A classic top water like a skitter walk in a red/white color worked along a nice mangrove line can get you some of the most thrilling, heart stopping, drag screaming top water action you will ever see!
Focus on your local passes and beaches. Snook will be found cruising the edge of the beach; look for schools of bait with fish busting through them. Early morning and evening will be your best bite. Tarpon can be found just off the beach in schools or sometimes laid up alone. The smaller juvenile tarpon will be loaded up in the back bays and creeks of the Ten Thousand Islands. Get out there as the sun is just creeping over the trees and the boat is still covered with morning dew. There is nothing more exciting than a huge snook or tarpon on the end of the line first thing in the morning! It’s what keeps us coming back over and over again. The thrill of the hunt, wondering where is that next big fish going to be? Or sometimes, unfortunately losing a trophy fish and adding another fish story to your next fishing conversation! Last but not least, the unforgettable memories with your family and friends. Now go catch a big one and until next time, tight lines everybody!