Night Fishing

by: Capt. Bart Marx

It has been very hot this summer and that has affected the fishing. In the Florida Keys, water temperatures have been over 90degrees which is affecting the corals. The fish are like us humans when the temperature gets too hot, they slow down and head for shade and deeper waters to get away from the heat. Talking about offshore this means that the red grouper are deeper than usual this time of year starting at 70 ft. out to 100ft. Snapper on the full moon this month on the 29th would be a great chance to do the night fishing thing. Your favorite snapper spot will be awesome at night. In the past, I have gone out late in the afternoon which gives me time to get setup before the sunset. I like to set my anchor in the proper spot to get me on the edge of where I want to fish. Next is to get the chum going and start fishing with some frozen baits that I have brought along, and I also bring white baits or live shrimp. Some anglers use lights to attract fish and that works, but if you don’t have lights, you can still catch fish. I usually start with 30 lb. rigs then go lighter as I get the bite going, 20lb. line with 10lb. leader and no weight when you get the fish on the surface. There artificial reefs and natural bottom starting from 40ft. out to 100ft. If you do this keep an eye on the weather as T-storms at night are no fun trying to get back to the dock! If you fish inshore, in the waters just inside the islands start looking for the schools of bull reds that come in and start feeding to go offshore and spawn. A great area starts at Placida all the way down the ICW to Ft. Myers Beach. If you can find the schools of pinfish in the grass beds this is a good place to start. The best baits for this are live like white bait pinfish or even shrimp. Sometimes you can get them to bite on dead mullet chunks or frozen sardines. I use for most of my fishing a Quantum 50 BOCA reel with 20lb. SUFFIX performance braid, with an old REDBONE 7ft. medium heavy rod. I usually rig up a knocker rig, if I am inshore, I use 20lb. mono, offshore I’ll use 30lb. mono. and about the same length as your rod 7ft. Inshore I use a 1/0 VMC circle hook and offshore I use a 4/0 VMC . So depending what you are fishing I’ll use from a 1/4 oz. egg weight or up to a 2 oz. offshore. So if you would like to try some of these rigs give me a call at 941-979-6517 or e-mail me at, Always remember, singing drags and tight lines make me smile. <*(((((>{