Spring Fishing in the Ten Thousand Islands

by: Caitlyn Gatrell

As we get ready to enter the summer fishing season, now’s a great time to reflect on the spring months. Down in Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands region, spring has been quite the adventure this year! We have had lots of varying weather conditions and fishing wasn’t always a breeze each day. But with bad trips came good trips, with some days proving springtime fishing down south is still very much active.

We spent a chunk of time in the 10K Islands this spring, with lots of points and mangroves being targeted. Deep cuts in the backwaters were also commonly hit this year, with various results being provided. We’ve spent time with tons of inshore species this spring, such as tarpon, snook, redfish, jacks, snapper, grouper, and plenty more. It’s also been interesting to see the changing interest in baits. Some days artificial lures like swim baits were on fire, while other days live bait was irresistible.

We’ve also not only watched the weather fluctuate, but we’ve gotten to see some migrations this spring, for both gamefish and baitfish. It’s been a thrill lurking after schools of hungry fish, and not to mention the chase for offshore white bait. The tarpon especially have made their way in our area, with tons being seen rolling on the surface. We’ve seen some pretty large ones this year too, easily pushing 100 pounds and over. I can only hope to catch a monster before the season ends!

Another popular gamefish, snook, have also been active this spring, providing lots of opportunities for fun catches. They have been loving a mix of artificial and live bait, whether it’s a Gulp shrimp or a fresh pilchard or mullet. They’ve also been enjoying taking us into the mangrove’s mazes, but with quick and strategic planning, we are sure to get them into the boat.

If you’re fishing in the Ten Thousand Islands this summer, be sure to bring a cast net, stock up on live bait, and target areas with flowing water. Plan your trip around outgoing or incoming tides when the current is moving, as gamefish will be wanting to eat around these periods.

We didn’t have as much time to get out there this spring, so we are eager to see what summer has in store for us. Good luck to those who are already planning all their summer trips, and I wish you tight lines on your next adventure!