By Capt. Justin Napior
September is already here! Where is this year going? The fishing has been very hot and will continue to be until we get our first cold front and we switch into our winter trends. The black drum bite has been killer! Sight fishing these guys in a foot of water, with live shrimp or artificial is a rush and a fun game of tug of war!
Schools of black drum have been thick through summer from Naples to the Everglades. They will continue to cruise around the area through the fall. If you come across some they love crustaceans and are a blast to catch on light tackle. I recently went to my local fly fishing shop and picked up and nice imitation crab. My new goal is to get a big one on the fly! When presenting your bait be prepared when they bite, it will feel like a little bump, almost like a mangrove snapper, but when you set that hook hold on! The smaller drum photograph really well and the big drum, well they call them big uglies for a reason.
These fish are great for any skill level and don’t require getting up very early. I personally fish for them towards the end of the morning into the early afternoon when the sun is high. It makes finding them much easier and allows for great sight fishing. The combo I like best is a seven foot medium fast rod paired with a 3000 reel, 15 pound braid and a 30 pound leader. If black drum don’t get your excitement going, the snook bite has been very good and we still have plenty of big and small tarpon hanging around! The redfish have been smaller around Naples and Marco, the bigger redfish have been farther south. I love seeing all the smaller redfish around, it’s a great sign that our fishery is doing well. The water clarity has been absolutely amazing all year and the fish are happy! The end of September is The Romp In The Swap tournament and it’s my favorite tournament of the year. It’s a fun family friendly event that raises money for families in need. Hope every one has a great month, tight lines everybody!