June 5, 2018
The fishing in our area has really taken a turn for the better in recent weeks. Heavy rains lately seem to have had a positive impact on our waters and many species have been feeding well on the goodies being flushed though the estuaries with the runoff.
Tarpon are in the area right now, however my clientele have all been more interested in catching other species. I did stop on some big schools myself on a recent morning before picking up my party and hooked a big fish for a few jumps. There are plenty of days left this summer to chase the silver kings.
Snook fishing has been excellent as should be expected this time of year. Anglers fishing with me have been releasing as many as 30 snook on half day trips during the last two weeks. They have also boated some of the largest fish of the year so far, ranging over 40 inches.
Live sardines free-lined along mangrove banks and points with good tide flow don’t stand a chance. A clue to the best spots is to look for active birds on the edge of the mangroves. Egrets and especially yellow crowned night herons (aka snook birds) are a dead give away that there is fish activity. Never pass up a night heron without making a few casts below it. They are almost always sitting on top of fish.
For my anglers wanting to take a few fish home for dinner, sea trout have filled the order. I am finding plenty of trout schooled up along deep shorelines close to the gulf. Many of them have been nice fish in the 18 to 20 inch range. Live baits as well as soft plastic jigs are taking plenty of fish.
Redfish remain a bit scarce, but most trips have been catching a red or two. Most have been over slot fish averaging around 30 inches.
Shark fishing is popular with many of my anglers this time of year and they do not disappoint. There are plenty of hefty bull,lemon and blacktips around to battle if you want a work out.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
May 14, 2018
I am land bound today with lots of much needed rain showers and thunderstorms moving through. All is associated with a low pressure system moving northward through the gulf. This is an indicator of the summer season knocking on our door.
I have always been noted for “telling it like it is” and would be lying if I stated that the fishing has been easy recently. For the last month, we have been dealing with red tide on area waterways which has slowed the bite with lower oxygen levels in the water. I have found the best action to be along the beaches an just inside of the passes where the tide flow is most prominent.
Fishing activity has also been showing the transformation into the summer pattern. We have been into some large snook as they begin to school near the passes to begin their spawning activities. We have also been finding some large sea trout schooling in some of the deepest runs in the passes. Pompano have been eating jigs on sandy bottom outside the passes and along the troughs parallel to the beaches south of Naples along Keewaydin Island.
January 16, 2018
It has been a while since my last fishing report. Here we are into a new year and another busy season is underway in SW Florida with all of the snowbirds arriving as well as other folks escaping the bitter cold in the north.
Fishing is in full swing with the typical winter pattern fully underway now. That means cool water temperatures have pushed a wide variety of fish species into the deepest haunts in the back country creeks and channels. My anglers have been enjoying catching as many as 10 different species on many outings. Jigs tipped with shrimp account for most of the action. Plenty of good eating fish have been invited to dinner including sea trout, pompano, sheepshead and mangrove snapper. Other fish on the catch list have included black drum, bluefish, gag and goliath grouper and even juvenile tarpon.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
August 14, 2017
My anglers have had some successful outings since my last report. Snook and tarpon have been putting on a sunrise show on several mornings as they gorge themselves on millions of small baitfish that are now migrating into local passes and outer bays.
While the tarpon seemingly are eating everything in sight, they can be hard to convince as they are tuned in to the dense schools of micro bait. We did manage only a couple brief hookups on artifical baits, but the spectacle is worth getting up early to witness.
Snook have been much more cooperative with large numbers being released on morning trips. One recent half day found non-stop action with snook hitting nearly every cast for over an hour on a couple stops. Live pilchards and spanish sardines have been easy to gather for bait with the cast net and provide plenty of bites.
Yesterday morning, (Sunday) I enjoyed a half day with the Edwards family Ron, Cathy and Taylor. We enjoyed good action all morning catching numerous snook ranging from spots near the beaches to pretty far inland. Cathy was rewarded with a couple of the larger snook over 30 inches with one running about 36″
We also released numerous mangrove snapper, scrappy jack crevalle and a couple of hard fighting goliath grouper from the mangrove cover.
Redfish remain scattered with only a few fish caught in the last week. The ones boated have been quality fish in the 25 – 27 inch range. I expect the redfishing to really get going in the next few weeks. We have great tides for them coming up the week of the 21st with the new moon phase.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
August 1, 2017
July is a wrap and that brings us into the summer “dog days”. Fishing opportunities are good for snook, tarpon and redfish as long as anglers are willing to adapt to the conditions and hit the water early to beat the heat and avoid the strong afternoon rains that come almost daily.
My anglers have been catching as many as 20 snook on half day outings ranging to 31 inches. A huge migration of small bait has moved in along area beaches and passes triggering a flurry of action first thing in the morning. The action tapers off mid-morning as waters heat up. Live baits bring certain success, but well presented artificials and flies will get their attention.
The big tarpon run has tapered off, but there are still fish to be found near bait fish concentrations. It is critical to get up early and be on the spots at first light to catch the magic window as they gorge themselves as the sun rises. Depending on how long the afternoon storms linger, the same event can go down at sunset. Average size of these fish is 50-90 lbs. There are also juvenile fish from 10-30 lbs. running in the back bays and up river. They are great fun on light tackle.
Redfish are being caught in the back bays now. Most of the fish have been upper slot averaging 26″ with some fish being caught up to 35″. We are having best success on the new and full moon phases at high tide. Live and cut baits presented tight under the mangrove cover are both catching reds. The reds don’t seem as particular to the time of day as they are to the tide and presentation of the bait.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
April 26, 2017
Fishing here in SW Florida has continued to evolve into the spring pattern and that has been reflected by some great catches by our clients. A few exceptions following occasional late season cool fronts have been just for a day and action quickly rebounds. Giant tarpon are invading the bays along with large redfish and good numbers of snook on the feed as they fatten up for spawning season. Behemoth sharks are easy targets now and will prowl the shallows through the summer.
Tarpon have gotten active with juvenile fish in the 12 to 25 lb. class giving my anglers thrills on light gear on many outings. These mini silver kings are among my favorite fish to catch. They are taking live sardines in several spots while we are targeting snook and are a welcome surprise.
The giant tarpon are in many of the shallow bays now and anglers willing to commit the time often necessary to hook up to a bucket list fish of over 100 lbs. Caitlyn Maynes and her family have fished with me many time over the last several years and caught everything that swims. Last Friday they boarded the boat with a goal of hooking her up with a big tarpon. Our efforts paid off with Caitlyn battling a giant fish weighing over 130 lbs. for well over an hour before release! We have now raised the bar for future trips with the Maynes family!
Snook fishing has been picking up with warming waters. We are finding them plentiful on many days with tallies of over 30 fish being released on 1/2 day trips. The snook are scattered all over from the back bays to the passes and beaches. There are loads of snook running in the 20 to 24 inch range, but the giant fish ranging to 40″ are showing up and will get better in the next weeks to come.
Redfish have been hot on many trips especially the last few days leading into the new moon phase on the incoming tide. We have been having great success with over slot fish in the 27-33 inch range while “skipping” live sardines far under flooded mangrove cover. The key to success has been getting the bait into the strike zone with the high tides.
As you can see this really is a great time to get some water time and enjoy the great spring fishing!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
April 16, 2017
It has been another busy season here in south Florida. We locals are looking forward to some great fishing as the “snow birds” migrate up I-75 to their summer homes. This means less boat traffic on the water and less pressure on the fish. Our anglers will score on some of the best fishing of the year. Warming waters prompt the annual migration of big tarpon and sharks for those looking for tackle busting action. Resident juvenile tarpon are also common catches. Snook will start to feed up in advance of their spawning season. Redfish love this time of year, and our anglers are hooking up with some good ones.
Live sardines are always key to the best action for warm weather fishing. Plugs, flies and other artificial lures can also bring good action for experienced anglers who like to cast, retrieve and fool the fish. Well placed offerings, whether live or fake are critical for success with the wily snook and other gamefish.
We have had a lot of fun on recent trips…
This is the time to get out on the water for some fine spring fishing while enjoying the great outdoors!
–Capt. Todd Geroy
February 22, 2017
Great fishing has persisted for the most part in recent weeks. My anglers have caught scores of nice sheepshead, mangrove snapper, sea trout and pompano during cooler weather patterns typical for this time of year. Lots of action along with plenty of good fish for the table.
We are also getting some periods of warmer temperatures off and on which trigger other action with plenty of snook, redfish, large jack crevalle and some juvenile tarpon. I am also seeing large tarpon and big sharks in the back waters showing up as water temperatures increase. The fishing patterns tend to go back and forth this time of year as late cold fronts interrupt the spring warm up. I am flexible on any given day to adapt to conditions and catch a variety of species.
Jig heads tipped with shrimp catch everything during cool periods, while live scaled sardines bring great action during the warm days.
Spring is almost here and with that will bring opportunities for anglers to catch the fish of a lifetime with the arrival of many giant tarpon, big snook and colossal sharks! My schedule is nearly full for the next few months, but contact me for the last remaining dates or to get on Capt. Ben Geroy’s lineup.
–Capt. Todd Geroy
February 1, 2017
I have been very busy for the last month running trips daily while enjoying some great winter fishing. Anglers have consistently had great catches of a variety of species on the inshore waters. Sea trout, redfish, pompano, sheepshead, black drum, mangrove snapper, bluefish, permit and flounder have been keeping the rods bent as well as the cleaning table full at the dock.
In recent weeks, we have experienced a dramatic cool down as some strong cold fronts have moved through weekly. Water temperatures have been hanging between 60 and 67 degrees which is good for targeting the previously mentioned species as they all move into deeper holes and channels in the back bays. The deeper water tends to stay warmer than the shallow areas and we can often catch as many as 10 species from one spot.
A very productive rig this time of year is a light jig head, such as 1/8 ounce tipped with a piece of shrimp and fished slowly across the bottom in these holes. This rig catches just about anything out there. Soft plastic grubs rigged on a jig head as well as buck tail jigs tipped with shrimp can be very effective also. The key to cool water fishing is to fish slow.
I am looking forward to more fun fishing for the next month, sharing some great days on the waters while enjoying our amazing February weather in SW Florida.
–Capt. Todd Geroy
January 1, 2017
I am a little behind with updating my fishing report as the end of 2016 brought the passing of a family member just before the holiday season. I have been a bit distracted but still fishing a busy schedule. Anglers have enjoyed some amazing weather for this time of year and have had some great days catching an assortment of fish. The last couple of weeks have been all about families enjoying the water with plenty of young anglers taking the bow and producing nice catches.
While experiencing some of the warmest temperatures in the country during the last month, the catch and release fishing for snook has been fantastic with good numbers of fish released ranging to 30 inches. Along with the snook action, some pretty large jack crevalle have been cruising the same haunts providing some epic battles on light tackle.
We have enjoyed a strong showing of sea trout and pompano during the last week or so. Jigs tipped with shrimp fished along channel edges near shallow flats are producing fish up to 20 inches. The same rigs have also caught bluefish, sheepshead, ladyfish and jack crevalle.
We are now entering the busiest time of year in SW Florida. It is time to book early for an enjoyable day on the water and enjoy the very best weather in the country while enjoying some fun fishing action in beautiful surroundings! I’ll see you on the water!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
November 20, 2016
The weather has been glorious here for the last several weeks with cool mornings and warm afternoons with plenty of sunshine. I has brought the anglers out and we have been fishing every day now. Fishing action has been mostly good to excellent while targeting a variety of different fish as water temperatures have started to cool down.
I have spent many trips hitting a few snook hot spots that lately have produced as many as 40 snook being caught by my anglers in a half day. Live sardines have been well accepted by the snook that have been ranging to 30 inches. Great action on light tackle!
Redfish continue to be scattered in the area with some nice fish being caught when we find them. the average size of the reds is around 25 inches. We have produced reds on both live baits and jigs recently.
Trout have now moved into some of the back bays and are being caught in decent numbers both on shallow patchy grass areas and in some of the channels adjacent to shallow flats. Jigs, shrimp and live sardines are all effective. Pompano and bluefish have been mixed in the same spots.
Just off the beaches in the near shore gulf, we have encountered some hefty spanish mackerel along with a few king fish congregating near heavy concentrations of bait fish.
We can expect more great fishing in weeks to come as the cooler weather fishing pattern settles in. Let’s get out and enjoy the water!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
October 24, 2016
Cooler fall weather has settled in finally and water temperatures have cooled about 10 degrees from a month ago. The change has brought more opportunities for an all day bite as well as pushing more fish from the gulf and passes into the back bays.
We have enjoyed some great snook fishing during the last few weeks with loads of small fish keeping us busy and several larger snook up to 32 inches being caught and released. Live pilchards are the key to big catches, however soft plastic swim baits, jigs and flies will all take fish with a proper presentation. Last week, I explored a few spots as far as 5 miles inland to discover some very nice dark water snook that had not seen a boat or angler for months.
Redfish catches have been consistent with good fish being caught averaging 25 inches. Low tide has offered some good sight fishing along shallow edges of flats and channels as the reds cruise and feed in very shallow water, sometimes with their backs exposed. Higher tide stages move the fish closer to the mangrove roots as they forage for crabs, shrimp and bait fish in the heavy cover. As waters continue to cool, the redfishing should only get better as more fish move into the bays.
Juvenile tarpon, mangrove snapper and some hefty jack crevalle have all been common catches on recent trips as well. I expect the trout and pompano fishing to pick up soon as well as the arrival of bonito, spanish mackerel and kingfish just offshore from our local beaches. We are ready for some great action!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
September 2, 2016
Well, it has been a long week off the water here as Hurricane Hermine formed just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico bringing several days of drenching rain and very windy conditions to our region and forcing cancellations. I am looking forward to getting back on the water soon as the storm finally made landfall last night and conditons should improve this weekend. Water temperatures have dropped several degrees the last few days and I predict that the bite will be red hot once things settle down.
Before the setback, anglers were enjoying some improving fishing trends especially with more and more redfish showing up in the area. We caught some beautiful reds using live baits. Most reds caught were in the 23 to 25 inch range with some larger fish ranging to 34 inches also released. Higher tide phases are pushing them far under the mangrove edges making for some challenging casting to get to them. On lower tides, I am finding them along hard bottom adjacent to shallow flats and also cruising along channel edges. We are approaching the absolute best time of year to target redfish. It is common to find large schools of big reds this month.
Plenty of snook were caught also. Most of the action was concentrated in the bays close to the gulf and in the passes. Cooler water temperatures should really get them fired up now and I expect September to bring some of the best snook action in months.
Plenty of mangrove snapper have continued to please my anglers. There seem to be more large snapper around than I can remember catching consistently. These make great table fish and have provided some fine dinners lately.
We are merging into what I always consider to be the best time of year to fish. Cooling waters will begin to push more and more fish into the back country and extend the feeding time into more of an all day event as opposed to early morning.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
August 23, 2016
August is not an exceptionally busy month on the water for me and I am taking advantage of a little down time to do some work on the boats to get ready for a busy season ahead. Days that I have been on the water have brought some decent fishing for my clients with a variety of fish available and some great shark trips for the thrill seekers. Hot temperatures this time of year force the best action to be in the early morning hours.
Snook action has been okay with several outings producing good numbers released using live baits which are in great abundance. The passes continue to hold the best concentrations of snook. Anglers wanting action with lures or flies should be on the water at sunrise.
There have been plenty of tarpon of all sizes feeding on the huge schools of bait in the passes at sunrise the last few days coming off the full moon. Despite our attempts with a variety of baits and lures, we have not been successful at persuading them to bite our offerings as they are intent on gorging themselves on the masses of small bait. They do put on quite a show while they are on the feed however.
Slot sized redfish are still being caught in the back waters along mangrove shorelines at high tide and cruising shallow channel edges on the lower stages. Live pilchards and soft plastic jigs are taking fish in the 22 to 25 inch class.
Shark fishing has been popular and we have had success on all shark trips hooking up with as many as 7 on four hour outings. Most have been bull and lemon sharks in the 5 to 8 foot range. A couple of nice blacktips have made a showing also. This morning we put a new twist on the action. Using my skiff as a chase boat, my anglers battled big sharks from a paddle board each time getting towed along at high speed by the large bull and lemon sharks! Once subdued, they would board the boat so that we could safely release the fish. Great summer fun!
Here is Jim McGuire with a hefty bull shark and secondly his son John, with a nice lemon alongside the board.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
July 24, 2016
July is about to wrap up and it has been several weeks since my last report. I fished everyday for the first week of July and then enjoyed some time off for vacation with my family. I returned last week and am back on the water enjoying good fishing with my clients and very little boat traffic on the water.
Snook action has been good with plenty of fish still congregating in the passes. Loads of small fish in the 22 to 25 inch range with a few 30 inch + fish mixed in to keep it interesting. Outgoing tides especially when timed early in the morning and late in the afternoon are particularly active. I recently fished two consecutive mornings with long time anglers from Nashville and boated over 50 snook on each trip. The guys also boated countless mangrove snapper that were invited home for a fish fry.
I have also been running plenty of my popular specialty shark trips lately. The sharks have not disappointed. Hookups have been plentiful and guests have been boating and releasing as many as 7 big sharks per 1/2 day outing. There have been the usual mix of bull, lemon and blacktip sharks ranging from 5 to 7 feet long. Great sport in shallow water! One shark trip brough not only steady shark action but a suprise catch with a rare 7 foot long sawfish boated and released. These shallow water monsters are amazing creatures and use their long toothy bills to slice through schools of fish to stunt heir prey.
There seem to be more redfish showing up now and I expect them to really get going in the next month or so. High tide is the best time to find reds feeding on flooded oyster bottom and along the mangrove cover. Live sardines and shrimp as well as jigs will get the bites. Reds we have caught recently have been mid-slot fish averaging about 25 inches.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
June 25, 2016
Since my last report it has been all about the snook on recent trips. My anglers have been enjoying what is the peak time of year for catching snook as they stacked up during last weeks full moon phase.
Several outings produced as many as 50 fish ranging to 23 lbs. on a half day. It seems that nearly all of the snook in the area have moved into or near the passes and along area beaches as they carry out full on spawning activity. Sight fishing has been very good with several of the largest fish being caught by spotting them in shallow channel edges and casting live baits to them. This is exciting fishing! I even couldn’t resist heading back to a spot after one trip to catch a 42″ 23 lb. fish myself!
Red fish are scattered about along the mangroves at high tide. While not being caught in big numbers, with a little effort some very nice fish can be caught
For those looking for monster fish, tarpon are still showing in decent numbers just off he beaches and big sharks are abundant both in the nearshore gulf as well as the shallow inshore bays.
Water temperatures inshore are very warm right now topping near 90 degrees in some of the back bays and averaging 85 on the beaches. That being said, the action has been best in the mornings and afternoons are best spent in the pool or air conditioning this time of year.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
June 15, 2016
The fishing has rebounded after a bit of a set back last week as we dealt with rough, rainy conditions with the passing of a tropical storm across the state of Florida. Now the waters are clear and calm again and we are back on our game putting anglers on some great fishing!
I am still finding some big sea trout in deeper water inside the passes. Fishing live baits near bottom, we have caught some very nice fish up to 23 inches. The same spots are producing action with gag grouper as well as some keeper mangrove snapper.
Snook fishing has continued to be red hot! Snook are stacked up in area passes and all along the beaches. With the water clearing up since last weeks blow, we have enjoyed some great site fishing. On yesterday mornings trip 6/15, I fished with Ted Noethling and 7-year-old son, Andrew. While moving to a spot, I spotted a huge school of snook hugging the bottom in about 8 feet of clear water. The school was huge, with probably 1000 fish. More than I have observed in my career. Of course we stopped and presented our offerings. Ted and Andrew continuously hooked up and boated a large number of fish for about an hour until a pesky dolphin moved in and decided to target any fish we hooked and released instead of picking on any of the congregation of snook in the area. Andrew was the star of the morning catching some beautiful snook to nearly 14 lbs. A rewarding trip for this guide who has seen it all.
There are still some big tarpon in the area, although I have not had anglers wanting to target them. It is not too late in the season to catch a bucket list fish. Early morning and late evening tend to be the best time to fish for the silver kings. I have run across fish both along the beaches, around passes as well as in some of the inland channels.
Sharks continue to be abundant as usual this time of year. I have several shark trips on my schedule during the next couple of months. Contact me regarding my popular discounted shark fishing trips offered from July though August.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
June 6, 2016
Fishing action has really heated up during the last couple of weeks. I have shifted to only fishing mornings as it has just been uncomfortably warm in the afternoon and the action seems to slow down mid-day.
My anglers have been enjoying some great action with plenty of large sea trout ranging to 25 inches. I have been targeting them in deep channels close to the gulf using live baits fished near the bottom as well as jigs.
Snook fishing has been as good as it gets! This is catch and release fishing as the season is closed for the summer, but the abundance of fish are providing my anglers with fantastic action using live sardines and soft plastic swim baits. Many half day trips have been releasing over 50 snook ranging from 22-33 inches. We have had some hookups with giant fish over 40 inches as well, only to get beat in the cover while using light tackle.
Anglers have been encountering some nice redfish often showing up in the same areas where the snook are congregating. While not schooled up, the reds we have been catching have all been nice fish ranging from 25 to over 30 inches.
Now is the time to catch big sharks in the back bays. Large bull, lemon and blacktip sharks are easy targets right now for anglers wanting a battle with a powerful fish. Sharks we encounter run from 5 to 8 feet in length.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 9, 2016
It is hard to believe we are into the second week of May and experienced temperatures in the mid 50’s over the weekend. That is almost unheard of in South Florida. While previous weeks brought some steady action with big snook, redfish and tarpon, the system that blew in here last Thursday put a damper on the action the last few days.
Tarpon fishing had been promising before the front with some big fish being hooked and boated both in the shallow bays and along beaches near area passes. As water temperatures cooled nearly ten degrees over the weekend most of the tarpon moved offshore. Now that we are on a warming trend with highs expected to reach 90 the next several days, the fish should return in good numbers quickly.
I had luck last week using live blue runners under a float while fishing inshore. Cut baits such as ladyfish, jack crevalle, mullet and catfish tails also work well in the bays.
Beach fishing is often done with live baits such as crabs, blue runners and threadfin herring. Large schools are common this time of year as they continue to migrate north to the spawning grounds.
May is one of the best months of the year to target large snook as they begin to stage for spawning starting this month. Snook season is closed as of May 1, but anglers are enjoying catching and releasing these great fighters. We have been catching some nice fish with some approaching 40 inches. Live sardines are the bait of choice however, well presented lures such as soft plastic jerk baits and hard plugs will get their attention.
Redfish continue to be scattered about in the back country with most of the fish being caught on the higher tide stages along mangrove banks. Most of the reds are running upper slot 25-27 inches when we find them. Emily Barber found this 35 inch monster at the end of her line on a recent outing…
Shark fishing is as good as it gets from now through the warm summer months. I target bull, lemon and blacktip sharks in the shallow bays frequently and they rarely disappoint clients. While only fishing in 4-5 feet of water, some of these monsters can reach lengths of 8 feet or more and weigh close to 300 lbs. I look forward to upcoming shark trips and smiling clients!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
April 3, 2016
Warmer weather has finally settled in and water temperatures are now hovering in the mid 70’s. With the arrival of spring, we have started to enjoy some good action with some of our larger species such as snook, redfish, tarpon and sharks. April is a transition month and while it can be tricky figuring out fishing patterns with late season cold fronts, April also offers some great fishing in the backwaters of SW Florida.
Capt. Ben and I have had a busy schedule fishing every day with many trips dedicated to families that have been enjoying our amazing weather during spring break season. Some of the young anglers we have had aboard have made some great catches. Snook fishing is really turning on with some large fish to 40 inches being caught and released. Ben introduced one young angler to some very nice fish last week. Releasing a 34 inch fish and topping it off with a monster 39 inch snook.
Tarpon have shown up in the area and while we have not yet committed any trips to target the large tarpon, a few juvenile tarpon have been showing up bringing fun action for our anglers on light tackle.
Redfish have been scattered, but the last week or two have produced some very nice reds ranging to 33 inches as well as some nice slot “keeper” sized fish.
We are looking forward to plenty of great action on our upcoming trips as fishing should continue to get better and better.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 4, 2016
fter a long two months of dealing with so many variables of conditions delivered by the El Nino cold fronts, we are now enjoying some fantastic weather and the fishing has really turned on. Water temperatures are gradually warming up, adding to some good action with some big spring time species.
Sheepshead, mangrove snapper, sea trout and pompano have continued to provide good action for our anglers as well as providing some very good table fare. We have been targeting these fish near the passes, jettys and in narrow “pinches” between back water bays where there is hard bottom and decent tide flow. Bottom fishing with whole or half shrimp along with jigs tipped with a small piece of shrimp are producing.
With warming waters, I have also ventured out early in the morning before my trips on a couple of occasions to net live scaled sardines alias; white bait, pilchards, shiners. These lively baits have brought some great action with snook, jack crevalle and goliath grouper. During the last couple of days, my anglers have caught some quality snook ranging to 34 inches along with some tackle busting jack crevalle while fishing these baits.
I am looking forward to the next few weeks as waters continue to warm, bringing more of the larger fish into the game. Snook, redfish, tarpon and shark action will continue to improve.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 11, 2016
Boy, what a change we have made with the weather during the last month. January started out more like summer and thanks to the powerful El Nino, we were suddenly forced into one of the most extreme winter seasons I have ever fished through during my 34 year career. Severe frontal systems have been bringing damaging winds, muddying the water. Heavy rains have been staining the water followed by consistent chilly weather keeping the water temperatures in the low 60’s and as cool as 57 in the waters that I fish. Now that I got the “doom and gloom” statement aside, I am happy to report that we have had some very good fishing days. Not every trip has been a home run, but that’s fishing and we always have a good time on the water.
The trout fishing has been very good this year. My anglers have caught easy limits on many trips. The cool waters have pushed the trout into the deeper back country channels. Low tides causes them to really bunch up in some spots. The better areas are holes adjacent to shallow edges that get good tide flow and have some hard shell bottom. We are catching trout on plastic curly tail jigs tipped with shrimp as well as live or half shrimp fished on the bottom.
The same areas are also producing sheepshead, mangrove snapper and black drum. A half shrimp rigged on a 1/4 oz. jig head and fished right on the bottom has been producing plenty of bites.
We have had to work harder than usual to find cooperative redfish although the ones we have found have been nice fish in the 24 to 26 inch range. Fishing a shrimp with a small split shot along fallen brush and deeper mangrove edges and being patient does the trick.
The most important tip for cold water fishing is to slow down the presentation. Whether or not you are presenting a jig or bait. Cool water temperatures make our sub-tropical fish species sluggish. Keeping the bait if front of them and giving them time to make the decision to eat is key.
Hopefully spring-like conditions will start to evolve here during the next few weeks. Until then, we will just enjoy the fact that we are able to fish through February in SW Florida and catch some good fish while so many areas of the country are freezing or covered with snow!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
January 1, 2016
Another year has flown by and we ended 2015 with amazing spring like weather and some fantastic fishing. Water temperatures have been in the upper 70’s for weeks which is very unusual this time of year. Conditions have made for a different fishing pattern than we are used to this time of year. Guides and anglers have adjusted tactics to produce some great catches.
With the waters still warm, there has continued to be an abundance of bait fish in the area. I have headed out before sunrise on most mornings to load up on these productive baits. Snook, trout, redfish, monster jack crevalle have all been crushing the offerings.
Snook fishing has been uncommonly good for late December. Rob Harrelson and his friend Dr. Crane got into them a week ago catching and releasing numerous snook to 29 inches.
Sea Trout have been a reliable target on many trips. We have been finding them schooled up on grassy flats on the rising tide as well as some of the run off channels on the falling tide. Free lining live baits as well as jigs have been producing as many as 50 slot trout per trip. Last week I fished a morning with Ed Eaton, son Steve and grandson Decklan. The three literally caught countless nice trout on every cast for over an hour before we left the fish biting to look for other species. The trout ranged from 16 to 21 inches. All were released.
Redfish have been a little challenging to find recently. However, we have managed to catch some very nice reds by working tight to overhanging cover along mangrove shorelines and points on the incoming tides. All of the redfish we have caught have been 24 to 30 inches.
Other action has included pompano, gag grouper, goliath grouper, mangrove snapper and some solid jack crevalle ranging up to 15 lbs.
I’m looking forward to the new year and plenty of memorable fishing for my clients! We are off to a good start. Happy New Year!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
December 8, 2015
What a great week we have had fishing here in SW Florida. My clients have enjoyed some great action on just about everything that swims in our waters. Tarpon, snook, redfish, sea trout, pompano, bluefish along with some bruiser kingfish and big jack crevalle have all been bending rods and keeping the reels screaming on recent trips!
The last few days, we have enjoyed a run of nice kingfish along area beaches in as litte as 10 feet of water. These fish are more commonly caught further offshore but occasionally come closer in to gorge themselves on massive schools of bait fish. On light tackle, the kings provide long, blistering runs and dogged fights around the boat. I don’t know how long they will continue, but we are enjoying them while it lasts!
Along with the kingfish, there have also been quite a few tarpon schooled up in the same areas. Hookups have been frequent, however we have been using light spinning tackle intended for other species and the tarpon fights have been short. They have provided some thrilling strikes and jumps however.
Trout have continued to be active inshore mostly on shallow flat areas that have any grass on the bottom. The trout have been mostly nice slot fish in the 15 to 20 inch range. Live sardines and jigs are both getting attention.
Redfish are scattered about in the back bays. Flood tides have brought the best fishing usually along mangrove shorelines and points. Live baits and well placed jigs get the bites. The redfish have all been nice fish from 24 inches to over slot fish ranging to 32 inches.
Snook fishing has been decent with plenty of small fish keeping us busy. We have been releasing as many as 20 fish on half day trips using live sardines. Most of the fish are in the 20 to 26 inch range. Some bruiser jack crevalle have been patrolling the same areas as the snook providing some tackle busting action.
I have a few openings available between now and Christmas week. It is a great time of year to fish with good action and very little boat traffic. Gift certificates are available for a unique. memorable experience.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
December 1, 2015
A new month upon us and while winter is creeping in throughout much of the country, SW Florida has been enjoying some marvelous fall weather. With a slight cool down last week, our anglers have enjoyed comfortable conditions and are catching a variety of different fish on many trips.
We are welcoming the arrival of decent numbers of sea trout. They are nice fish averaging 15 to 20 inches. I am finding most of them in fairly shallow water, 2-4 feet with sparse grassy bottom. Live sardines as well as jigs are both taking fish.
Pompano have been running outside the passes on both tides as long as the water is moving. The most popular and effective way to catch them is with a jig bumped along the bottom. The pompano are running from 12 to 18 inches.
Small snook continue to chew on live sardines along the mangrove edges. They are scattered everywhere in the back bays. As well as near the area passes. There are also snook being caught on soft plastic swim baits and jigs. Most of the fish are on the small side 18 to 24 inches. December 1 begins the closure of snook season which reopens in March. Snook can still be targeted, but must be released.
Redfish are scattered around. While not schooled up, anglers willing to “hunt and peck” along the shorelines, points and oyster bars are coming up with some very nice slot and a few over slot redfish. Live sardines, shrimp and jigs are all productive baits.
I’m looking forward to a busy December and hoping for the nice weather to continue as winter approaches.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
November 22, 2015
Last week was a busy one as the “season” appears to be in full swing keeping me on the water with double half day trips. My anglers kept busy with some good fishing while targeting a wide variety of species successfully.
Trout fishing is turning on with a couple trips catching limits of fish running in the 15 to 18 inch range. I am finding the trout active along the channel edges adjacent to shallow flats on moving water. We caught nice trout on jigs as well as live sardines. There are some hard pulling bluefish mixed in with the trout also.
Pompano are active in the outside channels near the passes. Jigs bumped along the bottom are taking quite a few of these scrappy fish. They are a favorite table fish for many. I have had success on both tides as long as the water is moving
Snook continue to be just about everywhere we stop along the mangrove points and pockets. Live baits have been producing plenty of smallish snook running 18 to 23 inches providing fun action on light tackle. Unseasonably warm weather has continued to keep fish scattered from the beaches to the bays far inland. Upcoming cool weather should help to bunch the snook up in the bays. Some hefty jack crevalle have been caught along with the snook in many spots.
Redfish are scattered all over the inland bays. High tide stages have been most productive along the mangroves, while deeper troughs have held good fish at low water. Most reds caught have been mid slot “keepers” while my anglers have also released some over slot fish ranging to 31 inches on several outings.
I am looking forward to a busy holiday week coming up. A welcome cool down in the weather pattern should trigger some good action for inshore anglers.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
November 13, 2015
Well, nobody has ever accused me of not telling it like it is and I would be exaggerating if I said every trip recently has been easy. Usually, by this time of year we are enjoying a cool down of sorts in south Florida which drives plenty of different fish into the back bays making fishing easy. This year, we have been experiencing record warm temperatures which feel more like August than November. A slight cool down in mid-October sparked up the action but now the fish seem to have scattered and anglers have to hunt a little harder for results. That being said, forecasters are promising more seasonal weather coming up and I predict that if the water temps drop a little next week that things will break loose.
While some trips have been a bit of a struggle, others have been quite productive for a variety of fish. Plenty of small snook continue to keep rods bent with a hand full of large fish being hooked last week. Live pilchards are getting the bites especially on the higher stage of the outgoing tide.
Redfish are scattered about, with keeper size fish being caught on most every trip. We have also been hooking some larger over slot fish frequently, enjoying the fight and then releasing them. Again live baits have been used to tempt the redfish. Incoming tide has brought the most action.
I have enjoyed the arrival of bluefish during the last week. They are working many of the channels and feeding aggressively on both tides. They react well to just about any offering such as jigs, plugs, flies and any live bait. Not considered good table fare in our region, they are loads of fun to catch and very hard fighters.
Pompano have been reliable targets. I have been catching plenty just outside the passes using jigs. Drifting and casting across current or anchoring and fishing the channel edges have both been productive to catch these tasty scrappers.
Tarpon are working massive bait schools along the beaches and passes, especially at first light. While I have not had any anglers wanting to target them, I am seeing them pounding the bait most everyday. Hooking up is just a matter of commitment.
My schedule is filling up for the upcoming months and I am looking forward to some great days on the water!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
October 21, 2015
This has been a busy month for me as I have seen the return of many of my seasonal regular clients. As expected, October has proven to be a productive month on the water. Anglers have been enjoying a variety of action including redfish, snook, mangrove snapper, snook, tarpon and big sharks.
As usual for this time of year, redfish tend to be among the main species we target. We are having good succes finding fish averaging 23 to 25 inches along with some larger fish measuring over 30 inches. Most of the action has been on the incoming tide or high falling tide when the mangrove shorelines are flooded. It has been a bit breezy the last few days and I have also had results fishing on some of the windward facing shorelines where the bait is being pushed in with the wind. I had a couple of trips with long time client Whit Harvey during the last week resulting in some great action with reds, snook, snapper and even juvenile tarpon to complete a backcountry “grand slam” on last Fridays outing.
Small snook continue to be abundant all over the inshore waters and near the passes. While I have not encountered any fish of size, the smaller snook bring plenty of lively action to every trip and are surely a good sign for the the future of these valued gamefish.
There have been plenty of sharks inshore for those wanting to tangle with some big fish. One outing last week resulted in 7 hookups in just a few hours! The sharks are ranging from 4 to 7 feet long and include black tip, bull and lemon sharks. They should continue to be active as long as water temperatures stay warm.
I am looking forward to more great fishing in the upcoming weeks!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
October 1, 2015
My first report for October fishing is promising as we have really enjoyed some fantastic action during the last couple of weeks. We have had some fine catches of redfish and snook in particular. The recent “super full moon” last weekend brought strong tides and some very active fishing.
With an abundance of baitfish along the beaches as well as just offshore, it has been very easy to collect more than enough bait with a toss or two of the cast net. Loaded up with live baits, we have been freelining the sardines to produce plenty of snook. While not all large fish, a few half days have found steady, fun action releasing as many as 20 or more on a half day trip. There is a abundance of 20 – 24 inch fish around now, with a few larger snook in the mix. The best action has been on the incoming tide as well as the first hour or so of the outgoing.
Redfish have continued to show in better and better numbers. Plenty of schoolie sized fish averaging 21 – 23 inches have been caught as well as decent numbers of larger reds ranging over 30 inches. Again the incoming tide has been producing the best action as the mangrove shorelines flood. Live sardines have been deadly as well as jigs fished close to the cover.
Last Saturday I had the distinct honor to have the opportunity to fish in the annual Take A Soldier Fishing tournament out of Naples. Over 60 boats volunteered to take over 130 active duty soldiers out for a fun day of fishing. This was surrounded by events both Friday night as well as Saturday afternoon and evening. All to extend our thanks to these American heros.
My team consisted of two Air Force officers, Master Sgt. Art Lindon and Sgt. 1 class Mark Miller. We had a blast all day, catching numerous redish, snook, goliath grouper and other species! While we did not make it to the awards stage this year, we had a great day! Thank you to all of the volunteers, soldiers and the organizers that made this a great event! God bless America!
Sunday morning, I fished with my old friend Walt Lewis of Naples. This man was my history teacher back in 7th grade. Walt’s father, Don was visiting from Delaware and the guys decided to spend a couple mornings fishing. We were not dissapointed. The guys enjoyed some fine action on the redfish releasing a bunch while keeping a couple for dinner. Walt and Don also caught several snook and mangrove snapper during the morning. It was great to share the boat with these gentlemen.
I am looking forward to some more good fishing during the next month. Truly one of the best times of year to fish in SW Florida!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
September 20, 2015
September is flying by and the fall transition continues to bring some great fishing for our anglers. Although last weeks weather did not cooperate with some rainy days causing a few cancellations, fishermen that did venture out were not disappointed.
Redfish are the main attraction this time of year as the strongest run of the year begins now and continues for the next month or so. Some of the largest fish of the year can be found now with over slot fish common. The reds can be found schooling up heavily in the passes as well as along the mangrove points and oyster laden shorelines in the back waters. Live and cut baits take lots of fish. However they respond well to jigs, spoons and even top water plugs also.
Snook are active with the continuation of lots of small fish in the 18 to 23 inch range. The big snook have been eluding us for the last couple of weeks. I have been finding he best concentrations near the passes, especially around blow downs. They have been a bit stubborn on some trips, but can usually get them fired up by chumming with live pilchards. We have been catching some impressive mangrove snapper to 15 inches in the same areas.
Baby tarpon continue to be regular targets with fish showing up in several spots. The juvenile Silver Kings aggressively strike live baits as well as a variety of artificial baits and flies. My favorite fish to target in the back waters on light tackle.
I am looking forward to fishing during the upcoming week with a more promising weather forecast predicted.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
September 4, 2015
We are merging into my absolute favorite time of year to fish the back waters of SW Florida. The days are getting shorter and soon, the waters will begin to cool off slightly. These factors will contribute to more of an all day bite as opposed to the early day action of the summer months.
Recent outings have been very productive. Tarpon, redfish, snook, mangrove snapper and pompano have all been active. This is a great time of year for anglers to catch the coveted “Grand Slam”, catching a tarpon, snook and redfish in one day. We have been able to complete this challenge on several recent trips!
Redfish have become particularly active the last two weeks. I have been finding slot size (18″ – 27″) reds feeding along flooded mangrove edges and along shallow bars and flats at low tide. My anglers have encountered schools of fish where they have pulled as many as a dozen fish out of one small mangrove pocket.
Snook have been everywhere, with most being small fish in the 18 – 22 inch range. They are staged heavily in the passes now as well as scattered all over the back bays just inside of the gulf. We have encountered a couple of monster snook as well, ranging up to 40 inches! One morning on my way to the dock to pick up my anglers, I stopped to make a cast or two and check out a spot. I was rewarded with a somewhat rare catch in our waters. I identified it as the unusual “tarpon snook”. After a bit of research, I discovered that it might well have been a species named “fat snook”. It is very difficult to tell at a glance the difference between the two. Without counting and comparing the number of rays on the fins and a few other differences, I will never know. A very unique fish however!
We are continuing to enjoy action with the juvenile tarpon. Ranging up to 40 inches, these beautiful minutures of the fabled silver kings give anglers great thrills. Amazing jumps, strong runs and stubborn standoffs on light tackle make for a challenging quarry. We have been catching some of them in very tight spaces in remote backcountry creeks, adding to the excitement as these wild fish often jump right into the bushes!
Last Saturday, I enjoyed a morning with Rob Harrelton of Naples and his friend Dave Crane, visiting from St. Louis. We enjoyed some great action throughout the morning. Dave was treated to some memorable catches. Dave had a strong strike from a giant snook that proceeded to run 75 yards of line through the mangroves and down the shoreline. The 15 lb. test line held up as Dave gingerly finessed the fish all the way back through the cover until the big fish finally got entangled around a large cluster of oyster laden prop roots that extended all the way to the bottom. Not to be shown up by this fish after such a battle, I went overboard, wading into the mangroves and got hold of the beast. Dave, Rob and I celebrated this amazing catch of a snook measuring out at just about 40 inches!
I decided that we has stirred that shallow stretch of bank up, probably spooking anything else in the area. I moved into a narrow creek mouth just 50 yards down the shoreline where I though we might find a tarpon to cooperate. In a narrow space just wide enough to get the boat in, we set up and on the very first cast, Dave came tight again. This time, a very spunky 40 inch tarpon came airborne. After multiple jumps against the bushes and running under the boat several times. Dave managed to subdue this amazing fish and complete step two of a potential “Grand Slam”.
Now it was a quest to complete the slam! We idled across the bay to fish a pocket along the mangroves where I often find redfish on that tide. It took a few casts to get the bait far enough under the cover as the full moon flood tide closed up the pocket, but Dave was rewarded with his redfish. We managed several more redfish from that spot. While it wasn’t the largest of the morning, Dave was again thrilled to have completed his “Grand Slam” catch.
I have a busy schedule next week and am looking forward to some more great fishing!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
August 22, 2015
I have always been one to tell it like it is, and with all honesty, we in the middle of the “dog days” of summer right now. Although there are some decent fish being caught, anglers need to be willing to get out early and exercise patience. In contrast to mid-winter when cool water temperatures can make some target species sluggish, the summer water temperatures sometimes reaching the mid 90’s on shallow inland waters can lower oxygen levels, especially mid day and really turn off the bite.
Most recent trips are providing decent action, while a few are a real struggle. Despite that, Capt. Ben Geroy and I have been working hard to find action for our clients. Snook, juvenile tarpon, redfish, mangrove snapper, pompano and goliath grouper have all contributed to the recent catches. The bottom line is there really is nothing more enjoyable than being out in nature with friends and enjoying the challenge that our local game fish offer. “You never know if you don’t go” is a good motto to live by.
One of my favorite fish to target this time of year has always been the “baby” tarpon. Five years after the massive cold weather fish kill that we experienced in 2010 that killed off most of our juvenile tarpon and backcountry snook, I am starting to find these small silver kings in more abundance. I have been targeting them around creek mouths and along adjacent mangrove shorelines and hooking up with some regularity. Live baits along with plugs, jigs, flies, and soft plastics all attract strikes. While not giant fish, these up and comers provide fun action with explosive takes and plenty of jumping action on light tackle!
Redfish have been showing up in more numbers recently after seemingly being on hiatus for a few months. We have been finding slot sized reds mainly on high incoming tides along the mangroves. The best redfishing of the year usually kicks in by mid-September. We are looking forward to the annual run.
Other action has consisted of a mixed bag of mangrove snapper, pompano, goliath grouper and the usual summer time shark action.
One recent trip of note was a family of three generations. Kevin Crumbo, 9 year old son Charlie along with grandfather Dailey enjoyed an action packed morning recently. The trio had a busy morning, boating multiple species on the half day including snook, redfish, tarpon, goliath grouper, mangrove snapper, jack crevalle and a nice lemon shark to top it all off! It was a fun morning for this old captain, sharing a little bit of everything with a very enthusiastic crew! That’s what it’s all about, making memories!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
July 24, 2015
July is flying by and while I have still been laid up for the most part recovering from foot surgery, Capt. Ben has been busy most days and finding a good variety of fish for our clients. The water is hot now running about 89 degrees on the beaches and into the mid 90’s in the back bays. Anglers are finding the mornings to be the time to be on the water before retiring to the air conditioning mid-day.
There are still some tarpon in the area to be caught. Ben has had success getting hookups in some of the inshore bays near the gulf entrances. Both live and cut baits are getting bites as well as some action using artifical baits such as traditional hard plugs such as Bagleys finger mullet and Heddon Lucky 13’s as well as soft plastic swim baits. The tarpon are ranging in size from 30 to 100 lbs. Action should continue through the next several months for those that want to commit the time for a hookup.
There are plenty of lemon and bull sharks patroling the same bays along with the tarpon. The sharks are running from 4 footers to 7 foot bruisers. It is not hard right now to get tight with one of these great fighters. We are offering discounts though the month of August on our popular 1/2 day shark outings. All sharks are released.
Snook fishing is still decent with the best action first thing in the morning before the sun gets too high. Live sardines (pilchards) are always effective as well as a variety of plugs, soft plastics and flies. Most of the snook are running on the small side 18 to 23 inches, but there are good numbers of them around to offer fast action.
For those anglers looking for good table fare, mangrove snapper are everywhere right now with many of them running easily into the keeper size. These tasty fish are easily caught on live pilchards or shrimp. Docks, rip rap shorelines and blown down trees along mangrove shorelines are holding good numbers of snapper now.
This is a great time of year to be on the water and enjoy minimal boat traffic, beautiful scenery and some decent summer fishing.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
July 8, 2015
I am taking some needed time off this month to recover from recent foot surgery. In the mean time, some good fishing has continued without me and my son Capt. Ben has done a fine job getting our clients on some great fish!
Water temperatures are warm with 88 degrees on the beaches and the water in some of the bays heating up to the 90’s. Heavy thunderstorms most every afternoon have hampered any chances of fishing that time of day. That said, Ben has been fishing every morning finding most of the action early with the bites tapering off by noon. Anglers have had good success with large snook, a few tarpon, redfish and big sharks.
Some of the largest snook of the season continue to come aboard for a quick release as they continue their spawning activity in the area. Some of the fish have been running well over 20 lbs. Quite a few smaller snook have been “filling in the gaps” as well as a few redfish and tasty mangrove snapper. Live pilchards have been the best bait to get action, but well presented hard plugs and soft plastic baits will get attention also.
Tarpon continue to show throughout the area both along beaches near baitfish concentrations and in some of the back bays. On a trip last week, Ben guided this young angler to his first big tarpon catch. It was hooked in a bay at least a mile inland and ran all the way to the edge of the gulf by the time it was boated.
July kicks off our annual discounted monster fishing special. We offer discounted trips for specialized shark fishing trips. Sharks are in abundance and provide some great battles for those looking for a real work out with big fish. Common species we catch are bull, lemon and blacktips that range from 5 to 8 1/2 feet. All of our shark fishing is done in the shallow protected bays so rough seas are not an issue. Please contact me for information and a quote on special rates available through August.
Plan your fishing early in the day, beat the heat and enjoy some fine summer fishing!
June 18, 2015
June has been a productive month for Ben and I as our clients continue to find some great action especially on big tarpon and snook. With warm days heating up the waters, the key to success has been to hit the water early before it gets too hot and then retire to the pool or air conditioning in the afternoon for a siesta. Heading back out in the evening for some sunset action has been the plan on many days.
We have enjoyed another surge of tarpon action in the area with a fair number of fish staging outside area passes and along the beaches at first light. Live crabs have been the bait of choice, but well presented artifical baits such as DOA Baitbusters will get strikes during the short “window” that they are active around sunrise. We have also been hooking up later in the morning in some of the large bays just inland of the gulf. Live blue runners and cut catfish tails have both produced fish.
Snook fishing has been very good. This is spawning time which means big fish. Both Ben and I have been consistently producing catches of snook over 40 inches with fish weighing in at over 20 lbs. This should continue for the next several weeks. Live sardines and thread herring are top baits for the larger fish. Plenty of smaller fish are staged in area passes and beaches also, but an abundance of dolphins in those areas have made catch and release fishing more than frustrating as they often fall victim to these apex predators.
Other action includes some nice redfish scattered throughout the area, especially on the higher stages of incoming tide as the mangroves flood. While not schooling this time of year, they have been quality fish averaging 25 to 27 inches. There have also been plenty of pompano schooled up outside some of the passes along sandbars and in the deeper troughs just off the beach. 1/4 ounce jigs in light colors are very effective on the pompano.
Shark fishing is a very popular mid-summer activity on our boats and we are now offering our specialized monster fishing trips at a discount from July through August.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
June 13, 2015
We have had a busy month so far and although it has been a little tougher to get fish on the line than May, our anglers have managed some impressive catches of snook, tarpon redfish and sharks. This is not my greatest June report ever, but I always tell it like it is.
Tarpon action has slowed a bit, but there are still a few fish hanging around. We have been mainly using live crabs early in the morning, to get a few bites. Most of the fish have been showing up along the area beaches. There are far less boats on the water chasing them now, which has been nice. We are not having much luck with tarpon in the back country right now, a bit unusual for this time of year and disappointing.
Thursday morning I shared the boat with three granddaughters of one of my good clients. Eleana, Bailey and Audrey set out for a great girls only trip. The fishing action did not let them down. Throughout the morning, the girls boated fish after fish with some very nice snook, redfish, mangrove snapper and jack crevalle. The highlight of the morning was a snook catch by 12-year old Audrey. She cast and hooked up to a giant snook. After about a 10 minute battle on light tackle, she boated the fish with no assistance! The catch of a lifetime for even a seasoned angler! We proudly snapped a couple pictures before releasing the fish back into the water. She followed up with a nice redfish shortly after that. A memorable day for young anglers and this proud captain!
Shark fishing has been reliable as usual this time of year. There have been quite a few blacktips along the beaches where we are tarpon fishing as well as several giant hammerhead sightings. In the back bays, big bull and lemon sharks are patrolling the shallows. A favorite activity for young anglers during the summer months, we will soon be introducing our special monster fishing trips at a reduced rate starting in July. These big, toothy bruisers make incredible runs and pull hard making them a great challenge for any level angler.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 9, 2015
Waters have settled during the last five days after a rather rough week previously. We are back on track and have had great success all week with some of he finest gamefish available in the shallows of the backwaters. Tarpon, snook and redfish have all provided great action for my anglers!
Tarpon fishing has been good. Although I did not target the large tarpon except for one morning last week, they continue to congregate along area beaches as well as around shoals outside the passes. I had experienced fly fishermen out Wednesday morning whose intention was to get some shots at big tarpon. We found good numbers of fish in strings and groups of three to seven fish cruising shallow, gin clear water. Although we did not get a hookup, we had some great shots with a couple close follows that provided thrills through out the morning. The fish are here.
Several trips out this week enjoyed great fishing for juvenile tarpon in the shallow back bays. These chrome plated battlers running from 10 to 25 lbs. are fantastic fun on light tackle. We released several fish on a few trips. Thursday morning, I fished regular client Jack F. with his son-in-law Westie from CO. The guys got into a frenzy of tarpon with two double hookups and several others hooked. Westie also joined the 40″ snook club with a beautiful fish released as well as dozens of other snook.
Friday afternoon I fished with Ted and wife Michell along with friend Tom. Super high tides forced the snook into hiding and made them hard to catch, but the tarpon and redfish made up for it. A couple of tarpon were hooked and Ted boated a beauty. We caught several large redfish throughout the afternoon with several going 26-27 inches and one giant caught by Ted going 34″. Ted did manage a couple of snook before it was over completing his “Grand Slam” catch!
May is the month to catch trophy fish in SW Florida! I’m looking forward to more great days on the water.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
May 2, 2015
May is here and although fishing had been very good through April, we have suffered a bit of a set back as slow moving late season front moved through SW Florida last Wednesday. Heavy rains and prevailing onshore winds forced us to stay off the water for a couple of days. Returning to the water on Friday, we encountered muddy water conditions, and water temperatures that had dropped 7 degrees. All of which made catching live baits nearly impossible and slowing down the bite. This is only temporary though, and I expect things to rebound by the end of the weekend. I think the fish will be very hungry by then!
Before the weather, we were doing well with some great catches of snook. Several large fish were released on my boat along with countless fish averaging 18 to 24 inches. Live sardines are deadly this time of year, but well presented plugs and flys attract bites also.
Redfishing remains okay, with some nice fish caught, although not in the same abundance as the snook. Most redfish we have caught have fallen into the keeper slot of 18″ – 27″ with a few larger fish in the 30″ range. One recent half day was with long-time regular client Bill along with his granddaughters Isabella and Mary Kate. The trio enjoyed a good morning catching plenty of snook along with some big jack crevalle and redfish.
I have not tarpon fished during the last week. I believe the tarpon have moved into the near shore gulf waters and it has simply been too rough most days to fish for them comfortably. I hope to get back into them as soon as things settle down.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
April 22, 2015
Another week of great action here in SW Florida! Fishing has remained great with my anglers catching loads of snook along with some nice redfish and mangrove snapper on most every trip. We have started hitting the tarpon hard since my last report with multiple hookups on several trips and some big tarpon being released. Shark fishing has also been popular and they are eager to give a challenging battle to those who want to catch the largest predators we have to offer.
Tarpon have been the headliners the last week. We have successfully hooked up with numerous fish fishing with both bait and artificial lures. Recent days have found the gulf tarpon spots a bit rough and dirty so I have spent most of my time targeting them in the large shallow bays close to the gulf. Cut baits such as mullet, ladyfish and catfish tails have all been getting bites. We also have had luck on calm days sight fishing with DOA Baitbusters and other lures. We are casting to rolling or laid up fish and bringing the lure back with a slow retrieve. Steve Jordan made a perfect cast to a spotted fish on Friday afternoon and brought a 120 lb. silver king to the boat for a release in just under an hour after a dramatic fight.
Snook fishing has been fabulous. Both morning and afternoon trips are catching and releasing up to 30 or so of these great gamefish. There are lots of “cookie cutter” 22 inch fish everywhere. This is a strong testimony to the fact that these fish can rapidly repopulate after a setback such as the massive cold weather fish kill during the winter of 2010. Although we are catching a few large fish, I strongly urge catch and release of these fish until we are seeing more fish in the legal slot of 28-33 inches. As usual, live sardines are providing the best action, but we have also had some nice fish caught while fly fishing as well.
Redfish have been caught in many of the same areas as the snook. Mangrove points, channel edges and especially flooded shorelines at high tide that have oyster bottom all are holding both. The reds have not been schooling, but are nice fish averaging 25 to 28 inches.
The sharks deserve honorable mention. If you want a guaranteed battle with a big fish in shallow water right now, the sharks are willing. We have had no trouble getting some big toothy critters hooked up anytime. Most have been lemons and bulls from 5 to 8 feet long all being tough fighters, but the blacktips have also joined the show. These streamlined, athletic sharks can rip drag off a reel like no other fish and often take to the air making amazing jumps. While they don’t run quite as large as the other shark species (averaging 40 – 90 lbs.) they are the Ferrari’s of the bay.
I am so looking forward to more great fishing in upcoming weeks. We have had great weather so far this spring compared to the previous two years that were relentlessly windy. I expect more happy clients on upcoming trips.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
April 15, 2015
April fishing continues to shine with steady action from everything that swims along with some giant fish being caught. Snook, tarpon, sharks and redfish are the big headliners with some of the largest snook of the year being released. Tarpon are now widespread in the area and I intend to start hitting them hard starting later this week. We have caught some monster lemon sharks ranging over 250 lbs as well as plenty of bull sharks running to 120 lbs on recent trips.
On one trip last week, long time regular client Tom Iversen and friends enjoyed an action packed afternoon catching and releasing countless snook. On the last stop, Tom hooked up with his lifetime biggest. In a shallow cove, Tom battled, boated and released a giant 26 lb. fish. It was promptly released after taking a few photos. Quite a catch on light gear in such shallow water!
Shark fishing has been as good as it gets. One shark fishing outing produced an 8 foot lemon shark estimated at over 250 lbs. This was caught inshore in 4 feet of water and took 45 minutes to bring to the boat for release.
Last Friday morning I had a great trip with the Chandler family. Grandfather Jim brought along his son-in-law Eric Dietrich and grandsons, Theodore (10) and Chandler (12) . We started the morning out catching lots of snook along with redfish and seatrout. Plenty of sizable jack crevalle and spanish mackerel also kept lines tight and drags screaming.
At one spot, we fished the bank with live sardines which provided continuous action while I tossed one large cut bait out the other side for a possible shark encounter. The sharks did not disappoint either. Within minutes of the bait hitting the water each time, the rod was soon hooked up to a 6′ or larger bull shark. The boys “tag teamed” on each of the 5 that we hooked up with bringing three to the boat for pictures before releasing them.
The last stop was just to add another species to the list for the morning. We fished a deep hole in a remote back country creek and enjoyed fast action with juvenile goliath grouper. The group released several to 18 lbs. A fantastic day on the water with enthusiastic young anglers!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
April is here and the good fishing has really settled in. Capt. Ben and I have been very busy fishing full schedules and finding some great action on most all trips. While snook, redfish and tarpon are tops on the target list this time of year, we have also had fun with sharks, jack crevalle, gag and goliath grouper and mangrove snapper.
Large snook are showing up in the back bays and are being caught mainly on live sardines. Some of these fish have been in the 15 lb. range. There are loads of smaller snook averaging 22″ staged along points and mangrove banks facing the wind and (or) tide flow. Some half days have released up to 25 snook. I urge catch and release of all snook as they recover from the massive cold weather fish kill of 2010.
Redfish are scattered all over the bays often in the same spots as the snook. Presenting bait around flooded oyster shorelines and under overhanging mangroves on flood tide has produced the best action. Several reds caught have been “overslot” fish measuring 28 to 30 inches,
Tarpon are pretty strong in the area now and although I haven’t had anglers wanting to invest time chasing the big ones, we have caught some juvenile fish while fishing snook and other species. These beautiful miniature versions of the giants put on a great fight on light tackle with strong runs and great jumping action.
I’m looking forward to a productive month with more great catches for my clients. Fishing is improving every week. Now is the time of year to catch the fish of a lifetime.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
March 28, 2015
I’m wrapping up March with my final fishing report after a very busy month for myself and son Capt. Ben. We fished double half day trips each day and produced plenty of action for our anglers. It has been all about action fishing, with loads of snook being caught along with some nice redfish, grouper, snapper, sharks and more big jack crevalle than we could count. We have enjoyed having quite a few kids on board as they enjoy the Florida weather with their families. It has been rewarding to share some great action with the youngsters.
Snook have been on fire on many trips. There are loads of fish all over the back country in the 19 to 23 inch range. There are also a few slot fish around, however my clients have decided to release them to help support the growing population as they make a rebound from the cold weather fish kill of 2010. Live sardines are the bait of choice for the best action right now, but the snook will also take well placed plugs and flies as well. Presentation is key no matter what bait you choose as these fish will not move far from the cover of the mangroves for anything. A couple of young anglers caught some nice snook the last few days….
Friday morning 2/27 I enjoyed a three generation trip with the Duchett family. Mike, the grandfather had first fished with me in 1984 with his son, Chris who was 13 at the time. Yesterday they brought along Chris’ 11 year-old son Willy. We had a great morning catching plenty of snook, redfish, mangrove snapper and some big jacks. It always gives me great pride to have been able to have this career where I have been able to share the outdoors and give memorable experiences to multiple generations!
Redfish have been on the roster on most trips. While not schooling right now, there are some nice fish to be caught. During high tide, we are finding them feeding along oyster laden mangrove shorelines. Most of the reds we have caught have been upper slot fish in the 25 to 30 inch range. Again, the live sardines have produced for us. Rick Messey caught an unusual fish last week which had a total of 15 spots.
Tarpon and sharks are continuing to move into the area as the warm up continues. Targeting these fish is just a matter of commitment. I still haven’t made the effort as my clients have been mostly interested in action fishing. I am looking forward to some big fish in the upcoming weeks. Capt. Ben has been doing some shark fishing and having good success with bull and lemon sharks to 7 feet. All inshore in shallow water.
I’ll see you in April. Tight lines!
Capt. Todd Geroy
March 15, 2015
Fishing the backwaters has continued to ramp up as water temperatures have now reached 80°. We have been having regular encounters with some larger snook with a couple of fish in the 20 lb. class being hooked during the last week. Those larger fish managed to escape one way or another, but my anglers did manage to boat some nice snook to 13 lbs. There are plenty of smaller fish in the mix running 18 to 22 inches. It is good to see the population growing as a result of management effort by the state following the massive fish kill from cold weather 5 years ago.
Redfish continued to provide action with quite a few fish caught in the 23 to 27 inch range. Though not as abundant as the snook right now, they have all been nice sized fish. Higher tide stages seem to be the best time to find them as they move into the shorelines to feed.
I have been taking a few trips into the deeper creeks to target goliath and gag groupers. We have had success with these bruisers catching groupers to 18 lbs.
As usual, there are loads of jack crevalle willing to fill in the gaps when there is not another type of fish on the line. Some of these jacks have been over 10 lbs. and are real tackle busters!
Sharks and tarpon continue to move into the area as spring time continues to settle in. While I have not had any clients during the last week wishing to target them, I intend to make attempts in the near future. It is just a matter of commitment.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 7, 2015
March is here and so is warmer weather bringing the annual spring transition on the local waterfront. It is always amazing to me how quickly the fishing can change with just a few degrees difference in the water temperature. During the last two weeks, the water has gone from as low as 58º to 75º in the back waters. Seemingly overnight, came the appearance of big tarpon and sharks along with some great catches of snook and nice redfish.
By the end of last week, I encountered plenty of big tarpon making an appearance as they are beginning the annual “run”. These are large fish ranging from 90 to 180 lb. monsters. They are invading the shallow bays now and can be targeted with a variety of methods. Live baits, “chunking” with cut bait are very effective as well as sight fishing with fly tackle when conditions warrant and casting with plugs are all common techniques. I am seeing plenty of free jumpers fish as well as laid up and rolling fish. These fish usually stay in the bays for the next couple of months before heading out to the gulf to begin their spawning migration.
I have also been spotting some very large lemon and bull sharks in the same areas as the tarpon. They are easy targets that provide long runs and powerful fights for my anglers. I am looking forward to fishing for both the tarpon and sharks on upcoming trips.
As waters warmed up by the middle of last week, I started having great success using live sardines for snook and redfish. Several trips enjoyed constant action releasing many snook ranging to 25 inches along with some nice redfish to 27 inches. When we don’t have a snook or redfish on the line, the jack crevalle have been filling in the gaps with countless numbers of these aggressive fighters being boated.
The large sheepshead are still running in the area passes along with a few pompano and sea trout for those looking for a mess of good eating fish. Pieces of shrimp fished on the bottom are taking loads of sheepshead to 4 lbs. while jigs tipped with shrimp fished in the outside channels with take pompano and trout.
Capt. Ben and I are looking forward to the spring fishing as it usually only gets better and better now!
Capt. Todd Geroy
February 19, 2015
Recent cold fronts have gotten a little more intense bringing some chilly mornings and gusty northerly winds to the region. Water temperatures have been hovering in the low 60’s keeping fish bunched up in deeper back country holes and channels. We have been fishing double half days daily and producing plenty of action for clients with a variety of species.
The mainstay as is normal for cool weather patterns this time of year has been the sheepshead fishing. They are seemingly everywhere we fish and are taking cut shrimp fished on the bottom as well as jigs tipped with shrimp. This last week, we have been slaying them on some trips, catching as many as 30 or more ranging to 3 lbs. Sheepshead are excellent table fish and pretty scrappy to catch on light tackle. There have been some nice black drum mixed in with some running to 8 lbs.
Several trips out recently found redfish schooling along some of the deeper mangrove edges. Particularly during the negative low tides when they are forced into these troughs. While not large fish, most have been running 17 to 22 inches. My anglers have caught as many as 20 of them fishing in a single spot. However, the seem to be there hot and heavy one day and no where to be found the next. I expect red fishing to really get good by the end of the month if the water temperatures stop fluctuating so much with the cold fronts.
There are some nice sea trout scattered about the backwaters now. Most have been caught in the channels where there is good moving water. Pompano and juvenile permit are being caught in the same areas. Jigs and shrimp have been the baits of choice.
Capt. Ben Geroy and I shared a group trip yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) as a strong cold front blasted through bringing very windy cool conditions. Between the two boats we managed a mixed bag of nearly sixty fish including sheepshead, grouper and mangrove and mutton snapper. Not bad considering the sporty weather!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
February 7, 2015
One week into the month, I can report that we have had some truly fantastic winter season fishing so far, with just a couple of exceptions. Transition days between fronts this time of year can slow the bite down, but even those days are bringing some good fish to the boat. Trips that hit it right, with clear skies and cooler temperatures have been spoiled by some of the best action available this time of year!
Highlights of recent days include a couple of half day trips that produced as many 40 redfish. Not giant fish, but ranging in the 17 to 21 inch range with a couple ranging to 25″. I have been finding these schooling fish deep in the backcountry on low water phases in deeper pockets. I have been going “old school” offering 1/4 ounce Don’s Pot Gut jigs in a chartreuse color tipped with a small piece of shrimp. We are patiently bumping this rig on the bottom to produce plenty of reds along with some small snook, monster sheepshead, mangrove and mutton snapper, black drum as well as a few gag grouper and juvenile jewfish.
Yesterday morning I fished with a couple of new clients from Arkansas. Jack Donahoe and buddy Tuck Chaffee hit perfect post-cold front conditions with cool temperatures and an extremely low tide. We penetrated into the shallow back country in the Willy Roberts skiff and found a bounty of action all morning long with countless redfish and a variety of other species all willing to take the jigs. That’s winter-time fishing as good as it gets in SW Florida!
While fishing in February can bring chilly days, it also is not unusual to experience a bit of a warm up by the end of the month. We often experience a bit of a spring transition on the fishing front by the end of the month. Large tarpon and snook catches are not out of the ordinary during the warmer periods. With a very busy schedule, I am looking forward to some great catches this month.
January 24, 2015
We have had some real solid days since my last report. We have again fished in a myriad of conditions with some overcast days, a few chilly mornings and some very windy days. My anglers have caught a long list of different fish using everything from live bait to jigs to fly rods.
Late last week and earlier this week, I had some anglers experience a real blitz of pompano action in the outside passes near Marco Island. One party caught nearly 40 of these scrappers in a couple of hours on an afternoon trip. Most were released, but a few did make it back with us for dinner. That action seemed to die down my mid-week as water temperatures climbed back into the 73 degree range. All of the pompano were caught on jigs.
We also have been using shrimp along points with shell bottom to catch a few redfish, sheepshead and mangrove snapper. An occasional goliath grouper has been taking the bait giving my fisherman a good battle under the mangrove bushes! Live sardines are bringing a few snook and some larger redfish to the boat along with plenty of jack crevalle. A bit of a headache has been the numbers of gulls and terns attacking the baits from the air. Windy days seem to be the worst.
A couple of fly fishing trips this week brought a few snook, pompano and bluefish along with loads of jack crevalle and lady fish. We are using small minnow patterns along the mangroves for the snook action and sinking flies and sink tip fly lines in the channels for the other species.
As I write this today, another cold front is coming through as they seem to each weekend. Strong southerly winds yesterday have turned NW as the cooler air moves starting us on another cycle for next week. I expect the fishing pattern to continue for the next several weeks with the cycle of different species all in the lineup!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
January 16, 2015
Fishing has been a little up and down for me this week. We have been in cloud cover all week as a weak front passed through on Tuesday and another one stalled out over the state for the remainder. It is expected to finally pass through today bringing chilly temperatures back to Florida for the next few days. The fluctuating barometer along with weak tides the last few days made me hunt hard to get fish on the line. Early in the week however, we had some fantastic action with a variety of nice fish.
There have been plenty of sheepshead around in the backcountry channels that have shelly bottom. Cut shrimp on a #1 hook rigged with a split shot works best on these bait stealers. Tuesday morning, my group caught at least 20 sheepshead along with hefty black drum, keeper redfish, permit and mangrove snapper. All were caught in three stops. I can’t leave out the numerous jack crevalle that have been seemingly everywhere we go.
As the action started to slow Wednesday, I found myself moving around more and trying a variety of techniques to get the action. I fished far into the backcountry both in deep holes and shallow shorelines. We also fished the outside passes. Using live shrimp, live sardines and jigs to cover a lot of water, we managed to catch countless jack crevalle along with pompano, sheepshead, mangrove snapper and quite a few small redfish. All in all good action, but just having to fish a little harder.
I expect the action to really pick up next week as cooler water temperatures should make fish bunch up in the back country holes and channels. Strong tides with the upcoming new moon phase will get water moving again and turning on the bite.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
January 3, 2015
The new year has brought some unseasonably warm weather to the region with near record high temperatures warming the waters and really mixing up the usual late December / early January fishing patterns. While visitors to the area are thrilled with the spring-like weather pattern, it has left the fish a little confused. Area guides and anglers have adapted, trying techniques and targeting spots and species in more of a fall or spring manner. While not quite the variety or action that we experienced a few weeks ago when it was cooler, some very nice redfish, snook, sea trout and big jack crevalle have been stretching lines and keeping us busy.
Warm water has brought the bait fish close to shore once again. I have been heading out before sunrise most days to load up the bait wells with scaled sardines which are proven candy for snook, redfish, trout and big jack crevalle when water temperatures rise above 70 degrees. I have also been having some success using jigs, producing a few pompano and trout. The pompano have moved into the outside passes with the warmer water.
Several trips last week enjoyed a bounty of nice fish with all of the above included. I have also seen some large tarpon and sharks arriving on the scene as a huge migration of mullet have been traveling through out the inland bays. While I’ve not targeted them, I plan to give them a shot during the upcoming days next week. Hopefully we’ll hook up with some monster fish.
Cooler weather is expected towards the end of next week. We will have to wait and see what changes it brings to the fishing front. No matter what, January always brings action with such a variety of species available in the backwaters. We just adapt to the conditions.
Capt. Todd Geroy
December 5, 2014
As we are approaching the winter season, many of our seasonal residents are returning to enjoy our warm winter weather. Although seasonal changes are subtle in SW Florida, there is a transition that takes place as the days get shorter and cold fronts force water temperatures down in the shallow back waters. With that brings a great variety of species into the bays, channels and creeks. We often can catch as many as 10 different species on even a half day trip.
I must be honest in my report by stating that he fishing has been a bit up and down for the last few weeks. There has been a red tide bloom in our area waters at times. Depending on wind direction, the algae bloom causes low oxygen levels turning off the bite with its presence. Onshore winds seem to push it in, while offshore winds blow it back offshore.
Last week brought a prevailing east wind which helped to make the red tide disappear and clear up the waters nicely. My anglers of several trips enjoyed some good action with pompano heading up the list along with some nice mangrove snapper, sheepshead, redfish and bluefish all being caught. Jigs are working well on the pompano and bluefish while shrimp are getting the bites from the other species. Anglers have been enjoying the great weather and taking home some fine fish for the table.
November 10, 2014
What a great week we have had on the water here in SW Florida. Although last week started off a little slow after the passing of a rather strong cold front, by Wednesday the waters settled and started warming back up. The warm up, combined with good tides around the full moon sparked some great action! My anglers caught loads of snook, redfish and pompano along with some big jack crevalle. All keeping tight lines for my anglers and smiles on their faces!
With lots of our seasonal visitors now in town, I have been running a full schedule fishing two half day trips daily. Covering a lot of water each day has helped keep on top of the best action.
With the exception of last Monday and Tuesday morning, I was able to load up on live sardines for bait all week. These proved to be the ticket to success as we boated loads of snook along with redfish while free lining the baits along the mangrove shorelines. Wednesday afternoon I fished regular clients Tom, Jaye and Dan for a half day. The trio boated over 35 snook to 30 inches along with some very nice slot redfish and more 10 lb. jacks than I could count during a 4 hour slayfest. We were worn out to say the least! The guys took home some nice fillets for the dinner table as well!
Saturday morning, I fished a half day with return client Craig Verran of Marco along with his 9 year old grandson Nick and Craigs’ friend Ben. We had a great morning releasing a good number of snook along with redfish, mangrove snapper and big jack crevalle with live bait. We also did some jigging outside of one of the passes near Marco Island and found plenty of pompano eager to bite. These tasty scrappers have shown up in great numbers and not only are great fun to catch, but among the best table fish we have to offer. This time of year usually brings the kick off to pompano run which continues into the cooler winter months.
November is a great month to take advantage of some of the best action we have to offer in the backwaters!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
October 28, 2014
It has been a very busy month on the water for me and I am a little delayed posting my latest fishing report. It has been a productive month with some great fishing trips going into my log.
The snook fishing has been fantastic! Many half day trips have resulted in over 30 snook released while using live bait. Most of these fish are running on the small side with an abundance of 19 to 23 inch fish, however we have encountered some larger fish in the 30 – 35 inch range as well. I am urging anglers to release all snook, even slot fish as they are still struggling to recover from the massive fish kill in the winter of 2010.
Redfishing has been spuratic. Some days we are catching them everywhere expected, and the next day they seem to disappear. The redfish we have been catching are nice fish though, averaging 23 to 26 inches with several fish 30 to 34 inches also making it to the boat. Higher tide stages seem most productive.
Big sharks are still providing some heavy action for anglers. On a recent afternoon trip, I fished with Burke Cessna and three of his buddies. We strictly targeted sharks all afternoon and they were not disappointed. We had non-stop hookups with a total of 8 sharks on and 7 brought to the boat. The lemon and bull sharks ranged in size from 5 to 6 1/2 feet. Great big fish action in the shallow backwaters!
Last weekend, I guided a team in the prestigious RedSnook charity tournament, a two day catch and release event benefiting the Conservancy of SW Florida. It was a special year for me as I was priveleged to fish with my oldest son Matt and his lifelong buddy Pete Seitz from Longhorn Steakhouse who was a corporate sponsor.
A cool front moved through on Friday, bringing strong winds and a rising barometer making conditions very challenging for the entire field of anglers.
We hit the water hard both days, releasing countless fish both days. While not finishing on top this year, we enjoyed great fellowship while making memories and supporting a great cause. The first day we wore pink Team Longhorn shirts for breast cancer awareness month…
Cooling waters will likely bring the introduction of some new species into our backwaters. Pompano, bluefish, sea trout, spanish mackerel and bonito should be showing up during the next few weeks. I am looking forward to some more great fall fishing!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
October 9, 2014
October is probably my #1 favorite month to fish the backwaters of SW Florida. No crowds on the water, a variety of cooperative species and slightly cooler water temperatures all contribute to great fishing all day long.
Redfish are probably the main event this month. Reds are schooling up along shallow edges of flats and channels at low tide. I have been sight fishing to them as they cruise in singles and small groups in very shallow water. Well presented live baits usually get quick bites, but artificial lures do very well also. The redfish have been running 23 to 30 inches on average.
Secondary, the snook action has been excellent. Loads of small fish in the 18 to 23 inch range are schooling just inside of the passes and go crazy for a live pilchard free lined near them. My clients have caught a few larger snook as well in the 28 to 35 inch class. The larger fish seem to be singles when you find them.
Large tarpon are still in the area, but not quite as active as they have been in recent weeks. I expect a flurry of activity in the next few weeks as schools of mullet begin congregating in the passes. I have been taking clients into some of the backcountry creeks to target juvenile tarpon. These little giants run 8 to 20 lbs. and are great fun in tight spaces on light tackle. Live baits and lures are eagerly consumed by these great fish!
September 22, 2014
Another couple of great weeks of September fishing! It is truly breaking loose now with schools of redfish showing as well as plenty of snook action and the continuation of big tarpon keeping us busy.
Redfish are all over the area right now. From the outside beaches and jetties to the passes and shallow inshore bays. Redfish are especially active on the incoming tides and will take a variety of live baits as well as plugs, jigs and flies. Most of the fish caught have been in the 25 to 30 inch range, however, I have seen some giant fish pushing 20 pounds mixed in with large schools in the shallows.
On Saturday, I fished with clients Tom and Hillary from Ft. Lauderdale. The main goal was to focus on Hillarys quest to learn more about fly fishing and get her first fish on fly. We were highly successful in the snook department with Hillary releasing about 20 fish. We also came across a massive school of redfish on a shallow flat with what I would estimate as 300 fish in it from 6 to 20 lbs. We managed to boat several on plug and fly before dolphins finally ran the school into a deep channel and they disappeared. What a thrill to sight fish to such a school of big fish in shallow water!
Snook fishing remains very consistent with loads of small fish in the 18 to 25 inch range being released. Live baits such as scaled sardines will absolutely slay the fish right now. Some large snook are in the mix, with a 40″ snook being the largest of the week caught on a fly by yours truly yesterday. It is the second largest snook I have personally caught on a fly rod.
Tarpon of all sizes are available for anglers that want to catch the fish of a lifetime. Large fish continue along area beaches and passes feeding early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Sizes range from 70 to 150 lbs. I have had fun taking clients into some of the back country creeks targeting smaller “baby” tarpon on light tackle. These little warriors running from 10 to 20 lbs. put on quite a performance in tight spaces. One of my very favorite fish to target.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
September 10, 2014
Fishing is getting better and better as fall approaches. Water temperatures have cooled just a bit, making the fish more active later in the day. Early morning continues to provide the best action however. Tarpon and snook have been active along with more and more redfish showing up.
My anglers are still enjoying some great tarpon action. We have been heading out before sunrise to target them as they go into a frenzy, mauling the acres of bait fish that have settled off the beaches and passes. The tarpon are large, running from 80 to over 150 lbs. We have been hooking up on live crabs and assorted baitfish as well as artificals. Soft plastic swim baits such as DOA Baitbusters and the newer Spooltek lures are getting bites. Most of the action is over after sunrise. Cody York from Ohio caught his first tarpon ever last week on a DOA Baitbuster. Here we are about to release his catch….
Snook fishing slowed a little during the last week, with the approach of the full moon. The snook apparently went on the night time feed. We did catch quite a few small snook on live pilchards, most of them averaging 23 inches or so. The best action has been near the outside passes.
I have been happy to see more and more redfish showing up in our area. September usually is the kick off for the annual redfish run in our region. We have caught many reds in the last week or so, all of them averaging 25 inches. Live sardines fished along flooded oyster bars and mangrove shorelines are well received by the redfish. Brothers Cody and Colton York scored on some very nice redfish last week along with tarpon and redfish….
I am looking forward to the fall transition during the next few weeks. Fishing is about to really break loose!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
August 26, 2014
Great fishing continued for my clients last week. Fishing morning trips daily, we continued to have success on large tarpon, loads of snook and and ever growing number of redfish showing up.
The tarpon action has been strictly at first light. Arriving to the fishing area in the dark, we have been having many shots at tarpon in the 80 to 150 lb. range. As the fish begin feeding at first light, we have been casting to rolling and feeding fish with soft plastic swim baits such as DOA Baitbusters and the new Spooltek baits. Live baits such as crabs, ladyfish and sardines also get their attention. I am finding that we are actually having more bites on the lures as they give us the ability to make long casts directly to fish and cover a lot of water. Most of the action is over by 8:00 or so in the morning.
Snook have been schooled up heavily near area passes with plenty of fish in the 20 to 25 inch class providing non-stop action. There have been snook in the 30 inch + range in the mix as well. Live sardines are the ticket to fast action, however we also had a successful morning with fly tackle using small white baitfish imitations.
Redfish are now common catches along the flooded mangrove edges and along shallow flats at low tide. The reds have been nice mid-slot fish averaging 25 inches. They have seemingly appeared out of nowhere, after being practically non exsistant for the last couple of months. Live sardines, shrimp, jigs, spoons and topwater plugs will all catch the redfish this time of year.
Last Wednesday, I fished with repeat client Justin Harper who was in town from Texas for a business conference. He had contacted me regarding catching a big tarpon which was a “bucket list” fish for him. His timing was good and we headed out in the dark to get the best shots at catching the silver king. Justin hooked into three large fish and after battling for over an hour, brought a big tarpon boat side. We estimate the fish was around 130 lbs.
Exhausted and with some time left to fish, we decided to switch gears and pursue the opportunity to produce a “Grand Slam” which is releasing a tarpon, snook and redfish in the same day. The snook and redfish cooperated, and within the next hour Justin’s slam was complete! Here are some shots of Justin with his catches. A great morning with another happy angler!
I am really looking forward to the next several weeks as September is one of my very favorite months to fish. Redfishing should really pick up along with more great snook action. Tarpon should remain in the area making this the best time of year for anglers to catch all three species.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
August 15, 2014
Fishing has really picked up during the last couple of weeks in the Naples area. Some of the best tarpon action of the summer and multitudes of snook have been keeping us busy on recent trips. Redfish are starting to show in the area along with lots of mangrove snapper. Sharks have been easy targets also.
During the last week, I ran several early morning trips to get shots at sunrise tarpon off area beaches. The tarpon have been congregating just offshore amongst huge concentrations of bait fish. An early arrival each morning virtually guaranteed fast action with the silver kings. It has been important to be ready for the “magic hour”. They fed heavily each morning as the sun rose to the east and the full moon set over the gulf. We have managed to hook tarpon on each trip with one morning getting 5 hookups in just a couple hours with two fish boated.
I have been having success on a variety of baits, including live crabs and ladyfish as well as DOA Baitbusters in a silver and black color.
A noteworthy catch was Tuesday morning when I guided Volker and Kristy Pennino along with their nephew Malek who is visiting all the way from Casablanca. On Kristy’s bucket list was catching a big tarpon and within a couple minutes of her first cast with a crab, she was tight on the tarpon of a lifetime! The fish put on a great show with numerous jumps before taking us on a SW Florida sleigh ride towing us nearly two miles into the gulf. Kristy hung on and eventually the giant fish was brought boat side and released after a few photos were taken. I estimate that this fish was somewhere just shy of the 150 lbs. Here is Kristy along with her giant tarpon…
We then headed inside to try for some of the many snook that have been lining schooling up just inside the passes. The snook did not disappoint either as the three anglers released fish after fish using live sardines for bait.
Snook action has been fantastic throughout the last full moon phase. Fish have been stacking up on banks with good tide flow and deep water nearby. Water temperatures have been as high as 94 making them a bit lethargic, but a little live chumming gets them going. Most of the fish are in the 20 to 24 inch size, but a few larger fish have also made it to the boat.
Redfish are now starting to show in the area in better numbers. I had success with mid-slot fish with live pilchards along edges of shallow flats and bars on the morning falling tides the last few days. They should become the main focus here in the next few weeks.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
August 3, 2014
Summer is flying by and as we begin August, fishing action has continued to bring smiles to clients.
Snook fishing has been quite good with anglers scoring on good numbers of fish on both live baits and fly tackle. Recent half days have produced as many as 30 or more snook released. While we are not finding the large fish as active as recent weeks, fish ranging in the 20 to 26 inch range are great fun on light tackle. Action has been mainly in the morning before the waters heat up. A little live chumming with pilchards seems to get them popping when they get sluggish.
Sharks continue reliable giving a work out to those who want to pull on some big fish. Lemon, bull and black tip sharks are easily found in the back bays, especially in deeper channels on the outgoing tides. We have also had some tarpon sightings in the same areas, but no hookups with the “silver kings”
Redfish have been almost non-existent lately. They should start showing in good numbers within the next couple weeks. We are looking forward to the big run that usually occurs by the end of August and continues through October.
For those wanting some fish for the table, legal sized mangrove snapper have been abundant around structures and blow downs near the passes. Small pilchards, which are in abundance right now are deadly. The snappers have been running from legal 10 inch fish to 15 inches. The limit is 5 per angler.
August and September are the two slowest months for charters and most businesses in SW Florida. That makes it a perfect time of year to take a morning fishing trip and enjoy the solitude of the backwaters with plenty of action and almost no other boat traffic on the water! Plan on an early start and arriving back before the heat get to be too much and the afternoon showers begin.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
July 17, 2014
I am finally catching up on my fishing report for July after taking some time off for family the first week of July and then having surgery a week ago for which I have a two week recovery time off the water. I am really getting cabin fever, but know that I letting my body heal is critical. My son, Capt. Ben has kept busy filling in for me, fishing daily and having some very good summer action. With lots of snook, redfish, grouper and sharks all cooperating keeping rods bent and anglers smiling.
Snook have been very active since the full moon last week with some trips releasing as many as 35 in a half day. On an evening trip earlier in the week a young angler released the snook of a lifetime, weighing in at over 20 lbs before release!
Shark fishing is reliable as always this time of year with bull, blacktip and lemon sharks cruising the shallow back bays looking for an easy meal. The sharks are running from 4.5 foot scrappers to monsters ranging to 8 feet in length and 275 lbs.
There are plenty of big tarpon in the gulf just off the beaches. They have been gathering in good numbers around dense concentrations of bait fish. For success, it is critical to get out early in the dark and fish the “magic hour” before the sun gets above the tree line. Late evening can also be productive, but afternoon thunder storms have put a damper on many an evening lately. Before I was laid up, I hit the tarpon several mornings in a row hooking up on several each trip. We were throwing DOA Baitbuster lures. Other guides have been hooking up on the same as well as live crabs, ladyfish, thread herring and live mullet.
I will be back on the water by the middle of next week and hope to have more to report by the weekend. Check back in to find out what’s biting!
–Capt. Todd Geroy
June 26, 2014
June is winding down and although this year continues to be a little off of what we expect on the fishing front, It has not been disappointing to anglers looking for action with numbers of fish. While the tarpon action has been hit and miss, snook have made up for it with some trips releasing as many as 35 fish in a half day. We have also been releasing some monster snook ranging up to 25 lbs. Keeper size mangrove snapper have also been plentiful and provide great eating for those wanting to take a few fish home for dinner. As usual for this time of year, the sharks are cooperative. We have caught several large bull and blacktip sharks during the last week.
On a recent trip a week ago, Larry Henges returned for a second trip with his son and son-in-law after having a great time snook fishing on a previous outing that was featured in my last report. On this day, we fished with artificial baits, specifically the Yum brand Money Minnows. Larry caught the snook of a life time after a 24 lb. 43 inch fish consumed the lure just three feet from the boat! A long battle followed and just as the fish came boat side, the hook fell out. I managed a quick grab of the fishes tail as it drifted away, tired from the fight and managed to boat the fish! We celebrated the great catch and snapped a couple of pictures before releasing this magnificent fish.
July should continue to bring some great catches. Anglers need to plan on hitting the water early to take advantage of the action before the water temperatures heat up mid day. Late afternoon and sunset is also a good time to fish however afternoon thunderstorms can often put halt to plans.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
June 12, 2014
I have been on a bit of a writing hiatus for the last month, with no excuse other than a busy fishing schedule and some relatively slow fishing for this time of year. While we have had to work really hard for the fish so far this summer, our efforts have produced some great catches with a few tarpon and some big snook coming to the boat.
This is peak tarpon season here and there are some big fish in the area. For some reason, this year I have only had a few anglers wishing to dedicate their trips to fishing the silver kings with most anglers opting for action fishing for other species. We have jumped a few tarpon and also boated a few. Most of the larger fish are now congregating off area beaches near the numerous schools of small bait fish. The best time to target them has been at first light and near sunset.
Snook fishing has been our main focus and my anglers have been having success with some large fish running up to 29 inches. Live baits (scaled sardines) are taking the largest fish but we have also had success on the smaller snook with flies and a variety of plugs and soft plastic baits. Incoming tides have been most productive. I have been targeting most of the snook near the passes or just inside where they are staging for spawning this time of year.
On Tuesday of this week, I had and angler hook up with a large snook against the mangroves on a very high tide. The fish put up maximum resistance against Neil making several long runs into the cover before becoming completely entangled. Determined not to lose this prize, I slipped into the water and waded into the entanglement of roots. I managed to get hold of the fish and return to the boat to celebrate the great catch before releasing the 15 lber back to the water. My guests snapped a photo of a determined guide!
Wednesday I fished with Jim Cober of Dallas who has been a client for over 20 years. He brought his 14 year old grandson, Tucker along for his first experience fishing in saltwater. We had to work hard, as we found numerous lazy snook slapping at the baits and not connecting and only seeming to be able to boat one fish per stop. At the fourth stop, Tucker’s first cast was quickly consumed by a giant snook! The fish made a long run down the shoreline and tried desperately to get into the cover, but Tucker was able to maneuver the fish and boat it after a long battle. The fish was released after a quick photo to remember a great catch!
Snook and tarpon will remain the main targets for the rest of June. Baby tarpon action should heat up once the summer rainy pattern settles in and runoff pushes these fish out of the back country creeks into the bays. Redfishing has been spotty, but they are large fish in the 26 to 30 inch range when we find them.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
May 13, 2014
Fishing continues about the same as my previous report. We are still having breezy weather which has put a little damper on the outside tarpon fishing. Choppy seas near shore and gusty winds have made it very difficult to target the “Silver Kings” off area beaches on many days.
Snook and redfish have taken up the slack though with many trips finding some great action along the mangrove shorelines. Live baits are tops in producing action, but well placed soft plastic swim baits and hard baits such as Mirrolures draw strikes from both snook and reds.
One notable trip was with Steve Tharpe and buddy Jim last Thursday morning. The duo got into a bunch of fish releasing 6 slot redfish and 15 snook to 30 inches in just 4 hours! Live sardines were the bait of choice.
Other fun action has been fishing some in some of the deep holes in creeks for goliath and gag grouper. This is catch-and-release only fishing , but these fish really put up a battle trying to entangle anglers in the heavy cover. The groupers have been running up to 18 lbs.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 4, 2014
April was a very busy month as usual, but we had to work through some of the toughest conditions I can remember for this time of year mainly due to frequent periods of windy weather. As of last week, we seemed to have emerged out of the slump and fishing action has really bounced back. By the end of the week, yet another weather system moved through slowing the bite as the rains moved in. However, last week, anglers enjoyed some great snook fishing along with some nice redfish and other species.
I have been catching live bait (pilchards) daily and they have been the ticket to some hot snook action with as many as 20 caught and released on many half day trips. Size has ranged from 22 inchers to some fierce fighting 36 inch specimens weighing in at up to 16 lbs. The snook are seemingly all over the place right now from way in the inside bays to right in the passes close to the gulf.
This morning I had the pleasure of fishing with Lloyd Dorfinger of the Naples Fishing Club along with fishing partner Jay Bishop of Naples. The duo battled numerous snook and redfish to the boat all morning long. The highlights were an epic battle by Lloyd with a power house of a snook caught under the mangroves. It measured 36 inches and weighed in at 16 lbs. before we released it. Jay followed with a large snook measuring nearly 34 inches and was released. The gentlemen also boated several slot redfish and some mangrove snapper which were invited home for dinner.
Redfish are also all through the area right now. We are catching them in many of the same spots as the snook on live baits. Most all of the redfish have been running in the 23 to 26 inch range with a few over the slot at 28 to 30.
Tarpon and large sharks are in the area although most recent trips have had no interest in catching them. We did make the effort on Tuesday and were rewarded with three hookups on tarpon. Two giants managed to escape, but we did boat one small fish of about 40 lbs. May is a peak month for the tarpon and much of my time in the upcoming weeks will be spent targeting the “silver kings”!
I am looking forward to the next few weeks and plenty of big fish as we enter into one of the best periods of the year for fishing in SW Florida!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
April, 8 2014
After running a full schedule for the last few weeks, I am taking a day off as another strong frontal system barrels its way down the coast of Florida. Windy conditions and the threat of heavy thunderstorms mid-day forced our decision to stay on land today. These fronts have been disrupting our activity on a weekly basis, as we keep assuring ourselves that this is the last one of the season. When the weather has been stable, my anglers have been getting a taste of some great spring fishing as snook and redfish action continues to improve.
Many trips have been scoring on multiple redfish to 30 inches along with plenty of slot size fish. I have encountered more schooling fish during the last week with double hookups common. Live sardines have been getting the bites, however it is interesting to note that several of the fish I have filleted have been engorged with crabs.
The snook bite has really improved with warmer water temperatures now approaching 80°. The snook are scattered all over the backcountry with most of the action being along mangrove points that are either facing the wind or tide or both. Again the live pilchards are candy to these fish, although we have had success with Mirrolure plugs with green backs also.
Springtime brings big jack crevalle to the backwater channels. I have been having great success with jacks ranging to 18 lbs. recently. These bruisers will eat anything that moves and put on a great battle on light tackle!
There are plenty of big sharks in now as well as a good number if tarpon for those that want the tug of a lifetime. My recent outings have been opting for action fishing, but I do look forward to tangling with some giants in the next week or two.
March 20, 2014
As with my last report, we are still dealing with ever changing conditons as cold fronts continue to move through every 5 days or so. While they aren’t packing the same punch with cool temperatures as they were a month or two ago, they are making up for it with some very windy days on the water before and as the systems move through. Waters have been pretty churned up making the bite slow during these days. Anglers fortunate enough to get out for the couple of days after the water settles have been having some fantastic spring fishing. I have not been catching live bait for two weeks now because of dirty water or rough conditions where we routinely gather bait. Instead, I have resorted to using live shrimp and jigs.
Pompano continue to be on the outside near the passes. The key to success has been a matter of timing, hitting a day when the water is relatively clean. We are taking the pompano by drifting and casting jigs tipped with shrimp.
Redfishing has improved greatly with reds being caught on most every trip. Most of the fish have been running in the 23 to 25 inch class. However there seem to be a good number of over slot fish around right now. Several trips have boated reds up to 32 inches. On a half day last Friday afternoon, Steve Dicarlo and son-in-laws Dan and Chris hooked up with 8 big reds boating 5 in the 28 to 32 inch range. The trio also boated snook, sheepshead and mangrove snapper.
Snook action has slowed for me mainly to the lack of live sardines available and slightly cooler water temperatures during the last week. It should perk up again as soon as temperatures merge back into the mid to upper 70’s.
We have been catching some decent black drum along with sheepshead and mangrove snapper while fishing mangrove points and some of the deeper holes in the back country. This action is much more like what we expect in January or February than in March, but they are providing good action and some table fish for many of my parties.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some stable weather for the rest of the month!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 9, 2014
Spring transition continues on the local waters as we continue to successfully target a variety of fish through out the week. With mild fronts still moving through each week, it has been a roller coaster of conditions from one day to the next controlling where we can fish with some strong winds and what we fish for as water temperatures fluctuate.
Over all last week was great. Early in the week, my clients enjoyed some of the best pompano fishing so far this year. We used 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with shrimp outside of area passes to catch limits of these tasty fish on several trips. Inshore, live sardines provided some great action with snook, redfish baby tarpon and jack crevalle while fishing along mangrove edges.
After the passing of a cold front on Friday morning, I fished a group of anglers from St. Louis not quite knowing what to expect with high winds and cooler conditions. We had a great morning fishing with live shrimp around creek mouths in Rookery Bay. We ended up with a limit of mangrove snapper to 15 inches, some hefty black drum, sheepshead and goliath grouper and snook also in the mix.
Large tarpon and plenty of big sharks are also in the area, but we did not invest any time in them last week as clients were interested in other quarry. I’m looking forward to another week of good fishing ahead.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 23, 2014
As we continue to transition into spring here in SW Florida, fish are on the move as water temperatures warm up. While some species such as snook and tarpon are becoming more active, others that were bunched during cooler weather are now scattered about. This annual transformation in our backwaters can be frustrating for anglers and guides as the action differs one day to the next. During the last week, we had a taste of what is to come in the upcoming weeks with some great catches! Snook, redfish, tarpon, grouper, pompano and some big jack crevalle were keeping lines tight all week!
Pompano fishing remains reliable, although they are moving closer to the gulf as the warm up continues. We are concentrating more on channels and edges of sandbars just outside gulf passes. Jigs tipped with shrimp are always the most productive offering. Both tides are producing, but incoming tide is getting the most action. There are a few spanish mackeral mixed in.
Redfish are starting to show in better numbers in the back bays. We have been catching upper slot “keepers” as well as a few over slot fish. Live sardines fished tight to flooded mangrove cover and blow downs have been holding fish. Extreme high tides following the full moon last week along with some windy conditions made accurate presentations difficult for some anglers. However, the fish were there when the baits got into the right nooks and crannies. Reds should start schooling up during the new moon phase coming next week.
We have been having fun with the back country grouper lately as we fish for snook and redfish against the mangrove shorelines. Anglers boated some nice gag grouper as well as juvenile goliath grouper (jewfish). Although the season is closed for the Gags and the Goliath’s are a protected species, the provide some serious hard pulling fun on light tackle!
Snook fishing really picked up by the end of last week with over 20 snook released on half day trips Thursday and Friday. One notable trip was Friday afternoon with long time client Bruce Fredrickson along with grandchildren Tyler (9) and Katie (13).
With very windy conditions and high water, the young anglers boated numerous snook along with redfish and jack crevalle. The highlight of the afternoon was a double hook up by Tyler and Katie. Tyler battled a nine pound snook from the heavy mangrove cover while Katie hooked the snook of a lifetime for many.
After several minutes of give and take, Katie’s prize was finally brought to boat side. The 40 inch monster weighed in at 22 lbs! As we positioned the two young anglers for a photo with their catches, Tyler’s fish decided it didn’t want to pose and wriggled out of his hands and back into the water. Katie manged to hold her behemoth up long enough to capture a photo before releasing it back to the water. A great catch for a young angler and another proud moment for this old fishing guide!!!
Tarpon are here! Although we did not attempt to hook up with large tarpon last week, they are in the bays now and getting shots at a hook-up is just a matter of comittment. We did hook up with a juvenile tarpon while snook fishing Friday morning. As long as the water temperatures continue in the mid 70’s and above, more and more fish will move into the area.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 17, 2014
It has been a whirlwind since my last report! I have been running double half day trips daily and we have experienced a wide range of conditions as well as fish encountered during the last week. The action has ranged from warm weather encounters with tarpon from 100+ lb. giants to juvenile fish in the 10 to 15 lb. range as well as hookups with jumbo sharks to 200 lbs. Warm water to near 80° was followed up by drastic weather changes dropping water temps back to the lower 60’s. Cooler water did not kill the action as we had great fishing for pompano, redfish, sheepshead, mangrove snapper as well as permit.
Before the cool down, I spent some time with clients fishing the shallow bays for large tarpon and sharks. We managed to have a couple of short hookups with the tarpon but did bring a few bull, lemon and black tip sharks to the boat with a couple ranging to 8 feet long! Juvenile tarpon were also encountered and provided great fun on 10 lb. spinning gear.
A couple of cold fronts moved through back to back mid week changing the pattern. I switched to jigs and shrimp and found some great catches of pompano, sheepshead, redfish and mangrove snapper while concentrating on deep holes and channels in the backwaters.
Today I fished with regular client Bill Palmer of Omaha. We located a school of permit in one remote back country channel releasing at least 30 of these tough fighters. There were pompano in the mix along with sheepshead, mangrove snapper and plenty of jacks and ladyfish. All were caught on shrimp tipped bucktail jigs. The permit were running mostly 18 to 22 inches. Great fun!
Some beautiful redfish have also been caught on trips during trips in the last week. We have boated some over slot reds as well as a number of slot fish with a few being invited home for dinner. Live shrimp and pilchard have been the recipe for success. Redfishing should really heat up during the next few weeks!
The spring transition will continue with more great catches to come. This is the season for opportunity fishing at it’s best in SW Florida’s back waters.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 9, 2014
Enough with writing reports about fishing winter species in cold water! The last week has evolved into a more spring-like pattern as the water in the back bays warmed up from 65° a week ago to 80° this weekend. With the transition, I am now finding good numbers of large tarpon along with big sharks invading the back waters. LIve sardines are available once again and providing action with some better snook and other species.
We are still enjoying a great variety of species such as pompano, black drum, sheepshead, mangrove snapper and some very nice redfish using jigs tipped with shrimp. With the water on the warm side now, I am fishing shallower areas as opposed to deep holes in previous weeks. There are good concentrations of fish near the passes now, and we had some great success fishing along some beach areas around blown down trees on the shoreline.
Big tarpon and sharks are now all over the back bays and though most of my trips this time of year are not necessarily interested in them, we did give them a go on Friday afternoon. I located a number of large tarpon free jumping and cruising in one shallow bay. We set up with several baits out for part of the afternoon. We did not have success getting a tarpon hooked up on that afternoon, but did hook up with a 7 foot lemon shark as well as a 6 foot black tip shark which put on quite a show as it jumped and spun across the bay before chewing through the 100 lb. mono leader.
This action will continue through spring as long as water temperatures stay at or above the 73° range. The tarpon will only get more numerous and active. It is only a matter of commitment and sometimes patience to get hooked up to the fish of a lifetime for many!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
January 29, 2014
January was a very busy month for me and while I had a few cancellations as the result of weather, there were some great trips during the month.
During the last week water temperatures plummeted as low as 61°. The fish really got sluggish but we still had some great action fishing deep holes in the back country. A “hookup” rig ( a plain jig head rigged with bait) was very effective and produced a great variety of different fish. Last Wednesday afternoon, regular clients Bob Messey and Tom Iversen used the hookups to produce a big catch that included snook, redfish, black drum, sheepshead, trout, pompano and mangrove snapper. A half shrimp on the rig was deadly on all.
This morning the water was back up to 68° and the fish were on the feed as the next cold front started moving in. My party found a flurry of action using 1/4 ounce yellow bucktail jigs tipped with shrimp. Pompano, trout, redfish, snook and sheepshead were all very cooperative. We concentrated on channel edges that ran close along shorelines and adjacent to shallow flats.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
January 17, 2014
We have experienced every aspect of the ups and downs of winter fishing here the last couple of weeks. One day we are bundled up and catching a myriad of different fish, and the next day it is sunny, 80º and we can’t buy a bite from a good fish! Overall the fishing has been decent with all of the typical winter species making it to the boat.
Black drum, and sheepshead have been very cooperative during cool spells. We are catching them on pieces of shrimp rigged on a 1/4 ounce jig head and fished right on the bottom. Many of the sheepshead are small, but there have been some ranging to 3 1/2 lbs. Black drum are larger averaging around 4 lbs. and running to 12 lbs.
Sea trout and pompano have slowed since the end of December, but I expect them to make a good showing during the next few days as water temperatures are dropping considerably with the recent cold front settling in. Prolonged periods of cooler weather are actually helpful to inshore angler as fish that might be scattered through the bays drop into deeper channels and runs. Often in large schools. I like to target sea trout and pompano with jigs tipped with shrimp. Bucktails, soft plastics and surgical tube jigs all work well.
Redfish have been hiding for the most part, much to my surprise. We have had some success with a few and they have been large when we find them. Bill Palmer and I fished a chilly, dreary, drizzly afternoon on Wed. as the second cold front in 24 hours moved into SW Florida. We found a few reds, releasing a couple that went 26 and 27 inches. Black drum, sheepshead, mangrove snapper and quite a few small snook were in the mix as well. All in all a good afternoon considering the conditions.
I am looking forward to some sunshine next week, as it has been overcast here a majority of the time since the holidays. Strong tides should really help turn on the bite for the next several days. My bookings now through the spring are getting heavy. I strongly recommend booking early to reserve best tide dates.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
January 7, 2014
We cancelled the charters today as the strongest cold front of the winter season bears down on SW Florida. While not so bad by the standards elsewhere in the country, it was a unanimous decision by myself and clients to stay on shore today. The temperature outside at 11:00 am is 45 degrees with a 23 kt. north wind. Capt. Ben is heading out for the afternoon however, prepared to adjust to the dramatic weather change.
Fishing has been decent since my last report, with plenty of pompano, snook and some nice redfish along with a great variety of other species available on each trip. Live baits (sardines) were still available before the weather change which is very unusual for this time of year. With frisky baits in the well on most trips, anglers were able to score on quite a few snook along with some huge jack crevalle ranging up to 15 pounds. Jigs tipped with shrimp produced some big numbers of pompano along with bluefish and sea trout in some of the deeper inshore channels.
While many local anglers are discouraged by the occasional strong cold front this time of year, I actually look forward to them. High pressure and northerly winds produce lower than normal tides, combined with fast cooling shallow water. These conditions drive large concentrations of a variety of fish into deeper holes where the water does not cool as quickly. I often fish with jigs or just a plain jig head with a half shrimp in these honey holes to produce loads of redfish, black drum, sheepshead and sea trout. The pattern will usually last a couple of days until the winds switch back to the south east and things warm up again.
One major key to success during these cool fronts is having a boat that can access these remote holes and having the experience and skills to operate the boat safely in extremely shallow water. My Willy Roberts skiff and Sabalo bay boat are the shallowest boats in their class and easily reach these hot spots when other boats are left in the channels!
Remember, Naples has the best of the worst weather in the country! Let’s get out and enjoy some fun winter fishing.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
December 28, 2013
This is my last report of 2013! What a year I’ve had. I am so blessed to have spent so many days on the water with great clients and anglers. I am thankful to be able to have been able to do what I love for over 32 years. We have had some fantastic fishing during the last year and I am looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us.
Fishing during the last week has been good for the most part, but I found the last few days a little more challenging with weak tides slowing the bite a little.
Pompano were really the stars of the week, with a great catch of them on the morning of the 27th. I am targeting these tasty fighters in deep channels through out the back waters. Moving water is essential! 1/4 ounce surgical tube jigs and bucktail jigs tipped with shrimp are very effective. It is important to make sure you are working your jig right on the bottom with a slow retrieve and a sharp hop with the rod tip to entice them. It does take a little feel to do correctly, but it is by far the most effective method to catch pompano.
We have also had some great trout fishing with plenty of fish in the 15 to 19 inch range cooperating. Jigs as well as live baits such as shrimp and sardines get bites. I am finding the trout on and along the edges of shallow flats. Again, good tide movement is key to the best action.
We continued to have some great catch and release snook fishing up until a few days ago when the tides slowed down. Good numbers of snook were boated with a few fish ranging upward toward the 30 inch range. Charlotte Harvey boated a beauty a couple days before Christmas. Usually this time of year, the water temperatures are as much as 10 degrees cooler. It is a bit unusual to have this kind of action this time of year.
Stronger tides during the week of New Years Day should really spark up the action. I am looking forward to some productive days on the water. Happy New Year!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
December 15, 2013
Unusually warm weather has persisted here all month and has provided an extended fall pattern on the fishing scene. With just a few exceptions, catching has remained good with lots of snook, sea trout, redfish and lots of giant jack crevalle bringing most of the action.
With the warm water, I have still been catching live bait fish before most trips. This is not the norm for the middle of December, but has aided in some great action with the snook in particular. The snook season closed on Dec. 1 so it has been all catch and release fishing for these great fish.
Redfishing has remained consistent with plenty of mid slot sized fish still being caught. Live baits such as pilchards and shrimp are a sure thing, but we have also had success with soft jigs as well as sight fishing at low tide to tailing fish with fly rods. Redfish action has been as good as it gets on some outings.
Sea trout have been schooling in big numbers in several spots with plenty of fish in the 15 to 17 inch range available. They seem to be preferring the live baits right now, but jigs have been working on some fish as well.
We are expecting several days of cooler weather in the upcoming week. I expect that as the water cools off, the fishing might only get better in the backwaters with more trout and other fish such as pompano, bluefish and black drum making a showing.
= Capt. Todd Geroy
December 1, 2013
December is here, and we are starting to notice more of a transition in the fishing to a cool weather pattern as a strong cold front arrived just before Thanksgiving. The front brought chilly temperatures and gusty conditions to the area. With that, the water temperatures have dropped as much as 15 degrees in just a couple of days. I have to admit that the conditions, especially the gusty winds have made the catching, well a bit challenging. We did manage to find a variety of different species biting however. It just took a little more effort and patience to produce.
Within the course of last week, we transitioned from using live sardines that were producing some great late fall snook action as well as some nice redfish to live shrimp and jigs. Anglers managed to catch a mixed bag of fish on each outing. Black drum to 7 lbs. along with gag grouper, mangrove snapper and sheepshead were common catches while fishing some of the protected, deeper holes in the back country. We did well using half shrimp on a small jig head or rigged with a hook and split shot fished near the bottom.
Sea trout have showed up in pretty good numbers along the edges of some of the flats in the bays. We did well with jigs tipped with shrimp as well as live shrimp drifted with a very small split shot. The trout have been running in the 14 to 18 inch range. It has not been hard for anglers to catch their limit for the dinner table.
Redfishing got harder as the week went on. Despite efforts to find them, we were only able to produce a couple of fish since Tuesday. They are around, but I have concluded that they just decided not to bite during the dramatic change in the weather pattern. I’m sure they will decide to eat again soon.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
November 21, 2013
The month of November has continued to deliver fantastic weather and along with it some great days of fishing on the inshore waters of SW Florida!
There have been plenty of snook around from numerous fish in the 20 to 24 inch range to some impressive snook catches with fish ranging to 38 inches. Live baits have provided the best action, and several trips have released as many as 30 snook on half day trips.
Redfish also continue to please anglers with plenty of nice fish caught in the last week or two. The reds are running from 23 to 28 inches. They can be caught sight fishing in the shallows at low tide or in pockets along mangrove edges on the flood tide. We have been catching reds on live baits as well as jigs and flies. The redfish action should continue for the next several weeks.
I have found an increasing number of sea trout showing up on trips. I expect the trout fishing to really take off once cooler weather finally settles into our area. Along with trout, pompano and bluefish are due to make a strong appearance as well.
I am looking forward to some fine fishing for the remainder of the month and into December.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
November 6, 2013
We have hit November running with a busy schedule and some great fishing. Redfish are still targets and while the larger schools of the previous months have seemed to scatter, we are still boating some very nice redfish on every trip with quite a few ranging up to 30 inches. The average reds have been mid-slot fish in the 23 to 26 inch range. Higher tides are providing the best action as usual. Live bait as well as jigs are both fooling the redfish.
Snook fishing has been decent with plenty of smallish fish keeping us busy. There is an abundance of juvenile snook in the 20 to 23 inch range just about anywhere we go. We have released some larger snook in the last week with several fish in the 35 to 38 inch range. A couple larger fish have also been hooked up but managed to make their way into the cover and break off on the light tackle.
Tarpon have made a very strong showing along area beaches and near passes as cooler water has triggered a mass migration of mullet and other bait fish. The tarpon are large fish in the 75 to 175 lb. range. My anglers have been concentrating on other species recently and we have not targeted the tarpon at all. However there have been some anglers working them with success.
Last weekend Capt. Ben guided in the 20th annual Redsnook Charity Catch and Release Tournament with anglers Doug Poe and Matt Riley. They fished hard for two days in a large field of boats catching and releasing a number of snook and redfish. A strong cool front moved through on Saturday afternoon bringing strong winds and a fluctuating barometer for Sundays fishing. The team fought the bad conditions and came out with a second place finish, just missing first by a few inches. Congratulations to Capt. Ben and team!
Now is the time to get in some great fishing on the backwaters of SW Florida! Let’s go fishing!
–Capt. Todd Geroy
October 28, 2013
October was a very busy month for us on the backwaters of Naples and Marco Island. Fishing most every day during the last month, the fish did not disappoint with some great catches of redfish and snook as well as the appearance of a variety of other species showing up as the first shot of cooler weather moved through the area.
Redfish have dominated the action most trips in recent weeks. While the larger schools of several weeks ago have seemed to scatter, they have still been very reliable. We are finding reds just about anywhere we fish from shallow shorelines of large bays to flats to some of the deeper holes the interior creeks. Live baits do very well, but 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with shrimp and Berkley Gulp shrimp on a jig head are killers on the reds. The redfish in the area have all been running in the 23 to 30 inch range.
Snook fishing continues to be decent with plenty of small fish being caught in the 22 to 26 inch range on up to 35 inch fish like the one released last week by Sandy Martin. Live sardines have been the bait of choice. With cooler water temperatures, I expect more snook to be making the move from outside beaches and passes into the back bays. We should continue to have great snook action through November.
Last week we experienced the first cool front of the season moving through the area. The change in weather triggered a big push of mullet migrating through the area. The big tarpon were here to take advantage of it going on a full out feeding frenzy near area passes for a couple of days. Although my anglers were interested in targeting other species, there were a few local guides and anglers taking advantage of this annual phenomenon hooking up with numerous giant tarpon. There should be at least a few more opportunities for this action in the upcoming weeks. It is a matter of timing with the fall weather systems moving through with desirable tides.
Cooler weather has brought a variety of other species into our daily catch. We have routinely been encountering sea trout, flounder, mangrove snapper, gag and goliath grouper as well as some rather large jack crevalle. I expect pompano to begin their annual fall run any day now.
I am looking forward to some more great fishing in November!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
October 13, 2013
For many years when asked what my favorite month of the year is to fish in Southwest Florida, I have been quick to answer “October”. October is a transition month. Although our seasonal changes are subtle here, there is a definite change going on. With shorter days, slightly milder temperatures, and less humidity, it is as if someone flipped a switch triggering many local species to go into feeding mode.
October is by far the best month for my anglers to experience a “Grand Slam” with tarpon, snook and redfish all becoming reliable targets on a single trip. Other fish showing up with regularity include sea trout, spanish mackerel, big jack crevalle and some impressive cobia.
This month has not disappointed, with our anglers having some great catches of all species with the redfish continuing to show in the best numbers in several years! We have had trips recently where our anglers are getting into schools of countless redfish, providing non-stop hard fighting action. Best tides for reds have been around the full or new moon phases when tides are strongest. High tide seems to provide the best action.
Early last week I fished a very windy, drizzly afternoon with Wayne Caveno from Alexandria, VA along with daugher Kathy and son-in-law Corey. The trio endured some extreme weather conditions along with a very high tide which pushed fish way under the heavy mangrove cover. We fished hard and were rewarded with countless upper slot redfish, snook and some hefty jack crevalle all providing constant action.
Snook fishing continues to be strong in the area, with some nice slot fish being caught (28 to 33 inches). The snook have begun to move into the back waters more and more as the water has cooled in recent weeks. LIve baits such as sardines and thread herring are getting the most attention, although artificals such as topwater plugs, soft plastics and flies will take plenty of fish right now.
Tarpon have been reliable, especially with the juvenile fish form 12 to 25 lbs. We have been into them on most every trip that we target them. These small warriors provide great fun on our light tackle with strong runs and acrobatic jumps! We are anxiously awaiting a fall run of large tarpon as mullet begin an annual fall migration in huge numbers.
Other fish in the line up have included cobia, sea trout, mangrove snapper, some giant jack crevalle and juvenile goliath grouper. There is not a better time to get out and experience all that our waters have to offer!
Here are some photos from a few trips so far this month…
Let’s go fishing!!!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
September 29, 2013
September was a great month for fishing in our area with a major push of redfish moving in along with plenty of snook action and some of the most reliable juvenile tarpon fishing I have had since before the massive fish kill from the cold winter of 2010. Last week was a challenge with weather however. Southwest Florida was saturated by heavy rains all week long finally giving a break into some more comfortable, fall like weather this weekend. The trips I took out did score on nice redfish and snook along with tarpon on each trip.
Friday morning, 9/27 I fished with John Shroyer and Dr. Paul Richards. The gentleman had a great morning catching the best fish that we have to offer including a “Grand Slam” by John with tarpon, snook and redfish all caught in the same morning. Paul also caught a number of redfish and snook ranging to 32 inches.
I expect the upcoming week to really heat up with the upcoming new moon this week. October is my absolute favorite month to fish of the year. Shorter days and slightly cooler water should help the bite continue throughout the day. I’m looking forward to some great catches in the upcoming week!
September 20, 2013
As mentioned and expected in my previous report, the fishing has really broken loose the last week or so in our area. Scores of bait fish have moved in and the fish have really been feeding up.
Redfish have been on the top of the list with schools reds showing up both along the outside along beaches and passes as well as all over the back waters. We have had several trips where the redfish have been hitting every cast when a school is found. A majority of the fish have been in the 24 to 27 inch range with some running to 30 inches. I can say that so far, the redfish action has been as good as I’ve seen it in several years. It should continue for through October into November.
Snook action has also been hot and heavy. We are still hooking up with some large fish ranging to the 16 pound range. Several half day trips have boated as many as 25 snook while using live bait. There a loads of juvenile snook in the area now, a good sign that the future population is growing. We urge catch and release as these great fish recover from the massive fish kill that resulted from the cold winter of 2010.
Naplesfishing.com had the honor of participating with two boats in the 4th annual Naples Take a Soldier Fishing Tournament last Saturday. Over 60 boats donated their time to take over a hundred active duty soldiers as well as a few veterans out for a day of fun on the water. Other community businesses and and individuals donated their time and services to provide lodging, food, drink and prizes for these American heros. It was a huge, successful event with a weigh in at the docks at Bayfront in Naples where hundreds of residents came out to welcome the boats and show support! Proceeds generated are donated to the Wounded Warriors Project. Fantastic!!!
Fishing was nothing short of fantastic for the tournament. Both Ben and I were able to catch a load of nice redfish along with snook and seatrout to provide plenty of action and get into the competition.
I fished with Navy PO Eric Miller who had done very little fishing before. A very high tide in the morning proved to be challenging for casting under the mangrove cover, but it is also my favorite time to catch redfish. Persistence paid off and after a few stops, we found a school of hungry redfish mixed in with snook providing action on every cast that hit the pocket. Eric put redfish into the well for the weigh in later as well as releasing a bunch more redfish and snook. We headed on to try for a couple of trout to go towards our combined weigh in of reds and trout. We found trout working on the edge of a shallow flat as the tide dumped out and managed to put an 18 incher in the boat quickly. After that, Murphy’s Law caught up and every trout that bit and got hooked up managed to come off. All in all it was a great day of fishing with a fine young man.
Capt. Ben shared his boat with Vietnam veterans Dave Revard and John Webb. The team managed to boat numerous nice redfish along with a good catch of snook. A great day on the water for a good cause.
Another notable trip was yesterday morning, Sept. 19. I once again had Thursday regulars Bill and Jack Forte’ aboard. We had a super morning with plenty of action including loads of snook and redfish along with Bill catching a “Grand Slam” with snook, redfish and tarpon all boated in a half day trip! Congratulations Bill!
September 7, 2013
September is one of my very favorite months to fish here in SW Florida. This month usually kicks off our fall run of redfish. Snook and juvenile tarpon are also cooperative, providing great opportunities for anglers to catch the “Grand Slam”.
Heavy rains in our region have continued and have contributed to some very heavy freshwater runoff in the backwaters. The waters are quite brackish in some areas and the tannin stained water can even be found along the beaches. A majority of the snook action has been toward the outside near the passes although we have been finding some nice fish scattered further into the back country.
On Thursday morning, I fished with regular clients Bill and Jack Forte’. The brothers caught numerous snook as well as redfish and countless jack crevalle. The trips was topped off at the last stop by a 16 lb. 38 inch snook caught and released by Bill on light tackle.
Redfish are cooperating on recent trips especially on higher stages of the tide both incoming and outgoing. Live and cut baits are getting the most bites. We are concentrating on flooded mangrove shorelines with shell bottom. The redfish are averaging 23 to 26 inches.
Shark fishing has been dependable with bull, lemon and blacktip sharks all in the line up. Friday morning I fished with Jim Bongard of Naples along with his daughter Amy and husband Chris visiting from Chicago while celebrating their 10th anniversary . They were excited to head out in pursuit of some big shallow water beasts! The sharks did not disappoint, with three brought to the boat for release. Amy wrangled a feisty 6 ft. blacktip which battled for over a half hour. Chris boated a small bull shark and a 5 1/2 foot lemon before it was over. Another enjoyable day on the water with great folks!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
August 19, 2013
Fishing in the backwaters has been very productive in recent days. Capt. Ben and I have both enjoyed some great action with clients catching numerous redfish, snook and hooking into some feisty juvenile tarpon on our trips lately.
Redfishing really picked up later last week as the tides preceding this week’s full moon strengthened. We are finding plenty of mid to upper slot redfish on mangrove points and shorelines on the higher stages of the tide. Live sardines were the bait of choice. We have been finding the redfish in both Rookery Bay and Johnson Bay.
Catch and release snook fishing was also good. A majority of the snook are running in the 20 to 25 inch range, but a few in the upper 20’s were also released. Again, live baits such as sardines (white bait) are quickly consumed when the snook are around.
I have still been getting anglers hooked up with tarpon in the 15 to 25 lb. class on just about every trip. I love to throw plugs to these fish. The old school Heddon “Lucky 13” retrieved slowly often gets hammered. Of course live baits presented near them are almost a sure thing. These smaller fish are super jumpers and great fun on light tackle.
I am looking forward to more great fishing in the next weeks to come.
-Capt. Todd Geroy
August 11, 2013
The dog days of summer are upon us. Temperatures have been ranging into the low 90’s each day followed by afternoon thunderstorms. This is the time of year that I take a little time off, work on the boats and get ready for another busy season that is right around the corner. I have been running a few trips, and my anglers have been enjoying a variety of species as well as enjoying having the water to themselves. Mornings are the time to fish this time of year. I have been leaving the dock a little earlier lately in an effort to beat the heat and get in before the afternoon rains move in.
We have been having good success with juvenile tarpon recently. They are great targets with light spin and fly tackle and take a variety of lures, flies and natural baits. I am finding them rolling along shallow mangrove shorelines as well as further inland in several of the deeper channels and creeks. Spots that have a “cross roads” of currents merging are key spots to focus on. Typical size for these fish has been 12 to 25 lbs.
There are still plenty of snook being caught, but not in quite the numbers or sizes that we had a few weeks ago. The fish have finished their spawning activity by now and are a bit more scattered. Warm water temperatures have slowed their feeding a bit, and making them sluggish.
Redfish are still scattered just about anywhere and most we are catching have been in 24 to 29 inch range. Live baits such as pilchards and shrimp as well as cut baits are taking most of the reds, but they will also react to jigs, plugs and spoons for those that want to work for them.
Sharks have been ever present and are always great target species for folks wanting to do battle with a monster fish.
Late summer is a great time to get on the water with no crowds and enjoy some great fishing opportunities!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
July 28, 2013
We had better weather last week than the previous with things drying up a little and managing to get out fishing daily as well as a couple evening trips. Fishing action held up with redfish and snook still strong as well as juvenile tarpon and plenty of sharks bringing smiles to my anglers.
Last weekend, I fished a local charity tournament benefiting the University of Florida Construction School. This was my third time fishing the TR Rushing Construction Co. team out of four years that the tournament has existed. We have come in the top three every year and added another second place finish this year. We released redfish to 26 inches along with snook to 27 inches to come in just four inches from first place. It was a great, fun event with strong competition followed by a wonderful party hosted by Hamilton Harbor Yacht club. We are looking forward to next year already!
The rest of the week brought great catches of redfish, snook, sharks and tarpon ranging in from 15 to 30 lb. class. Great fun on light tackle. I have seen an increase in the juvenile tarpon during the last week with the influence of fresh water run off flushing through the back country. These events usually push plenty of fish out of the inland creeks and concentrate them along the shorelines in the back bays. The small tarpon take artificial lures and flies very well as well as live baits.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
July 17, 2013
Fishing remains strong despite some very heavy periods of rain throughout South Florida. With the rains, the waters have cooled a bit making the fish especially feisty and feeding more through the day than previous weeks.
Redfish have made a sudden appearance showing up in good numbers through out the back bays. Live baits such as shiners and shrimp are taking plenty as well as soft plastic jigs and Gulp shrimp. Natural colors such as “root beer”, “new penny” and “molting” do well in the stained water.
Snook are still very reliable with plenty of fish schooled up in the passes, but also scattered through the backwaters. This time of year, we usually start to find some very large post-spawn fish in the deeper runs and channels of the back country.
Sharks are ever present and are making easy targets for those who want to pick a fight with a big fish. Lemons and bulls are running from 5 to 8 feet long. All are being caught in the shallow, calm bays.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
July 1, 2013
Summer is in full swing now as water temperatures have really heated up and the afternoon rains have begun to be a daily event. The trick to summer fishing in SW Florida is to plan your fishing in the morning and evening hours avoiding the mid-day heat.
I have seen afternoon water temperatures reaching 93 degrees in the bay recently. That makes the fish a bit sluggish until the later evening hours. Some anglers have been taking advantage of the sunset trips with good results. However, it has been a bit of a gamble with the lightening producing afternoon thunderstorms getting in the way.
Ben and I have had some great catches in the last week or so with many large snook still making happy memories for our anglers. Shark fishing has been as easy as it gets with mainly bull and lemons sharks ranging from 5 foot scrappers to 8 1/2 foot bruisers. They are providing great action for those who want to catch a big fish and get a work out at the same time!
Redfish have also been showing up in many of the spot we are concentrating on snook. Although they are not schooled up, they are very nice fish running in the 24 to 30 inch range when we find them.
The following are photos of some of the snook released in the last week with Capt. Ben and I. …
July promises to be a great month to get on the water and catch some trophy sized fish in the backwaters!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
June 17, 2013
Wow! Fishing really turned on last week as the waters cleared from the stormy conditions we experienced the previous week.
The snook fishing has been especially strong with some of the largest fish of the year being caught and released. We also found some large redfish in the mix running up to 30 inches or more.
Although I did not fish for them, I did see plenty of tarpon in the area. They were throughout the inshore bays and appeared to be ranging from 20 lb. juveniles to large fish over 100 lbs. It is not too late to get out and take a shot at these great fish.
Last Wednesday, Capt. Ben and I took a morning off and headed out together for a rare day of fishing together. We easily loaded the boat with live sardines and headed inland to search for the big snook that we knew were lurking in some of our favorite spots. The fish did not disappoint us! In four hours of fishing, we released over 35 snook with four of the fish measuring out at the mid 30 inch mark and one caught by Ben measuring 42 inches and weighing in at 25 lbs!
Most all of the snook including the largest ones were caught while sight fishing in less than two feet of water. We also released seatrout, goliath grouper and redfish to 30 inches. Here are some photos from our morning…
Another trip out last week was with Ryan and Kevin Petnuch. These youngsters now in their teens have been fishing with me for many years as they started coming on the boat with their dad when they were as young as four.
At their request, we started the day with some action fishing. The boys released quite a few nice snook along with a big redfish and numerous fighting jack crevalle. Late in the morning we moved on to do battle with a couple of large sharks and then ended the trip at another snook spot where they hooked into a couple of large fish which managed to throw the hooks. All in all it was a great morning with all kinds of great action and some real nice fish released.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 27, 2013
Summer is officially here and we have enjoyed some fine fishing so far. Snook are staging near the passes for the spawning season, tarpon are providing some big action along wtih an abundance of sharks and redfish continue to please anglers.
Tarpon are being found both in the back bays as well as off the beaches. We are fishing them with a variety of live and cut bait. The fish are running anywhere from 75 lbs. and up. A recent trip with Matthew McCall and father Tony produced a 90 lber caught in only 3 ft. of water. The fish was caught using a mullet for bait. The duo also did battle with some hefty blacktip, bull and lemon sharks to 175 lbs. A highlight was a large blacktip shark that put up a long battle before measuring out at over 6 ft. boat side. It was one of the larger blacktips that I have seen.
Snook fishing this time of year is about as good as it gets. Big numbers of fish are schooling in the area passes and go on a feeding frenzy particularly on the outgoing tide. We are also hitting plenty of snook along the outside beaches. Sight fishing when the water is calm and clear in open space is always a fun alternative to fishing the cover of mangroves where we spend much of our time.
I fished several trips last week with Bryant and Sandi Garner whom I have fished for many years as they make an annual treck for some May fishing in Naples. Through the week, they boated numerous snook, redfish and some giant jack crevalle. Friday mornings trip produced a beautiful 35 inch, 14 lber for Bryant.
Capt. Ben has has the same results on recent trips. Saturday, Ben guided the Milos party to some great action with the snook, redfish and big sharks.
Let’s get out there for some big action right now!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 7, 2013
I am a little delayed with my fishing report. Time has just gotten away from me for the last few weeks. A busy April flew by and here we are into May! The fishing action has been very good overall with some large snook, redfish, tarpon and sharks making appearances.
Snook fishing has been good with fish ranging to the 20 lb. mark in the passes and channels near the outside. Plenty of small fish are still scattered through the back bays and taking live baits as well as soft plastic swim baits and flies.
Redfish have been reliable as well and as usual the higher tide phases provide the best opportunities with well placed baits under the mangrove cover. We did find a good number of reds on a recent trip while fishing a falling tide under several docks behind Keewaydin Island. There were snook and some seatrout to 20 inches mixed in.
Tarpon are of course the stars of the late spring line up in Southwest Florida and they are showing in good numbers. They are being found in the larger inside bays and when the weather and wind are cooperating, along the beaches. Starting last weekend, we have had a prevailing NW wind making the gulf waters very rough and turbid shutting down the beach run tarpon fishing for a few days. I expect it to bounce back by next weekend when the winds finally turn around and the waters clear up. We should continue to have good tarpon shots through June.
Capt. Todd Geroy
April 21, 2013
As I sit writing this report on a Sunday afternoon with summer-like thunderstorms outside, I can’t believe how quickly the seasons have changed in just a matter of a couple of weeks. The fishing scene has definitely made a fast transition into a warm pattern with tarpon, big sharks, snook and redfish all in the offering right now. An angler can pretty much pick his quarry and pursue it with reasonable confidence of success.
Tarpon have shown up in good numbers through out the back bays. We have dedicated a few trips to them in the last week or so and have managed to hook up with 7 big fish while bringing two boat side including a big 120 lb. tarpon caught by Burke Cessna. Plenty of big sharks are in the same areas and are keeping us busy between tarpon bites. The sharks are a “sure thing” right now and are ranging from 5 footers to 8 foot behemoths in excess of 250 lbs! The most common are bull, lemon and blacktips.
Snook fishing has been good. We have had some trips releasing upwards of 20 fish in a half day. There are loads of 20 to 25 inchers with a few 30 inches and bigger thrown in the mix. We are finding snook just about everywhere from the passes to deep in the back country. Live sardines are key to catching big numbers. A by catch while snook fishing has been an abundance of hard fighting jack crevalle. We have caught jacks to 15 lbs. in the last couple of weeks. These great fighters really put anglers and gear to the test!
Redfish have been cooperating with quite a few fish caught averaging 24 inches. Live baits fished tight along flooded shorelines are getting the most bites. Catching redfish right noiw is a matter of making good casts in specific pockets and points and moving often to cover as much water as possible. They seem to hit on the first cast or two if they are in the area.
Ben and I are looking forward to more great fishing during the next few weeks. Tarpon fishing should get better and better through April and into May. May and June are peak months for big tarpon in Southwest Florida. Contact us for remaining dates during premium tide phases.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
April 9, 2013
April is underway and we are finally settling into a more normal spring pattern. Throughout the last few weeks, we have ridden the rollercoaster of weather as cold fronts continued to roll in each week bringing record low temperatures and some very windy days. It has been said by locals that we have the best of the worst weather in the country! I have to agree to that statement. Never the less, we have kept busy with full schedules despite some challenging weather days. As spring break continued throughout the country, many of our trips included youngsters visiting from the north seeking any kind of action.
There were some good days and some tough days but despite conditions, most trips caught plenty of fish and many produced some nice fish. Plenty of sheepshead kept us busy when things were rough, as they did not seem to mind the muddy water and rough conditions. Several trips found a few nice redfish and black drum along the mangroves as well as some very nice trout.
We are on a warming trend now and the fishing is already starting to break loose as snook are getting more active along with more redfish and quite a few tarpon showing up as the waters warm quickly.
Catch and release snook fishing has been great the last few days, with a couple trips out releasing up to 20 fish. Live sardines are eagerly being consumed by the snook that almost seem deprived of a good meal after a pretty harsh winter.
Redfish are starting to show in better numbers and are averaging 3-6 lbs. A trip a few days ago with Bill Porter and Wynn Paulson with me produced a flurry of nice reds as we found them schooled up.
Capt. Ben has kept busy and is keeping is clients on the fish recently. Here are a few of his early April catches…
Spring is in full swing now. Let’s get out for some outstanding tarpon and snook fishing soon! Prime tide dates are going fast for the next couple months.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 25, 2013
We have had a pretty good run of action in the last week with few exceptions. Capt. Ben and I have managed to keep the rods bent on a variety of species including everything from sheepshead, trout, pompano, redfish, big jack crevalle and snook to big sharks and even a hook up on a large tarpon on Ben’s boat.
Sheepshead continue to be schooled up heavily spawning in the passes. Trout are being caught through out the area from outside passes to inland channel edges as they begin their spring spawn. Redfish are starting to turn on a little more now along mangrove shorelines and oyster beds. Snook fishing is picking up with fish scattered everywhere from the passes to inland bays.
I spent two afternoons with Ted Noeftling and each of two sons, Tanner (8) and Will (6) from Pittsburgh. Will and Tanner caught countless sheepshead before we moved on to find a bigger pull on the line. Using live sardines, the two anglers soon were hooked up to some solid jack crevalle running to 10 lbs. Tanner had his hands full with this feisty jack…
The following day Ted returned with his 6 year old son Will for his first backwater fishing trip. Will really worked over the fish all afternoon as he counted all 28 fish he caught. The sheepshead were more than cooperative but Will also managed to catch mangrove snapper, sea trout, spanish mackerel and snook during the afternoon outing. Here is Will with a beautiful trout…
Capt. Ben got his clients onto a similar variety of fish though the week. He also managed some nice redfish including a couple on an outing with Whit Harvey and wife Jo Ann. Here is Jo Ann with one from Friday afternoon…
On Saturday, Ben fished with Bob Ellis and family for the second time in a week. The plan for this day was to head into the back bays in search of sharks. They weren’t disappointed as within minutes they were hooked up and brought a 6 foot bull shark boat side for a release. Three more sharks were hooked up including another bull brought to the boat, a battle with a large blacktip which ended up biting through the leader and another shark that managed to send back an empty hook. The finale in the last minutes of the morning trip was a 100 lb. class tarpon hook up that put on the usual spectacle of jumps before managing to throw the hook. A great thrill for anglers even when they get away!
The tarpon have been in the area off and on for the last couple of months. They should become more an more active as waters finally stay on the warm side. The tarpon will soon become a primary focus on many of our trips. It is just a matter of comittment to get the hookups.
It is time to get on the schedule for some big spring fish in SW Florida!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 17, 2013
The saying is that “March roars in like a lion” has held true this year! The last two weeks have brought some relentless weather systems to Southwest Florida. With one cold front after another bringing cool temperatures and many days of strong northerly winds, water temperatures dropped into the 60 degree range making fish a bit lethargic. It has been rare to have a day where we have taken the jackets off. Despite that, Capt. Ben and I have had a full schedule and have been working hard to keep clients on the fish. Some days have been just plain tough to get the bites with less than favorable conditions, some days have turned out some fine catches.
Sea trout have been cooperating in some of the deep channels way inside. I fishes last Friday afternoon with Dave Dougherty and Jim Chisholm. The guys caught at least 30 trout in one spot using Gulp shrimp on jig heads. The fish all ranged from 16 to 19 inches. all but a couple for dinner were released.
Redfishing has remained a bit spotty, but we managed fish in the 23 to 25 inch range on several trips. Live shrimp presented along flooded mangroves at high tide produced a few fish. I expect redfishing to improve as soon as warmer, more consistent weather patterns settle in. Here are some pictures of a few anglers and their redfish from the last week…
Sheepshead are schooled up heavily in the passes right now and feeding well on pieces of shrimp fished near the bottom. Many of the fish are running in the 3 to 4 pound range. They provide plenty of action on some of the cooler days and are great table fish. Along with them are some nice black drum and a few redfish.
We are expecting a warmer week ahead. If this forecast holds true, we should see the return of snook action and maybe some tarpon starting to move into the area. We are ready for spring to settle in and the fishing action to really explode.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 2, 2013
We have now rolled into March and are off to a good start with last weeks fishing showing a strong rebound from previous weeks. Red tide no longer seems be an issue on the inland waters at least for now. Warming waters and the return of bait fish have contributed to some great action with snook, redfish and a variety of other fish.
Snook fishing really turned on last week as water temperatures reached the upper 70’s for the first time since early December. It was as if somebody opened the gates and the snook magically appeared on the scene. We caught as many as 30 or more on a couple of trips, releasing many small fish and several ranging to 28 inches. Live sardines were the bait of choice.
Redfish were also cooperating on several trips for Capt. Ben and myself. We sight fished to cruising reds on shallow edges at low tide as well as producing fish along flooded oyster laden shore lines at high tide. Sardines, shrimp and jigs all took fish this week.
On Friday, Ben fished with Kevin Vance, Scott Steinberger and young sons Jackson and Wyatt Steinberger. The group caught a variety of fish including redfish, some hefty black drum, snook, mangrove snapper, gag grouper and big jack crevalle. Here is Scott with a nice redfish…
I spent a full day out on Friday with Bill Palmer, son David and their buddy Gary. A gloomy, chilly day with temperatures only reaching 63 degrees, we found some great action. Using live sardines all day they released over 30 snook, countless jack crevalle and nice redfish. Here is Gary with a nice redfish released late in the day…
During the week we also found some nice sea trout running to 18 inches along with pompano and bluefish. I have been spotting some big tarpon in the back bays along with sharks, but we have not made any attempts for hookups yet. It is looking like March fishing is going to shape up nicely!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 17, 2013
Last week brought a continuation of the red tide affecting the fishing action on the inshore waters of our area. We fished hard and managed to pull off some real nice fish on several trips. Weather was a challenge with some heavy winds mid week preceding a couple of rainy days Thursday and Friday followed by a strong cold front arriving Saturday.
Or main target through the week was anything that would bite. I tried to stay well inland for the most part, jumping from spot to spot to knock on as many doors as possible and avoid the worst of the red tide. We caught some very nice redfish ranging to 25 inches using live shrimp cast into pockets along points and shorelines. Plenty of mangrove snapper were in the mix as well as some small snook, black drum and some sheepshead. Casting was difficult with very high tides and windy conditions mid- week, but anglers that could get the baits into tight quarters were rewarded.
We also did pretty well on a couple of the trips fishing the outside passes for sheepshead which are congregating to spawn right now. We caught quite a few ranging up to 3 1/2 pounds using pieces of shrimp fished near bottom structure.
Trout and pompano remained to be scarce due to poor water conditions in and around the outer bays where they are found this time of year. Conditions seem to be improving and with the wind change occuring with this cold front, I am hopeful that we will see improvement over the next couple of days.
Saturday morning, I fished with long time clients Doug Brown and his sons Jeff and Dave. We fished as the front moved through and northerly winds increased and experienced some pretty solid fishing compared to the previous days. The group managed five nice redfish in the half day along with loads of mangrove snapper and black drum. Here is Jeff with a 25 inch red caught way inland near Rookery Bay Saturday morning…
Capt. Ben Geroy also experienced similar results on his trips during the week. Some decent redfish along with a mixed bag of other species kept his clients busy while dealing with changing weather conditions and poor water conditions associated with the red tide. Friday afternoon, Ben headed out in the rain with Mike Dyer and buddies. They found a couple of nice redfish willing to play along with plenty of snapper and some jack crevalle. Here is Mike and the group with a nice backcountry red released on 2/15/2013
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 12, 2013
Well, the great fishing we encountered last week came to a bit of a speed bump late last week as red tide creeped inland. The algae bloom, having been prevalent along beaches and just offshore during recent months finally made its way through out the inshore waters of Naples to South Marco Island. There has been an abundance of dead fish washing up mainly mullet and catfish. Red tide at this level does not kill our game fish but slows down feeding activity as oxygen levels are depleted. Click Hereto learn more about red tide.
Despite the challenging conditions, we are still hard at it and finding a few very nice fish still willing to bite the hooks. Redfish in the 22-26 inch range can be found cruising the shallow edges at low tide. Yesterday morning (Monday) we found several schools working in less that 1 foot of water. They were waking, tailing and feeding heavily near the surface on glass minnows. We made some accurate casts to fish that we could see and managed to hook up with several nice fish averaging 24 inches. We took two home for dinner and as I filleted them found that they were completely gorged with the small bait fish. Coming off of the new moon phase, tides are running very high in the afternoon. Anglers who are persistent in getting their baits far under the mangrove cover are also being rewarded with a few nice redfish each trip.
Large sheepshead are being caught along the outside beaches and passes. Bottom fishing with a piece of shrimp will fool these picky biters. Some of them are running upwards of five pounds. Scrappy fighters, they are also great table fish.
Pompano and trout action seems to have subsided for now, but I expect they will return on the scene as soon as the water conditions shape up a little.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 2, 2013
We ended January and merged into February with some outstanding trips last week! Coming off of the last full moon, the redfish made a sudden appearance from where ever they had been hiding for the last month or so. Several trips caught more reds than I have caught total in over two months! Trout and pompano were also willing to bite as well as some large sheepshead and as many as 12 other species mixed in.
The redfish were most active during the afternoon trips. High tides and steady southerly winds are often the best combination for redfish here and it all came together. Anglers on both my boat and Capt. Ben’s boat caught numerous slot sized reds. The larger ones were right at 26 inches. Live shrimp delivered under the flooded mangrove overhangs were the ticket to success. Some decent snapper and a few snook were mixed in with the reds.
Some great trout and pompano fishing was also available. We did well on the morning trips using shrimp tipped jigs worked in deep troughs adjacent to shallow bars and flats. Most of the trout are running in the 15 to 18 inch range. The pompano are in the same areas and running from 12 inches to 18 inches.
A strong cool front came through Thursday night bringing temperatures down to 45 degrees Friday morning. We headed out Friday morning with what I promised to be some of my favorite conditions for winter fishing. It turned out to be a fabulous day with countless redfish, trout, pompano, snook and 10 other species on fire!
Prospects for February are for more of the same. Capt. Ben still has some openings through the month. Plan ahead for the best tides options.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
January 26, 2013
This is my last fishing report for January and while this month has had some ups and downs on the fishing front, I must say that it is winding down on the strong side. Cooler weather moved in on Tuesday evening and as the water temps have dropped gradually, the fish have gotten more concentrated in the back bays south of Naples.
Trout have been the most responsive targets. We have managed to boat a bunch of nice ones in the 15 to 18 inch range the last few days. We are doing quite well fishing channels with Berkley Gulp shrimp rigged on 3/8 oz. jig heads. The most productive spots are in stronger tide flow, especially where there is a break in the current caused by a merging of two channels or a point or shallow bar creating a rip.
Pompano really have turned on as well. They are being caught in many of the same areas as the trout. They are averaging 14 to 16 inches. A shrimp tipped surgical tube jig is deadly.
Redfish remain scattered with only a few fish caught during the week. Early last week, I had a dedicated and skilled young angler out for an afternoon with his grandfather and friend. Rich impressed us with his skills with a spinning rod as he was able to repeatedly fire live shrimp way under the mangrove cover. The results were several redfish in the 23 to 25 inch range for Rich. While we worked hard to find them, the rewards were high.
With the cooler water, the sheepshead are also making an appearance. Some of them have been running to about 4 pounds and provide great table fare as well as being strong fighters.
I am looking forward to another busy week and some great winter fishing!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
January 20, 2013
Another busy week as we round the corner to the end of January. Last week was a productive week overall on both boats with myself and Capt. Ben having success on a number of species and the action picking up from the previous week or so.
We both had good success with redfish on several of the trips. Most were caught at high tide and took live shrimp either free lined under the mangroves or with a small split shot attached. Most were keeper size, ranging up to 24 inches.
Trout fishing was pretty good for me, I managed limits on a couple trips while fishing outgoing tides in channels near shallow flats. Live shrimp were the bait of choice. Typically, we have good success this time of year with jigs, but the trout have been a bit picky, only taking the shrimp. In the same areas, we enjoyed some fast action with bluefish to 5 lbs. and some large spanish mackerel to 5 lbs. Also a good number of pompano and even juvenile permit.
Friday, a cool front had come through bringing a drastic change to the temperature overnight. I headed out with Bob and Scott and hit the deeper creeks to avoid the chilly wind. We sat in two spots for several hours and had continuous action with large black drum, snook, redfish, sheepshead, snapper and flounder. As the morning progressed, the lack of sunshine and cold wind had gotten to us and we returned to the dock an hour early to clean fish and thaw out. Finally the sun broke through as I returned on the afternoon trip and again found a mixed bag of drum, sheepshead, flounder, some nice sea trout and a couple of permit.
Another busy week ahead of me and I am looking forward to some great winter fishing in the backwaters!
Capt. Todd Geroy
January 9, 2013
We have been on an incredible streak of beautiful, warm weather for the last 5 days now. Given that, it probably sounds strange for me to say that I wish it would get cold and windy again! While this unseasonable warm up is pleasant for us that enjoy outdoor activities, it really throws the fishing action off.
I have been slammed for weeks now, fishing two half days daily except for the weekends. The fishing has been a roller coaster for the last week with no particular pattern or consistency from one trip to the next regarding what we might catch. The warm weather has brought in a good number of large tarpon to the backwaters however, I have not given them a shot as I just have not had anglers aboard that seriously want to target them. I am seeing quite a few in several areas daily.
Another interesting twist has been the availability of good bait fish which are working nicely to bring some snook to the boat as well as lots of big jack crevalle for some hard pulling action.
Redfish are scattered along the mangrove shorelines and while we are able to turn up a nice fish or two with some dedicated effort, the reds have been singles for the most part. Live shrimp with a small split shot are taking most. Some decent sheepshead have been showing in the same areas as the reds.
Trout fishing started off pretty good last week, but as the waters warmed up since the last cold front they have practically disappeared. Pompano action slowed as well, however there are quite a few small ones hitting jigs in the channels outside the passes.
The bottom line is that while the fishing seems to be in a little slump temporarily, it is hard to beat being outside right now. There are certainly worse ways to spend the day than on the water, enjoying nature and catching a few fish. “You never know if you don’t go”!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
December 30, 2012
I am writing this on a chilly 43 degree Sunday morning taking a well needed day off after a very busy run of trips the last couple of weeks. We have had ever changing weather recently, with cold fronts moving through every few days. The fishing action has fluctuated along with the weather as the fish have been on the move. Pompano, sea trout and redfish have been the main targets. We are using both jigs tipped with shrimp as well as live shrimp with equal success.
Wayne Fox and Tim Cabral came out just before Christmas for a morning half day. With water temperatures hovering at 72 degrees, I netted a load of sardines before the trip and headed to the mangroves to see if we could produce a few snook. The snook cooperated, with Tim and Wayne releasing several nice fish each. The star of the morning was Wayne after battling a very feisty 33 inch snook from under the bushes. We also worked the outside passes near Marco Island with jigs and boated several pompano. Here is Wayne wtih his big snook…
Other notable trips were Bob McClure and son Joe last Thursday morning. The duo had a great catch of pompano and sea trout. Most were caught on jigs tipped with shrimp. We were fishing in the Rookery Bay area.
Dave Fruend and Nick Smirnov fished Friday afternoon and pulled a bunch of redfish out of one pocket on a mangrove shoreline in Johnson Bay with live shrimp. A couple of them were invited home to dinner. The redfish were running from 18 to 24 inches. We then proceded to a channel bordering a long flat. It was loaded with trout. Several were caught on jigs, but most seemed more interested in live shrimp.
We have been finding a wide variety of other species on many trips with as many as thirteen different fish being caught. These include snook, redfish, trout, pompano, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, small permit, mangrove snapper, jack crevalle, goliath grouper, black grouper, bluefish and spanish mackerel.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
December 11, 2012
Southwest Florida has been experiencing some unusually warm weather so far this December. And while we have been enjoying it, it has made the fishing a little hit and miss. By the end of November, the waters had cooled and put the fish into a typical winter season pattern. With the warm up, the fish seemed to have scattered more and while we have had some great trips others are finding it a little more challenging.
I have been going back and forth with both live sardines and live shrimp as well as jigs trying to find a pattern to success. We have managed to find some nice snook to 34 inches along with some giant jack crevalle destroying the sardines.
We are still finding a few pompano in the back country channels with jigs tipped with shrimp. There are a few trout scattered in the same areas. Although scattered, we have been managing a few decent redfish on most outings. They have been taking shrimp as well as live sardines.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
December 2, 2012
Another full week behind me and rolling into a busy December on the the back waters of Naples and Marco Island. My trips last week were pretty productive and brought a wide variety of species with as many as 13 different fish caught on a half day trip!
Pompano, sea trout and redfish were the main targets, however some nice snook were caught and released early in the week including a 13 lb. fish by long time client Mike Randall.
Pompano and sea trout were cooperating while fishing the channel edges and holes with jigs tipped with shrimp. There were many other fish in the mix as well. On Thursday morning I fished with the Forte’ brothers, Jack and Bill. They released 13 species of fish consisting of snook, redfish, snapper, black drum, pompano, sea trout, jack crevalle, lady fish, blue fish, sheepshead, blow fish and grouper!
Friday morning, I fished Charlie Reid and Bill Stoutenburg. The two had a busy morning catching trout, pompano to twenty inches, a dozen redfish to 24 inches as well as six or so other species.
I expect more great fishing in the next week with water temperatures warming and great weather expected.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
November 26, 2012
November is winding down this week and as is usually the case this time of year, the fishing scene is in full transition right now. I have had a full schedule of two half day trips each day for the last week and mother nature has brought in a solid week of down right chilly weather. With that, the fishing action has changed with some new targets showing up such as pompano, trout and bluefish. Snook have seemed to go into temporary hibernation as water temperatures cooled down to 63 degrees in some of the back bays. Redfish are still working the area, however we have had to really hunt for them catching mostly single fish in one spot and moving on. Most of the reds have been in the 23 to 24 inch size range.
The pompano are throughout the back country channels adjacent to shallow flats. Moving water is the key to success on either tide. A favorite bait for these tasty fighters is a 1/4 to 3/8 ounce jig. I like to tip the jig with a cleanly cut segment of fresh shrimp tail. anchor or drift on the channel edge and make cast across current. Keeping the tip up slightly, bump the jig up off the bottom with a sharp one foot hop, retrieving the slack as it falls back to the bottom between hops.
My favorite jig is sort of a Naples entity developed on the Naples pier a half century ago. The tail of the jig is nothing other than a short piece of surgical tubing. Chartreuse and pink are colors of choice. These are easy to make and there are several locally made versions available in area tackle shops. I attach a piece of 25 lb. leader directly to the line with a modified surgeons knot. Here is my typical rig…
The redfish action last week was hit and miss. While most trips caught a few nice reds, we were never able to locate them in schools. We targeted them in deeper mangrove edges as well as shallow oyster bottom and cover with live shrimp or jigs. Moving spot to spot, when we found a fish, it was and instant strike. The reds were all nice fish running 23 or 24 inches. Friday morning, Barritt Gilbert and son William worked hard for some nice results catching and releasing several pompano and then moving on to releasing several nice reds. Heres William with a 24 incher caught in heavy cover…
I have another busy week ahead, and with the weather finally on a warming trend along with strong tides, I expect it to be more productive.
Capt. Todd Geroy
November 14, 2012
Every now and then despite everything going for you such as great weather and good tides, the fish gods just aren’t smiling. Tough days when all is going for you is just the way fishing is sometimes. Such has been our experience since my report a week ago. While we had a great time on every trip with some nice fish hooked and caught, a few were lacking in the action we expect this time of year.
I ventured out into the Gulf of Mexico early in the week fishing just offshore of the beaches. With calm conditions, we found plenty of spanish mackerel and bonito feeding voraciously under clouds of gulls and other sea birds. They were easy targets, and we caught plenty while casting jigs into the feeding frenzies.
In the back country, the action was a bit spotty. We did manage some nice redfish on each trip along with snook and some big jack crevalle. Live sardines were the bait of choice. We also took some fish taken on shrimp imitations on 1/4 oz. jig heads.
This morning I fished with long time clients Tom Iverson, Jay Sandza and friend Kim Shearburn and managed six slot reds averaging 25 inches while sight fishing on a very low tide. The fish were cruising water as shallow as 6 inches. A bait placed in the right spot in front of the them got immediately consumed. We also caught several snook to 25 inches along the same banks. Later in the morning after a lull in the action, we headed to a snook spot that had been red hot a couple of weeks ago on similar tides. Right away, Tom was hooked up to a 14 lb.snook. After finessing it out of the mangroves on light tackle, the fish came aboard for a photo and release. Here’s Tom with a great catch…
After that fish was released, Jay and Kim were instantly hooked up with two more big snook at the same time! Kim’s managed to throw the hook while Jay’s stayed tight and burned into the mangroves. Jay eased tension on the fish and we managed to pull close to shore and boat the fish. This one weighed in at 15 lbs! Jay with his snook catch before release…
Great November fishing action in the Naples backwaters!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
November 7, 2012
November started out a little rough on the fishing scene as Hurricane Sandy skirted the east coast bringing some very strong winds to Florida. That was followed by a cool front which really slowed the action for several days.
We adjusted to the conditions for a few days, targeting redfish with to jigs and live shrimp instead of the live sardines that had been the norm. It paid of pretty well on several trips, with some decent numbers of reds being caught. These were all slot fish in the 22 to 24 inch range. Last Thursday afternoon, Jay Sandza and Tom Iverson managed to boat ten nice redfish fishing the oyster laden shorelines of Rookery Bay. The reds took Berkley Gulp shrimp on 1/4 oz. jigheads as well as live shrimp.
As the waters settled down by last weekend, the sardines showed up again in large numbers. I fished the annual two day Redsnook tournament with Doug Poe and Jim McGuire. Despite good bait being plentiful, we found the fishing to be off on the first day with only small snook to 25 inches and reds to 23 filling our card. A family medical emergency forced Jim to head back to Alabama after day one. We recruited my son Capt. Ben Geroy to fill in on day two. Fishing turned out a little better filling the card with reds to 23 inches and a 31 inch snook caught at the last spot by Ben. We ended up 6th in the field. A good time to benefit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Fishing improved the last two days with some larger redfish to 26 inches being boated on each trip as well as some good snook action with fish ranging to 27 inches. Joe McGurrin boated this nice 26 inch red on Monday morning…
Another cool front is moving through today as I write this and I expect the pompano and sea trout action to heat up after it’s passing. Cooler waters usually move these fish into the backwaters in November. I have a very busy month ahead and am looking forward to some great days on the water!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
October 28, 2012
This will be my last report for October and the month has certainly lived up to it’s reputation as one of the very best months to fish in the Naples Backwaters! I have been fishing every day and my anglers have been having great trips with plenty of redfish and snook action. Last week brought some very windy conditions due to Hurricane Sandy skirting the east coast, but that only turned on the fishing more. We are getting our first strong cold front of the season moving through as write this, and it remains to be seen what that will do to the fishing for next week. I am sure we will be changing up the techniques and adapting to the conditions.
Redfish have continued to please anglers with some trips catching and releasing as many as 20 on half day trips. Live sardines free-lined along the mangrove edges at high tide are being eagerly consumed by the redfish. A little live chumming gets them going when they are being picky. All of the redfish are running within the keeper slot with most measuring out at around 23 inches. There are some larger fish in the 29 inch in the mix as well.
Snook have been cooperative in many of the same spots as the redfish. We are also releasing up to 20 fish on several trips. Plenty of small snook in the 18 to 24 inch range have been the norm, however a couple trips got into fish that were running in the 15 to 20 lb. range. Unfortunately this week, the big fish beat us up by running my anglers lines deep into the heavy cover and breaking free. Not before several epic battles with these great fish.
Dave Rowe and Wayne Mulligan fished with me on Tuesday morning. We were off to a slow start for the first couple of hours with only a few jacks and a big 26 inch flounder to show up for our efforts. But later in the morning as the tide started out, I found the honey hole! Wayne and Dave ended up hooking up on slot redfish and snook on nearly every cast that was on target for nearly an hour! We released close to 20 redfish in the 19 to 26 inch range. A couple of the reds along with the flounder made it home for dinner.
Friday morning, as the winds picked up to gusts to near 30 knots, I fished with Chris Mans, his cousin Pete Mans along with brother-in-law Matt Head. The trio enjoyed a fantastic morning of action as the fish were on a feeding frenzy obviously connected to the weather change. We released countless snook and redfish along with too many big jacks crevalle to count. At the last stop, Matt slugged it out with a couple bruiser snook in the 15 to 20 lb class only to end up cut off in the cover or with a pulled hook. What a blast we had though!
I have a full week of trips booked next week with the annual Redsnook tournament next weekend. I’m looking forward to some good days on the water!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
October 16, 2012
The seasonal migration of “snowbirds” from the north has arrived a little early this year and they have kept me very busy with daily trips. Fall fishing has continued to be excellent with a variety of fish cooperating.
Redfish and snook continue to be the headliners with as many as 20 of each being boated on several recent trips. Even on some of the slower days, my clients have been rewarded with larger snook in the 15 lb. class as well as some juvenile tarpon to 30 lbs.
As usual, the redfish and snook are feasting on live sardines of which there are endless schools along the coast right now. A little live chumming gets the fish active when they are being finicky. Tides don’t seem to matter as long as the water is moving.
Friday morning, I took Rich Kamp and his 16 year old son Parker out to bend the rods. They caught some beautiful redfish and plenty of snook throughout the morning. The highlight of the trip was a 15 lb. snook caught by Parker at the last stop. This fish really gave Parker a challenge as it made a strong run into the mangrove roots and tangling in the heavy cover. Parker was able to finesse the fish out and we were soon celebrating his largest snook ever!
There is still time to get out and enjoy some great fall fishing in Naples!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
October 7, 2012
Wow! As I’ve mentioned before, October is one of my favorite months to fish the backwaters in SW Florida. Last week was no exeption. On several half day trips, my clients enjoyed plenty of action with snook, redfish and juvenile tarpon.
Snook fishing was good, but as the week went on the action seemed to taper off. However the redfish action really took off as we had trips catching 25 or more fish during half day trips. The redfish are averaging 24 inches and seem to be just about everywhere we stop right now.
The highlight of the week was Friday afternoon, with long time client John Shroyer and his daughter Susan. The two found constant action with redfish (boating at least two dozen in four hours) as well as several snook, flounder, too many jacks and a hookup with a 40 # tarpon by John which ended up with a cut off in the mangroves.
John managed to muscle in a huge 24 lb. 26 inch redfish from under the mangroves. This was the largest red ever boated in the backwaters aboard my boat during my 31 year career! My previous boat record was 17 lbs.
Bull reds like this and larger were common in the 1980’s but were always caught in the gulf or near the passes. This was certainly a trophy fish as well as a fish of a lifetime!
This morning (Sunday) I had a repeat trip with Chuck Maston and buddy Chris. We managed a mixed bag of several slot redfish, snook, two juvenile tarpon, snapper, gag grouper and plenty of fiesty jack crevalle.
I am looking forward to another great week on the water!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
October 1, 2012
Rolling along now into what is usually my personal favorite month for back water fishing here. Snook, redfish and tarpon are all potential targets and the action can be all day long.
I had some great snook action on trips the last two days. I found snook throughout the area and had anglers releasing as many as 30 fish per half day with several running up to the 14 lb. range. Live sardines provide the best results. I am fishing quite a bit in the Johnson Bay area right now as well as along the Intercoastal waterway between Naples and Marco. Moving water is the key regardless whether the tide is incoming or outgoing.
This morning, I fished with Chuck Maston and buddy Chris Conure. the duo boated and released more snook than they could count. Chuck battled the two largest fish which were 11 and 14 lbs. Once the tide came in a bit, they managed 4 redfish up to 26 inches before it was time to come in. There were plenty of jack to fill in the gaps between all the other bites to keep lines tight all morning long!
It’s time to book now for some of the best fishing our area has to offer!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
September 25, 2012
More of the same action last week as redfish continue to prowl the back waters of Naples and Marco Island. Snook action has been very good as well.
Reds are congregating along hard bottom shorelines at high tide as well as shallow channel edges during low stages. Low tides have brought some good sight fishing opportunities lately. Live baits as well as jigs and other soft plastic lures are being eagerly consumed by the hungry reds.
Snook continue to be just about anywhere we fish. We are boating fish to 30 inches on each trip while releasing as many as 25. On Friday afternoon, I got a quick trip in between rain storms with young anglers Dylan (7) and Carson (5) Phelps. We stayed close to home with the pending severe weather but both boys managed to boat a number of snook and a few redfish in a short time. The highlight was a 29 inch snook caught by Dylan on a new rod and reel that he had received a few days before on his birthday. A nice job by both guys! Here is a picture of the three of us with Dylan’s snook…
– Capt. Todd Geroy
September 17, 2012
We’re mid-way through September now and things have continued to improve along the fishing front. Temperatures have started to transition ever so slightly, but just enough to allow the waters to cool down to about the 83 degree range. That makes the fish happy and has put them on the move. Snook and redfish both can be found just about anywhere through the waterways of SW Florida from the beaches to well into the back country.
Redfish have become very reliable targets now as is the norm for this month. We are finding plenty of schooling reds along the mangrove edges on the incoming tide, especially at the higher stages. As usual, they are taking live baits such as sardines and shrimp, but jigs also get plenty of takers. Most of the reds are running 22 to 26 inches. Some larger fish are being caught in the passes such as Gordons as well as off the Naples pier and along the beaches. These fish are running up to 20 lbs. and will take live and cut baits with a little weight added to get near the bottom.
Snook are also more active throughout the day now and are also just about everywhere you go. Plenty of small fish in the 18 to 26 inch range are keeping our lines tight with my half day trips boating from 20 to 30 per trip. Last Friday morning’s trip brought three hookups with fish in the 15 pound class.
Minimal boat traffic and fishing pressure right now make September one of the very best months to fish here. Take advantage of it before the “snow birds” arrive!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
September 6, 2012
I can now say that the fishing action has totally rebounded since the weather events of last week stirred things up. Waters are settling down and the bait fish have returned, bringing plenty of activity for a variety of fish the last several days.
Last evening I fished with local client Jim McCann and his buddy Mark Banks, visiting from Dallas. After blacking out the bait wells with loads of baits, we headed down towards Rookery Bay for what would be a full evening of catching. The two boated and released a bunch of redfish and snook as well as too many scrappy jack crevalle to count. A couple redfish were taken home for a fish fry. We also found a pretty good bunch of tarpon in the 25 to 40 lb. class rolling up and down a shoreline late in the evening. We had several good shots at them, but did not get hooked up. It is good to see that many of them around and hooking up is just a matter of commitment and a little luck.
There are some nice mangrove snapper around as well, a trip the other morning near Gordons’ Pass produced a limit of these smaller but tasty fish. They were aggressively attacking 1/4 ounce jigs and averaged 12 to 15 inches. I have noticed plenty of spanish mackerel in the area both inshore and outside the pass. They are feeding on small baits near the surface. I would expect some large tarpon to be feeding along with them and on them in the same areas soon.
While this is one of the most productive months of the year to fish, it is also the most quiet on the water as far as fishing pressure. It is slowest for my business making it a great time to schedule a trip on short notice before things start to get busy again in October. Give me a call and get in on some great action while having the waters all to yourself!
August 30, 2012
Thanks to Hurricane Issac skirting us as a tropical storm last Sunday and Monday, I can say that so far this week, the fishing was a bust with strong winds and torrential rains keeping us off the water for a few days early in the week. Things are now improving and I am heading out with a couple of anglers this afternoon to see what we can round up.
Before the storm, we were enjoying consistent action with schools of redfish as well as some good snook action through out the back waters below Naples. I expect things to bounce back pretty quickly as the weather pattern is getting back to normal.
I did have to break my “cabin fever” yesterday morning as I headed out for a little scouting with my golden retriever, Cooper on board. I worked some points and sections of shorline for a couple hours with a 1/4 oz. jig and was pleased to catch several snook and a couple of slot redfish with out too much effort.
Last Thursday, my son Ben along with my fishing buddy Capt. Rob Walczak and I headed south for our annual Flamingo fishing trip. We left Naples in the wee hours of the morning to launch Rob’s skiff in Flamingo around 8:30. We had some incredible fishing using spoons and jigs. By 9:45 we had already boated and released nearly 30 redfish and several nice snook. As the tide fell, we moved onto the flats for some sight fishing action. Redfish were on the move everywhere for the remainder of the day. We continued to boat numerous reds in less than a foot of water using weedless spoons. Ben got top nods with several large fish including this 30 incher. I always appreciate the rare opportunities I get to be on the bow for a change as well as sharing the day with two special fishing partners.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
The big news on the water this week has been that the red fish are starting to show up in good numbers. We found good schools of them on several trips in the last week and boated numerous fish in the 20 to 24 inch range with a few of them topping out at 30 inches. Live baits such as pilchards and Gulp! shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head are both taking plenty of fish.
Friday morning, I fished with local angler Jim McCann. Jim and I managed to dodge the numerous thunderstorms that were moving through the area and found plenty of hungry redfish cooperating. There were plenty of small snook in the mix although, one was 29 inches.
Yesterday morning, I fished one of my popular specialty shark trips with Rob Walker and his boys Danny (10) and Johnny (13). These up state New Yorkers are avid anglers and the boys have had plenty of experience with a variety of fish. They were aboard to take on a new challenge!
We didn’t have lines out very long before Danny was hooked into a sporty little 3 foot lemon shark. That was fine, but I assured them that was just a warm up for what was to come. Minutes later, Danny’s bait was picked up again. This time it was obvious that he had a much larger shark hooked up. For a solid hour Danny battled the giant, pulling with all his might by any means possible. He prevailed and finally brought a giant 7 1/2 foot lemon shark to the boat. I got the tailer on the fish and with Robs help, we put it on the deck for a few snapshots.
Now it was Johnny’s turn. He had hooked into another briefly while Danny was doing battle, but the hook pulled. The tide went slack and there was a lull in the action for about a half hour. We relocated to another spot nearby and were rewarded. This time Johnny was hooked into a shark that made a blazing 300 yard run across the shallow bay with a trail of mud behind it! We gave chase with the boat to recover the line and soon we were being towed back across the bay on a SW Florida sleigh ride! Johnny was in for a long fight also and after an hour, he too boated a 7 1/2 foot lemon shark.
Two great memorable catches for two enthusiastic young anglers. Great job boys!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
August 15, 2012
I have been fortunate to have been fishing most every morning during the last week during what is usually our slowest month of the year for bookings. Daily thunderstorms as well as warm water temperatures have made the fishing a little challenging the last few days. However, we have been having some action with the snook and redfish. The later which seem to be making a stronger appearance than the previous weeks.
There continues to be loads of pilchards along our beaches which is not the norm for this time of year. Just one toss of the cast net is producing enough bait for the morning trips.
Snook action has been okay, with most of them in the 20 to 24 inch range. The larger snook have been hiding lately. Most of the snook we caught last week were before 10:00 in the morning.
Tides have been favorable for redfish, with high tides during the mid morning hours. We are catching keeper reds on every trip. Although not schooled up as I will expect in about two weeks, they have been reliable targets. The usual jack crevalle and plenty of mangrove snapper are in the mix as well.
Sharks are still in the program, although I found the action a bit hit and miss the last few days. I can only blame it on the slower tides and perhaps the heavy runoff from the rains over last weekend. We are getting some hookups, with a couple of good ones boated last week.
Here is a shot of your captain trying to figure out how to best get the hook out of a sizable lemon shark last week…
August 7, 2012
The hot weather has continued here since my last report with just a bit of relief with some brief afternoon showers. Water temperatures have now spiked to 90 degrees on the area beaches making for some lazy fishing action overall. Not to say that we haven’t had some great trips with some big fish caught in the last week, but the window of feeding action is short. The best action has been at day break and around sunset.
Snook action remains pretty good in the passes with a lot of small fish schooled up and gorging themselves on the millions of small bait fish that have been gathering there. It has actually been hard to catch them at times as they are so committed to the micro baits that they are even ignoring our offerings of flies, plugs and small live pilchards. I have some good success last Friday evening with local angler Doug Poe and a couple of his friends however. The three found plenty of snook cooperating in the Rookery Bay area before sunset releasing dozens along with some fiesty jack crevalle.
Tarpon made a good showing for us during the full moon phase last week. I had clients jump a number of fish on several trips using DOA Baitbusters on light spinning tackle. We managed to boat a fish of 40 lbs. on Friday morning followed by a great catch on Saturday by a female angler. 24 year old Maddy Werner of Ft. Lauderdale hooked into a big tarpon on her third cast as the tarpon were in a sunrise feeding frenzy. A long battle followed with the fish taking us nearly two miles offshore. After two hours, Maddy finally had the big fish boat side. We estimated the fish to be in the 115 lb. class. After a quick photo opportunity, the fish was released and an exhausted Maddy celebrated a great catch!
This morning, I fished a four hour shark trip with Frank Thomas along with his son Peter, both visiting the area from London, England. We got our fill of action starting with a bull shark in the first five minutes. The action continued throughout the morning with a total of eight hookups and five big sharks boated. Two of the sharks were big lemons caught by Peter that ranged 150 lbs. of bigger! That is a full morning of pulling on some big fish! We are fishing in the shallow bays for these sharks in less than 5 feet of water! Great summer action.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
July 30, 2012
Boy, the heat is on here in SW Florida! The daily rain showers that were so numerous a week ago have subsided temporarily and water temperatures have spiked to 89 degrees along area beaches and well into the 90’s in some of the shallow backbays. This pattern reinforces the need to get out early for the best action. While this is by far my slowest time of year on the water, anglers willing to give it a go have been rewarded with action with tarpon, snook, redfish and plenty of sharks.
Tarpon action has been a sunrise event here lately. There are some large resident fish along the outside beaches right now and they will take artificial baits pretty well just after sunrise. The key is to get out early and catch the short window when they are active before they move off to deeper water and lay low for the rest of the day. DOA Baitbusters as well as various plugs and plastic swim baits get their attention.
Snook continue to be strong in area passes. Again, first light of the day brings action with lures, but later in the morning live baits are about the only thing that they seem interested in. I have been easily catching hoards of sardines with a cast net along the beaches. They are plentiful enough to allow a little “live chumming” to get the fish worked up.
Redfish in the 20 to 24 inch range are still working the shallow bays particularly at high tide. Live and cut baits cast close to the bushes and in under cut pockets are catching the most fish for us.
Sharks continue to be abundant in the back bays making easy targets for those that wish to tangle with big fish. The sharks we have been catching are lemon and bull sharks averaging 5 to 6 1/2 feet. A piece of cut jack or ladyfish does not last long lately.
On one recent outing last week, I fished with Jerry Borian and his son, Pat from Chicago. Jerry had contacted me a month ago expressing his lifetime goal to hook into some decent sharks. I told him it should not be a problem this time of year and we scheduled the trip for last Tuesday. Within minutes of putting the baits out, Pat was hooked into a solid 100 lb. lemon. We decided to wrangle it on board for a couple pictures. By the time we had it released, another shark was hooked up and Jerry boated his first shark, another lemon about 80 to 90 lbs. For the duration of the 4 hour trip, we had steady action hooking into a total of 7 for the morning. Mission complete! Here of Pat and Jerry with a couple of their sharks before releasing them…
Get out there early, beat the heat and enjoy some great summer fishing!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
July 23, 2012
The fishing has really been interesting here in the last week with a great variety of species caught for this time of year as well as some more trophy sized snook released on recent trips.
We are continuing to have our share of thunderstorms lately as is the norm for July and I am cautious about the deadly lightning associated with these isolated storms. We have had to make a run for it on a couple of occasions, and I have lost a couple trips due to weather as well.
When we are out, anglers are hooking up with plenty of snook early in the morning with lots of small fish near the passes now and some big post spawn females showing up in some of the deeper backcountry channels. Several fish from the 35 to 39 inch range have been released on a few trips. Large live baits such as thread herring are taking the large fish while smaller pilchards and artificial lures are getting the bites from the smaller snook.
Redfish were active last week and while not schooled up, we were able to pick up a good number of them as long as we kept on the move and made good casts into key pockets along the mangroves.
The sea trout have surprised me this month. Normally I do not run into many this time of year, but my anglers have been catching some giants frequently while snook fishing. All of the trout have been in the 22 to 26 inch range and are wide spread from the passes to the backcountry holes.
Last Tuesday, I fished with Mike Milano from Lola, Wisconson. We dodged some heavy thunderstorms all morning long, but managed a great trip! Mike and I released 6 snook in the 30 to 35 inch range at the first stop. We also picked up several nice mangrove snapper in the 12 to 15 inch range and two large trout 22 and 24 inches. At high tide we moved to shallow oyster lined shorelines and picked up 7 redfish averaging 21 inches. Several big jacks were also in the mix to keep Mike busy all morning!
I spent Friday and Saturday with an enthusiastic group from Savannah. Chuck Hazel, Chase Paterno and Thomas Milleran were here for their first taste of snook fishing in SW Florida and the snook did not dissapoint! They hooked and released countless fish in the two days topped off with Thomas’ 35 incher. The trio also found some large seatrout, jack crevalle and goliath grouper all willing to give a tug. We caught fish on plugs, flies as well as live bait during the two days. Great action and some fun guys to share the water with!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
July 12, 2012
Big snook have been the main attraction this last week, with several fish ranging to 20 lbs. being caught and released on charters. We have been targeting them in deeper channels in the back country.
Baby tarpon have also continued to provide action in the back bays. They are taking the same live baits as the snook, but also taking soft plastic baits, plugs and flies. Baby tarpon are ranging from 13 to 30 lbs.
Matt Cantine released ths baby tarpon on July 11, 2012
I have been surprised to be catching large trout in the channels this time of year. All have been on the large side from 22 inches to 26 inch monsters. We have taken a few home for dinner and they are still holding roe, as they had back in late May and June. Anglers are only allowed one fish over 20 inches per trip, but with the size they have been running it only takes one to make a couple of servings.
Sharks are also in abundance right now as usual for this time of year in the backwaters. Large bull, lemon and blacktips are easy targets for those looking for a tug of war!
I have been catching thread herring for bait using sabiki rigs (hook and line). There have also been plenty of smaller pilchards available along the beaches and one shot with the cast net has been loading up the bait wells. The smaller baits have been best for more action with trout, smaller snook and mangrove snapper, while the large baits are the key for larger species.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
July 3, 2012
Well the weather finally settled down form Tropical Storm Debby last weekend, the water cleared up and we are back in business on the waterfront. Fishing has been decent with plenty of snook and an influx of baby tarpon action in the backcountry.
Sunrise is the time to get snook action right now as well as the strong outgoing tides in the late afternoon. I worked Gordons Pass this morning at first light with plugs and found the snook quite cooperative. We did not run into any of size, but there was plenty of action with the small ones. Later in the morning after collecting a net full of lively sardines, we hooked into a couple larger snook in the 15 to 20 lb. class in heavy cover. The big snook quickly had their way with us, breaking off.
The recent rains have helped to concentrated the baby tarpon in the deeper backcountry areas. These are my favorite fish to target in the mid through late summer months. They take a variety of artificial baits and are a great target for fly fishermen. We are finding them rolling just off shorelines in shallow bays that are adjacent to deeper channels in the back. Casting near rolling fish with soft plastic baits, plugs or flies will draw strikes from these wild little fighters. They range in size from 5 to 25 lbs. Here is a photo of my son, Ben with a nice little tarpon he caught on fly this morning…
An early start is key to success this time of year with water temperatures pushing 90 degrees by afternoon.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
June 27, 2012
I am sorry to report that I have not been on the water since last Thursday due to the impact from Tropical Storm Debby. Since last weekend, we have been experiencing torrential downpours, winds gusting to 45 mph. and wide spread coastal flooding though out the west coast of Florida. Needless to say, nobody has any business being out there in a boat right now. The waters are very turbid and it is likely that there is not much fishing action anyway. I have spent the time to do some much needed repair and servicing on my rods, reels and boat. I expect things to settle down sometime this weekend and plan on hitting the water hard next week.
Before the blow, we were having great success catch and release fishing for snook. The bite was especially strong during the evening outgoing tides. I had a return trip with brothers John and Dave Haschek along with Dave’s son, Curtis. We fished through sunset and had constant action with the snook. The largest was a 33 incher caught by Curtis. We stopped the action for just a minute to take a shot of the three happy anglers!
I also found some slot sized redfish along the islands at high tide. We took them on both live and cut baits. Most are running from 21 to 24 inches.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
June 19, 2012
Fishing has been strong here for the last week with catch and release snook fishing still being the main attraction. We are catching plenty near the passes with plenty in the 22 to 26 inch range as well as some fish to 38 inches mixed in as well. Live baits are taking the biggest numbers, but flies and other artificial baits are also effective. Typical for summer time, the bite is best in the early morning and then again later afternoon before sunset.
Redfish have shown up in decent numbers with the strong tides associated with the new moon phase. High tide is the best to catch them under the flooded oyster lined shorelines. Breezy conditions and very high tides have made for challenging casting, but a good cast getting the bait under the bushes will result in success. Live sardines, herring and cut ladyfish are all working well. While the reds we have caught have all been “keepers” in the 21 to 24 inch range, clients have been releasing all.
I have been fishing several trips in the last week with brothers John and Dave Haschek along with Dave’s 9 year old son, Curtis. We have enjoyed catching some nice snook as well as a few nice redfish. Here is Dave with his first snook, a 12 pounder released Friday.
Enrique Gomez of Miami, brought his two sons over to fish on Fathers Day weekend. Kyle and Christian had a great morning of fishing with plenty of snook, redfish and jack crevalle to keep their lines straight!
We are expecting a tropical system to move over the area starting later today. The forcast for the next few days is for rain and some windy conditions. Hopefully we can still get out and enjoy some fine fishing for the remainder of the week.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
June 7, 2012
I’m finally getting around to updating my “weekly” fishing reports. I have really been slacking off for the last month, but I promise to get back in the swing now. I have been on a bit of a marathon of trips for the last two weeks fishing every day as well as most evenings. I am now taking a few days off for some service to be completed on my motor and to get my tackle into shape once again. The remainder of June is quite busy for me although my schedule is starting to break up a little. This is a good chance to get a fishing trip scheduled on my calendar and take advantage of some great summer fishing with few other boats on the water!
The weather pattern has been very unusual here for the last two weeks straight. Westerly winds have made for some challenging trips off the coast to gather live baits for my trips. On a couple of occasions, I have not been able to make it out of the pass at all with heavy seas. We have been under a continuous blanket of clouds with scattered showers all of this week. It has been nice to keep the air temperatures down as well as cooling the water down 5 or 6 degrees. Water temperatures in the bay last week were reaching 90 degrees in the afternoon!
I must admit that the tarpon fishing this season has turned out to be a huge disappointment. After a strong start in the early spring, most of the concentrations of fish seem to have migrated through the area already. With the westerly winds for the last 12 days, we have not had any opportunities to fish off the beaches where we normally find them schooling this time of year. I have found some smaller tarpon in a few of the shallow bays and managed to hook up with one perhaps about 30 lbs. on a Lucky 13 plug yesterday. Hopefully things will settle down here in the next week or so, but heavier rain and breezy conditions are predicted for the next few days.
Last week, I fished five consecutive days with long time clients Martin Marlow and his two sons, Josh and Bruce. These hard working anglers make an annual fishing trip to Florida and really hit the snook hard. This year was no exception with the guys releasing at least a couple hundred snook including fish ranging to 42 inches. Several nice redfish and big jack crevalle were also released during the week. We used a variety of baits including live sardines, thread herring as well as plastic baits and flies. I must include this picture of Martin, not with a fish but in his full mosquito gear. Yes, it does get buggy here in the summer, but there are ways to keep them under control!
Snook are staged in the passes and around any nearby structure such as docks and fallen trees on the shoreline. The snook are not in great abundance in the back country right now as warm water temps. and their annual spawning activity has driven them towards the outside. Redfish are being caught along with the snook and most reds have been running in the 23 to 26 inch range when we find them along with a few oversize fish. Here is Tim Thomas with a 13 lber released yesterday…
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 22, 2012
We’re nearing the end of May and summer is definitely settling in here in SW Florida. Fishing patterns have made the transition to better action early and late in the day as opposed to all day action. I have adjusted my trips accordingly, running morning half days, returning for a siesta and heading back out in the late afternoon to fish through sunset. While there have been a few trips that found the fish a little challenging, we have caught some good numbers of snook, large sea trout and a few redfish along with some big tarpon hooked and several large bull sharks released.
A majority of the snook have moved from the back bays towards deeper water in the passes and along the outside beaches. At daybreak, they are feeding well taking flies, lipped plugs as well as the usual live baits. Most of the fish we are catching are in the 22 to 26 inch range, but we have also had run ins with some bruisers over 15 lbs. and running to 20. Unfortunately, many of the big ones have been taking advantage of many anglers by running them into the heavy cover and breaking our connection.
I fished several trips exclusively for tarpon in the last week, and while we were able to get on a few fish, they were not in large concentrations and bites were hard to come by. We did manage four hookups with large fish, but none boated. I feel the warm winter we experienced, brought many fish through the region early. Hence, we are not experiencing a heavier run. There are still fish out there, but it may take a serious commitment to get hooked up.
Sharks are in abundance in the backwaters as usual for this time of year. We boated three large bull sharks from 5 to 71/ 2 feet on one evening trip a few days ago. I really enjoy watching anglers battle these bruisers of the shallows! They provide a great alternative to the menu of species and give a great challenge to anglers despite their level of experience. We are targeting them with cut bait and fishing in shallow inshore bays.
Lastly, I am still catching some beautiful sea trout in some of the deeper holes in area passes. Several of these fish are running up to 25 inches. That’s a giant trout in our area! Here is a shot of Jay Sandza with a 25 incher caught last week…Plan your fishing early and late to beat the heat and enjoy some great May action.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 13, 2012
I admittedly have been on a little bit of a hiatus in the recent week or so, not updating my report. I have been very busy, transitioning into my summer schedule by adding evening trips as well as fishing during the day. It has left me a little tired and short of time recently.
We have had some great action in the last week with countless snook boated and released as well as some good redfish and trout action. Live bait has been plentiful and always takes plenty of fish, but we also mixed in some flyfishing and found some snook willing to take the feathers.
Monday morning, I fished with Monday regulars John and Nancy. They had no trouble getting plenty of snook to the boat for release. Nancy tore them up all morning with live baits as did John, but John also took several fish on fly. We also boated numerous redfish along the way. We started the morning in Gordons Pass with the first snook of the day, a ten pounder caught by Nancy. Here is the couple with her fish before it’s release…
As I mentioned, I also fished evenings through the week and found the sunset snook bite to be on fire! Each evening trip out enjoyed catching countless snook as well as some big jack crevalle. We also encountered a few tarpon of all sizes, but did not manage any hookups.
Thursday morning, I fished with brothers Jack and Bill Forte’. We kept busy all morning long releasing a bunch of snook and slot sized redfish. Some of the best action the brothers have had in recent months of fishing.
Friday, I spent the day with Mike Jimenez and son Michael (20) of Miami. I had not seen Mike in over 15 years. We enjoyed catching up on our lives while the two boated some nice redfish and snook throughout the morning. A couple reds made it in the box for dinner and Mike released this 29 inch beauty caught tight to a shoreline in Johnson Bay…
In the afternoon we located a school of huge sea trout near Capri Pass in 25 feet of water. Some of the fish were giants, all running from 19 to 25 inches! We caught all we wanted, keeping our limit before packing in the day and heading to the Snook Inn!
Happy Mothers Day!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
May 2, 2012
Fishing action picked up by the end of last week after a late season cold front managed to stir up the waters and shut down the action for a few days. Monday and Tuesday of this week brought the same system returning back as a tropical low, with high winds and plenty of rain. Despite the conditions, we did fish through it and had some great action with plenty of snook and redfish.
On Monday morning, I fished with John Wadja and Carl Rhodes for a half day morning trip. We put up with plenty of showers and very windy conditions throughout the morning. The gentlemen were rewarded with some solid action and boated and released numerous snook to 29 inches as well as six redfish.
The afternoon trip was with veteran anglers John and Nancy Poffenberger who also put up with squally weather and winds gusting to the 40 mph range. We released countless snook throughout the afternoon with Nancy releasing a nice 10 pound fish. John caught a slot redfish that was invited home to dinner along with a nice flounder donated by Nancy. Later in the afternoon, Nancy hooked into a monster redfish that I would guess was approaching the 40 inch range. After a lengthy tug-of-war, we discovered that the fish had run through a random submerged branch laying on the bottom far off the bank. As I was making an effort to move the boat close to the obstruction and free the line, the fish surged and managed to break off. Leaving us a little disappointed by not giving us an opportunity to shake fins with it and get a picture, it is now just another story! We’ll be back next Monday for another shot at it!
Tarpon fishing has been put on the back burner temporarily as the weather just has not cooperated for us to get out on the open water and look for them. I intend to dedicate some time to them in the next few days as conditions are now improving. I’ll keep everyone updated on the activity.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
April 25, 2012
While we have had some wonderful fishing here in SW Florida so far this spring, I wouldn’t be honest if I did not admit the last several days have been extremely tough on the fishing scene. A strong weather system moved through the area last weekend bringing (much needed) heavy rains and strong on shore winds. (not needed) With that, the waters became very turbid both outside and in most of the inside bays and has really shut down the action temporarily. However, it should start rebounding by late in the week.
Before the weather change, my anglers were enjoying the continuation of good action on snook with a few fish caught in the 15 pound range as has been the norm this year. Plenty of big snook also showed their might by parting their anglers connection to them through the heavy cover! There continues to be numerous snook in the 20 to 25 inch range all over the place to provide good action. Live sardines, threads as well as streamer flies and various soft plastic baits are all catching fish right now.
Redfish have been available for my anglers mainly on the higher tides along mangrove edges, especially those with submerged oyster bottom. The higher the water, the better the bite has been. The tricky part is getting good casts far enough under the cover for the fish to find the baits. It is definitely a game of skill to get to them!
Yesterday morning I fished with Steve Henderson under conditions that were far from favorable. Our plan was to fish with live baits for snook and tarpon, but with the rough, muddy water, no bait was available and conditions just were not good for that plan. We resorted to fishing with jigs and soft plastic jerk baits. On Steve’s third cast in a remote backcountry hole, he connected with a very feisty 31 inch, 10 pound redfish. We assumed perhaps that this day might turn out pretty good after all, but worked hard the rest of the morning catching only a couple of sea trout and some small snook. We found some larger snook laid up around cover, but could not get their interest with the artifical baits.
Here is Steve with a hefty 31 inch red caught on a jig and released on April 24, 2012…
Hopefully, next week will bring a more optimistic report. The weather pattern is expected to get back to normal and the fishing should break loose again!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
April 15, 2012
Okay, I’m a few days late on my “weekly fishing report”. To my defense, I have been very, very busy and with the Easter holiday last weekend, well I just did not get around to it. With that said, despite some very stormy and windy weather late last week most of my clients have been able to hook into plenty of fish and a few have either had their personal best catches and possibly the catch of a lifetime for many anglers. Large snook, redfish and plenty of tarpon are all in the offering right now!
Snook continue to please this captain and many clients with too many releases to count on several trips and a few notable catches in the 12 to 15 lb. range. We are taking snook all over the back bays as well as near the passes. As usual they are crushing live sardines, but are also being caught on soft plastic “jerk baits”.
We have caught plenty of redfish as well, with most landing within the slot of 18 to 27 inches. Some over slot reds have also been caught and released. High tide is the time to get them, and a well presented bait or jig tight to the mangroves will get results. Most are being caught along south facing banks that have plenty of oyster growth along the bottom.
I have been spending more and more time focusing on the many tarpon that are now settled in the back waters as well as migrating along the outside coastline. We have had numerous hookups so far with a few fish boated. Along with the tarpon, plenty of shark action is to be expected and they have not let us down. Lemon sharks to 250 lbs. as well as bruiser bull sharks and speedy black tips have often given us more than we bargained for.
Noteworthy catches the last week were Chris Jeneatte with sons Joel and Jake. They caught numerous snook including a 15 lber by Chris. Jake boated a 6 foot lemon shark and Joel provide dinner with a couple of mid slot redfish. Here is Chris’ biggest snook…
Jake (10) and Luke(12) Spegal and their dad Dave had a great afternoon on Tuesday 4/10. the trio had their fill of action with the snook, redfish and some giant jack crevalle. Luke caught his biggest snook ever, a 12 1/2 lber! Here’s Luke and his catch…Jake followed up with a huge 13 lb. redfish with a great cast way under the mangroves at high tide!…
Today I took Mike Mastellone and son Michael (15) on their first tarpon fishing trip. Beginners luck prevailed as young Michael hooked into the fish of a lifetime. We were fishing in a shallow bay near Marco Island and after spotting several tarpon working in the area, Michael was tight to a giant fish which gave a tough battle for over an hour and 45 mninutes. Michael managed to bring the huge fish boatside for a few photos and a release. I estimate this fish at over 160 lbs, possible in the 170+ range. It measured out at 7 feet long and had a girth of about 40 inches! Not bad for his first tarpon! I’ll have more pictures available in my next update.
Thursday afternoon I fished once again with Luke and Jake Spegal, this time along with their grandfather Dick DeRoberts. The group released numerous snook throughout the afternoon and Luke once again raised the bar by catching and releasing this 15 lb. snook!…
It’s time to get out an try for your fish of a lifetime!
-Capt. Todd Geroy
April 1, 2012
Last week started off challenging after a bit of a blow as a weak front moved through last Sunday. Waters were muddy for a couple of days but by the later part of the week, the fishing action exploded with quite a few nice redfish and snook boated as well as several hookups with big tarpon.
Thursday morning broke loose for the Forte’ brothers who are regular on board the “Intowishin”. Bill and Jack enjoyed a school of feisty reds running to 26 inches while casting live sardines into a remote pocket along the mangroves. The reds were even striking baits right on the surface beside the boat! The guys also had plenty of snook in the mix to keep rods bent. Here is Bill with one of the redfish caught…
Rob Barber and sons Jake,15 and Mark,17 had a great afternoon trip on Friday while releasing numerous snook, redfish and big jack crevalle. The action was non-stop as they released fish after fish after keeping a couple of nice reds for dinner. We topped of the afternoon with a few minutes spent to try for a hookup with one of the big tarpon that are in the bays right now. Within 10 minutes, Mark was tight to a 100 lb. silver king which put on a great arial display before spitting the hook! That’s tarpon fishing!
Great tides are coming up this week, and I have another full week of trips lined up. I am expecting some great catches in the backwaters of Naples and Marco Island!
Capt. Todd Geroy
March 25, 2012
Another busy week of 10 half day trips back to back! While we had some great ones, I wouldn’t be honest without saying that it was probably the most challenging overall in quite some time. Very strong tides (extreme high) along with some stiff southerly winds from mid-week until the weekend made us really work for results on a couple of outings. Even the best trips didn’t come easy.
We did find the snook pretty cooperative throughout the week, with some really nice fish caught on live bait ranging up to 13 lbs. I found snook schooled up near Little Marco Pass as well as throughout the backwaters in Rookery and Johnson Bay. Naples Bay also has loads of active snook right now, but heavy boat traffic has been hard to deal with. MIke and Jill Dyer put a hurtin’ on a few early in the week. Here’s Mike with a nice one…
Although not really schooled up, there are still some very nice trout in the backcountry channels and are taking live pilchards freelined in the current. Chumming with live baits seem to get them going. The trout we caught last week were in the 18 to 23 inch range. Here is yours truly with 7-year-old Tanner Noethling. Neither us us could be more thrilled over his trout catch!… Redfish were caught through the week with the afternoon high tides bringing the best action. Super high tides later in the week made casting challenging, but those who could get baits under the flooded cover caught some nice slot sized reds. Dan Masservey and son-in-law Robert caught several beauties on Friday afternoon along with plenty of snook.
Tarpon are here, although I still have not invested much time for a hookup. Along with the tarpon, there are plenty of big sharks such as bull, lemon and blacktips. Catching these bruisers right now is just a matter of commitment.
– Capt, Todd Geroy
March 18, 2012
Another full week of 10 trips behind me and another busy week ahead! We had some great trips out on he backwaters last week and caught everything from tarpon, snook, redfish and large seatrout to loads of hefty jack crevalle. Weaker tides later in the week made the bite a little slower for a couple of days, but we managed to end the week with a flurry of action Friday afternoon.
Monday afternoon I fished with Eric Stone and his son Mitchell, 14 from Tampa. The fishing action proved hot and heavy throughout the afternoon with numerous snook and redfish boated as well as plenty of hard pulling jack crevalle. We were fishing with live sardines in the Johnson Bay area when Mitchell hooked up with a beautiful juvenile tarpon, Mitchells first! The fish made some strong runs against the light tackle as well as displaying some great acrobatic jumps. After a few minutes Mitch had the fish boat side and we quickly retrieved the hook, snapped a picture and released it back into the water.
Right away I knew that with the tide we were fishing and the skill level of the anglers, that Mitchell was well on his way to a Grand Slam (releasing tarpon, snook and redfish on the same trip). While Mitch and his dad had caught a few snook before, Mitch had never caught a redfish. We kept working pockets and it wasn’t long before he got what he was after. Although not the largest redfish we boated that afternoon, along with the tarpon and several small snook, it did complete his first Grand Slam. But I was not completely satisfied.
I moved across the bay to a quiet cove where I had several large snook hookups on recent trips. I directed Mitchell to cast into a deep pocket on his first cast. The line tightened almost immediately and Mitch was hooked into what to many would be the snook of a lifetime! After a 10 minute battle along the mangroves of the shallow bay, We were rewarded with a 15.5 lb. snook! Again after a quick photo the fish was quickly returned to the water to fight another day.
Here are photos of Mitch’s Grand Slam fish…
Friday afternoon, I had repeat client Ted Neftling and his son Tanner, 7. We had fished a year ago and had a fabulous trip with nonstop action for both. I was a little worried about the weak tides putting a damper on our action for this years trip. While we had to fish with great patience, the two had another great experience with some large sea trout to 23 inches, with a couple invited home to dinner. The snook did not disappoint either, with both Ted and Tanner boating several nice fish each. And lastly there were some fiesty jacks around to fill in the gaps between other fish. It is rewarding to see a young angler like Tanner light up when catching a fish and spending time with his father in the outdoors!
Plenty of large tarpon are in the area right now as well as plenty of large bull, lemon and blacktip sharks. I have not invested any time trying to get hooked up in the last week, but they are out there. I hope to give them a shot soon.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 10, 2012
Last week brought some great catches aboard my skiff the “Intowishin” despite some very challenging conditions early in the week with high winds, extreme tides and dirty water. Persistence prevailed and several trips enjoyed some fishing action for redfish and snook that is as good as it gets! Sea trout, pompano and some big jack crevalle were also in the offering.
One trip of special note was Thursday morning. I took Margaret Smith and her daughter Marge from Lookout Mtn. TN. Margaret, her late husband, family and friends have been fishing with me for about the last twenty years and we always have a great time together regardless of how the fish are biting. On this trip, Margaret announced that she was celebrating her 80th birthday! We headed into the creeks of Johnson Bay with a very low incoming tide and enjoyed non stop action with redfish and snook and trout all morning long. The highlight of the morning was Margaret boating and releasing a 13 lb. redfish after a lengthy tug-of-war under the mangroves and all around the boat. We snapped a quick picture and proudly released the beautiful fish.
That afternoon, I fished with regulars Tom Iverson, Jay Sandza and Bob Potter. With the full moon spring tides flooding the mangroves, accurate casts were necessary to present the baits far into the pockets and over hangs of the shorelines where the redfish and snook were feeding. The seasoned anglers prevailed and as heavy rain showers moved in on us, they boated fish after fish all afternoon with and equal mix of slot sized redfish and snook. Tom Iverson also boated a noteworthy trout of 25 inches, his biggest trout ever.
Friday afternoon, I fished with Michael O’Hannon, his father-in-law Scott and 7 year old son Sam. Extreme high tides made casting to the right spots very challenging, but they enjoyed catching some nice redfish, snook and sea trout along with jack crevalle and a couple monster fish that made their way into the cover to escape us. Young Sam is a very enthusiastic fisherman and I must say he can cast and fight strong fish better than many adults I have fished with! We had a blast watching him cast, hook up and fight some nice fish to the boat and then commenting on the catches with great excitement and satisfaction! It was a great afternoon with great people and seeing little Sam light up when he caught a fish made my whole week! That is what it is all about!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
March 4, 2012
Fishing the backwaters south of Naples last week started out pretty decent early in the week with quite a few snook being released as well as some good catches of sea trout, pompano and a few keeper redfish. By Wednesday however, as the moon reached the first quarter phase, we were dealing with one tide days with zero water movement. It really shut down the fishing for several days.
We did have some success with the pompano throughout the week. Using shrimp tipped jigs, we worked clear water channels outside the passes such as Hurricane and Capri and had good success with many of these tasty fish caught. There were a few spanish mackerel and bluefish mixed in.
On Thursday afternoon, I took solo angler Joe McGurrin out for a shot at some big tarpon with the fly rod. With slightly less than favorable conditions due to breezy conditions and muddy water in the shallow back bays, I poled Joe across the bays to sight fish for “laid up” tarpon. While we did find several fish in one clear patch of water and had several opportunities to present the fly to single fish as they floated motionless just under the waters’ surface. No bites, but some exciting moments of anticipation! We moved on later to catch and release several reluctant snook on spinning tackle.
We had some run ins with some huge jack crevalle during the week. Several were caught on light tackle running up to 15 lbs. Although not a fish for the table, they will really provide a battle even for seasoned anglers.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
February 26, 2012
We had another great week of unseasonably warm weather in SW Florida and with water temperatures reaching 75 degrees in the backwaters, my anglers made some great catches.
The main event has still been the numerous large snook that have been available and challenging my anglers on most every trip lately! We have been hooking up with them along the shallow mangrove shorelines as well as some of the deeper back country holes. Live sardines (pilchards) are the bait of choice. While some of these hard running bruisers have beat us up and escaped, we did catch and release some big fish running to 15 lbs!
A reoccurring topic of discussion onboard in the last year has been regarding the current moratorium on the snook imposed after the massive kill during the severe cold weather of 2010. While the population of snook seems to be on the rebound in my waters with so many quality fish being caught now, there is still a noticeable lack of fish in other areas, especially further south. I believe that the moratorium should continue for at least a two more years or until there is an obvious recovery throughout the region.
As far as our local population of snook, I explain that it would be easy to quickly diminish the stocks as they are very territorial. During a single week, I usually run 10 trips, if we kept a limit of 1 fish per angler per trip… Well you can do the math. We would quickly destroy this great fishery. For now, let’s enjoy catching these prized gamefish and continue to release them to thrill another angler!
Redfish made a strong showing last week as well. With the new moon, strong high tides drove the reds to feed along the flooded mangrove shorelines during the afternoons. With the high water, casts had to be right on the edge of the bushes and into narrow pockets. Good casts were often rewarded with some nice keeper sized reds.
We also found some nice trout in some of the deeper backcountry channels. Along with them, schools of big jack crevalle and lady fish are keeping lines tight.
It’s time to get out there and enjoy some great spring fishing!
Capt. Todd Geroy
February 19, 2012
I am home this morning after a 6 day marathon of 11 half day and one full day trip last week. I can’t say that the fishing last week didn’t have a couple ups and downs, however we had some very strong fishing all week long with a variety of fish available. Water temperatures early in the week had dropped over 10 degrees from the previous week after a strong but brief weekend cold front came through. This put the fish in a definite winter pattern for a couple of days. We changed our tactics and caught up to a dozen different species on trips early in the week. By mid week, we were back into some big snook along with jumbo trout and some decent redfish!
I left the dock Monday morning with 39 degree air temperature, bundled in several layers. George Martuccio and his wife braved the chill and once the sun started to warm things up, George was kept busy catching just about every species that swims in the back bays. Several large black drum were boated along with big sheepshead, seatrout, snook, flounder, snapper, goliath and gag grouper to name a few! We used both live shrimp and jigs tipped with shrimp.
By Wednesday, thing started to warm up a bit. I found plenty of pompano biting near the outside passes as well as some very nice sea trout in the deeper backcountry channels. Kent Middleton and his son-in-law Rocky found plenty of the previous as well as a beautiful 30 inch back country snook caught on a jig by Rocky at the end of the day!
Here’s Rocky with his snook…
Thursday morning I threw the cast net and easily loaded the boat with several hundred lively pilchards. Both trips found some eager snook running up to 29 inches as well as a few redfish and sea trout. Pompano were still active in the Hurricane Pass area on the afternoon trip. Jigs tipped with shrimp produced the pompano action.
The week of trips was capped off Saturday afternoon with long time client Buck Bowen accompanied by his daughter Kerry Poole and grandson, Sam. 11 year old Sam can really handle a rod and reel and really got a work out all afternoon as the trio enjoyed non-stop action with redfish, snook and big sea trout. I don’t know how many fish they boated, but it seemed that there was at least one if not three fish on the line all afternoon!
Several trout boated were ranging to 19 inches, with Sam boating the largest trout I have seen in a while. The fish measured 25 inches and weighed in at just over 5 lbs. Here is Sam with his giant specimen…
Several giant snook were also hooked and dominated us under the mangroves before Sam came through and muscled a 32 inch beauty to the boat!
Here is a thrilled Sam with his big snook before release…
I have another full week ahead of me with eager clients looking for some of the best fishing SW Florida has to offer!
Capt. Todd Geroy
February 12, 2012
I fished a solid week of 10 half day trips last week and dealt with a myriad of weather conditions as it seemed to change each day, sometimes throughout the day. We also had some very good trips throughout the week although on a couple, the fish just weren’t cooperating at all. Anglers aboard my boat caught everything from some trophy sized Snook to Redfish, Sea Trout and Pompano to big Sharks and even one brief hookup with the first Tarpon of the season!
Snook fishing really picked up last week as the water temperatures reached 74 degrees in the back waters. I had several guests boat beautiful Snook ranging to 14 lbs. Usually unheard of during the month of February. We also boated and released plenty of smaller Snook along with them. Live sardines have been plentiful and I have been cast netting them fresh each morning by the thousands. The Snook eat them like candy!
Sea Trout fishing was good on the afternoon outgoing tides. We caught some nice Trout on live sardines in some of the deeper channels well inland. They ranged in size from 16 to 22 inches. Chumming with live baitfish got them worked up.
Redfish were scattered more than I expected. Usually the high tides that accompany a full moon such as last week bring my favorite conditions for finding them schooling. We did have some success, catching some nice keeper sized fish; however they were not schooled up. We kept on the move targeting key pockets along the mangroves at high tide and managed some quality fish.
I continued to see more large Tarpon moving into the back bays. On Friday mornings’ trip, we decided to spend the last hour trying for a hookup. We found a few fish working in a shallow bay but were not able to get the Tarpon to bite our allotted time. We did hookup to a big shark that took us on a SW Florida sleigh ride for a while! It ended up biting through the 100 lb. monofilament leader after giving us a thrill. On the afternoon trip with another group, we gave it another shot. This time we did manage to put a 100 + lb. tarpon in the air for a few jumps. The first hookup of 2012! And it’s only the first week of February.
Capt. Todd Geroy
February 4, 2012
With temperatures running 10 degrees above normal for the first week of February, we enjoyed some great fishing all week. Warmer weather brought the return of the bait fish to the area and with them we experienced some fishing opportunities that are more like mid March or April.
Early in the week, we experienced a couple of back to back days that brought some of the best Redfish action I have seen since perhaps November. Using jigs and shrimp, Terry Hopkins and his daughter Kelly had a great morning of Redfishing. The two caught and released over 30 redfish, most of them running from 18 ½ to 24 inches. Along with the reds, they also caught several Flounder and some nice Sheepshead. We were fishing in the remote creeks of Johnson Bay.
I was able to easily cast net loads of pilchards for bait for the remainder of the week. With water temperatures running up to 73 degrees, Snook were eager to eat them up and several trips caught and released as many as 20 Snook to 28 inches. There were also some hefty Jack Crevalle around to keep us busy. We also caught plenty of Sea Trout in the 15 to 19 inch range on the live baits. A little live chumming got them in the mood.
With the warm weather, I am now seeing some big Tarpon moving into the area. I witnessed several large fish free jumping just off shore while I was catching bait. I have also seen Tarpon starting to “lay up” in some of the shallow bays near Marco Island. I am dusting off the Tarpon gear this weekend, and preparing to perhaps give them a shot this week.
January 29, 2012
Warm, spring like weather moved in last weekend, causing water temperatures to spike 9 degrees in just a few days. I must admit that the sudden change in the weather pattern really threw this guide for a loop as the schools of fish that were holed up during the previous cool week moved out and scattered. The ups and downs of winter time fishing can be frustrating but within a couple days, I was cued in on other action and we had a few really productive, fun trips.
The schools of Trout that we were catching during the last cool spell seemed to completely relocate onto shallower flats in the back bays as well as toward the outside passes. We had the best luck drifting the flats while casting jigs in about 3 to 5 feet of water. Once a fish was hooked up, we would stop the boat and fan cast the area. There would usually be several other fish in the immediate area before we would repeat the drifting process. We took a few Pompano along with the Trout.
As the water warmed up, I did experience an increase in the Snook action. We took several nice Snook to 27 inches during the week. Most were taken on live shrimp pretty far inland in some of the more remote bays. Don Tilton fishing along with his wife, Denise found this fine winter Snook hiding along the cover of the mangroves…
By mid-week, searching for alternatives, I had ventured out along the beaches and encounter mobs of Bonito (False Albacore) crushing the bait fish just off shore. I had several trips where we worked the schools of the great fighting fish and enjoyed some fast paced action with these speedsters which ranged from 6 to 10 lbs. These members of the tuna family are aggressive feeders taking artificial baits and flies well. They are capable of blazing runs sometimes peeling 100+ yards of line off the light, 10 pound tackle.
Thursday afternoon, Jay, Tom and Kim wore them out while boating and releasing upwards of thirty fish in a few hours. The trio of anglers had several occasions where they were hooked up on three at a time. I would get into the action and hook a fourth to add to the confusion, ending up putting my rod in the rod holder to keep the fish on while assisting with landing their fish! What a fire drill! We later moved inland to one spot where they continued to catch several redfish. Here is the crew with one of their triples…
-Capt. Todd Geroy
January 21, 2012
Another very busy week brought plenty of good fishing aboard my skiff, the “Intowishin”. Several trips experienced some great Trout fishing mixed in with just about every other species that swims in the back waters.
A cool start to the week pushed all kinds of fish into the deepest holes and channels in the back bays. While several mornings were a little slow to start, action got going as the sun warmed things up. Live shrimp worked well on the schooling Sea Trout as well as jigs tipped with shrimp. The Trout ranged in size from 15 inch keepers to some 23 inch beauties!
Other species caught along with the Trout were Sheepshead, Pompano, Black Drum, Gag Grouper, Goliath Grouper, Bluefish, Snapper and Redfish. Mixed bag fishing at it’s finest!
On Thursday afternoon, I fished a half day with longtime clients Mike and Jill Dyer and their friend Diane Angelico. The trio really put a hurting on the Trout and Sheepshead catching countless fish of both species during a non-stop afternoon long bite! The trout were all legal size with the largest measuring 23 inches caught by Jill. Sheepshead were running to about 2 1/2 pounds. Most of the fish were released, with just a few taken for dinner. Most fish were caught on live shrimp, however tube jigs tipped with shrimp also worked well. We fished all afternoon in just three holes in the Rookery Bay area!
Next week brings great tides as well as a great weather forcast. I’m looking forward to another busy productive week!
– Capt. Todd Geroy
January 14, 2012
Redfish and Sea Trout continued to be reliable catches aboard my skiff the “Intowishin” last week. My anglers enjoyed nice catches of each with many fish released and a few invited back to dinner!
Trout are being caught in many of the inside channels on 3/4 ounce jigs. Any type of plastic grub tail will draw strikes. My “go-to” continues to be a 3″ Berkley Gulp shrimp. These baits are scented throughout and are very effective without having to tip the jig with shrimp. Most of the trout are running 15 to 16 inches and we also caught a few pompano mixed in throughout the week.
Redfishing was best during the higher tides in the afternoons last week. We targeted edges of oyster beds and shorelines with shelly edges. Live shrimp rigged with a small split shot was the bait of choice. Some decent sized sheepshead were caught in the same spots with several of them running into the 3 lb. range. We also encountered quite a few flounder and mangrove snapper.
– Capt. Todd Geroy
January 8, 2012
The first week of January brought the coolest weather so far this season with low temperatures at night near freezing and highs during the day only reaching around 60 degrees for several days. Clients canceled morning trips all week and rescheduled on afternoons or later dates to avoid the chill. High winds from the NW on Tuesday blew red tide inshore causing a rather massive fish kill in Naples Bay and surrounding waters. It did not have any affect on the waters from Rookery Bay south.
I did fish afternoons from Wed. through Fri. and although the mid week was on the slow side, Friday broke loose! With Sea Trout season open, I took Dave Fruend and his friend John Henchen out to hopefully provide a fish fry. The duo easily caught their limit and released at least 60 others in two stops. Pompano also showed up for dinner. We caught all fish in the deeper channels in the Rookery Bay area on jigs.
Tides were slow last week, but are picking up for the next 5 days or so with today (Sunday) being the full moon. Negative low tides in the morning this week should really bunch up the fish in channels and holes in the most remote backcountry areas. This is usually a great scenario for catching schooling Redfish as well as large Sheepshe