We started the middle of March with a couple of cold fronts. Water temperatures averaged between 64 and 70 degrees. The Snook and Tarpon pulled out, but the Trout pulled in everywhere. This has got to be the best Sea Trout season that I can remember. Seriously! We let go more 16-17 inch Trout than we normally catch in a season. Average keeper Trout have been 17-24 inches.
Other cold water creatures have shown themselves. The Black Drum are schooling, much earlier than typical. Featured below are some happy clients with their Drum and Sea Trout. The top angler for March is Trenton. An 8 year old, hailing from the North, caught his largest fish. Not only did he do that, but turned around and caught his second-largest fish in the backwater.
The first week of April didn’t disappoint. With water temperatures back in the 70s, backwater fishing in the Ten Thousand Islands, Naples, was abundant. The fish are starting to school up and move back in to the islands. The Snook have started hitting the beaches. Tarpon have started to move in to the deeper passes. Redfish are slowly trickling in. The biggest surprise has been the size of the schools of Black Drum. We ended this week pulling up on to a school of a couple of hundred mixed size Black drum, averaging 10 and 30 plus pounds. One even broke my landing net!
Pictured below is the Wagner family, from Canada, with some of the largest fish they have ever caught on light tackle. We fished a school for an hour and a half. Even grandpa got in on the action. I do know young Evan (10 years old) had the time of his life.
Did I mention that the Trout bite is still VERY strong. Everyone seems to be going home with a Sea Trout dinner. Keep your lines tight and your rod tip high!
Captain Jim Fortman
Backwater Fishing the Ten Thousand Islands, Naples, FL