Windy February and March 2022 Fishing Report for The 10,000 Islands Naples,FL

Windy, Windy, and some more Wind is the only description for these two months. It is a regular occurrence for winds to pick up this time, and boy did they. The cold fronts that swept down have been mild as far as temperatures except for one this season. The average air temps were in the mid 70s to the mid 80’s and the water temps stayed in the mid 60s to the mid 70s. Almost perfect except for the wind that was howling on a daily basis at 20 to 30 knots for just about 8 solid weeks. We did get a break for a day or two in between fronts and then it would pick right back up. Now the fishing was better than expected with the dirty water from the winds.

Sea Trout were abundant on every point it seemed and days when we could get out on the flats they were on fire. My groups targeted these fish with Bucktail Jigs and soft plastic Swimbait Jigs along with the Popping Cork Rig. In the mix of Sea Trout we would also catch Snook, Black Drum, and Redfish on these same rigs.

Now when fishing down here in the month of February we get a couple of days in the mix were it seems like spring is about to happen, which fires up some bigger species. We had a warm up this season that spawned a crab migration that sent in a species known as Permit. These fish do come into the area where you may see one over here and one over there. Now the guys above were just at the right place at the right time, fishing for Sea Trout and Pompano. Also in the mix were some rather large Tarpon that made for an interesting couple of minutes while fishing for smaller species. You never know what you will hook down here, just be ready for anything and keep a cool head.

March hit and the fronts kept coming, wind and overcast skies were still here. Now the Trout bite is still strong, but this is when I start targeting Snook and Redfish. This season the water was so dirty it was next to impossible to net baits. So I switched up to using fresh cut baits so the scent would cary through the dirty water. As I tell my clients, it is not the fastest way to catch fish but when the water is dirty it is how we get the big ones (just give it 15 minutes). And the ones that stuck it out are featured above and below, just remember to keep a cool head with these fish or they will have you in the trees in a quick minute.

Well I did not get pictures of the Sea Trout and Pompano in the last two months except for the one below. Almost all of the local restaurants in the area will cook your catch after I clean and prep them for the chefs. Just ask and I will be happy to tell you a recipe or two or a local eatery to take them to.

Spring is now here and big fish season has begun. Give me a call to get in on some great back country fishing in The 10,000 Islands. Until then…

Tight Lines,

Captain Jim Fortman


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