The last few weeks of October into the first few weeks of November are renowned for some great action in the Naples area. Both Snook and Redfish are very active during this time of year for a number of reasons, including but not limited to a plethora of small baits that litter the back bays. If you plan your day out just right, you can have a high degree of activity regardless of what tide you are fishing.
As many know, successfully targeting certain species this time of year is very much dependent on what the tides are doing and when. For instance, when fishing for Snook, look for shorelines that have a moderate flow pushing into them. This can produce some fantastic results, especially on the middle stages and second half of your outgoing tides. Chumming up these shorelines with pilchards is the preferred method. However, working those same shorelines with lures such as an MR17 or small chartreuse paddle tail can yield similar results.
When targeting Redfish, locating and fishing steep cut banks and/or oyster shoals on the higher side of either incoming or outgoing tides is typically going to produce the best results. Although I personally like to sight fish these guys on a lower tide, it can be terribly frustrating for those who can’t accurately cast to a cruising fish, as they can be pretty darn spooky!
As the waters clean up and cool down a bit, another opportunity affords itself in the form of the Pompano. These are great little fighters and are some pretty good eats as well. In order to give you the greatest advantage in getting into a few, fish passes and channel edges during a moderately moving incoming tide with shrimp tipped jigs. The keys to successful Pompano fishing are twofold. First… you must select a jig that has enough weight to get to the bottom yet is lite enough to “tick” across the bottom with the moving tide. Second… because the Pompano bite can be hard to detect, it is crucial to fish a taught line.
If the tides are less conducive to targeting some of the aforementioned species, there’s always the Triple Tail. Unless you’ve been holed up somewhere, you are already aware that the crab pots have been soaking since the first week of October and the Triples have been holding on them ever since. These guys provide not only some great action, but some outstanding sight fishing opportunities and are very opportunistic to the point of being downright stupid. A 15 to 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 circle hook and a lively shrimp are all you’ll need to get their attention!
I think you’ll agree that no matter the tide or the time of day, there’s always opportunity if you know what to target and when, so until next time, tight lines!