Gag Grouper and Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Gag Grouper and Mangrove Snapper from offshore NaplesEven with the cool weather of late, we still manage to get some nice Gag Grouper and Mangrove Snapper. When fishing for gags you must be aware that what works one day can be non-productive the next. That was exactly the case on Saturday here in Naples Florida. During our deep sea fishing trip we went to several known gag and snapper hangouts with little success. Even with nice live pinfish and shrimp the fish were a little reluctant to feed. Only after dropping down a three ounce yellow bucktail jig on 12 pound line did we get some decent action. When the first fish was hooked on the jig it was like somebody ringing the dinner bell. The other fish all got fired up because the one hooked fish was running all over the bottom trying to shed the jig. The other fish then started feeding and we were able to finally get a nice mixed bag of fish. Those tactic change-ups are the benefit of our 30 plus years experience fishing here in Naples and Marco Island.

Rigging For Transition To Warmer Weather

Fishing GearThe recent string of cold days has finally eased here in Naples. Deep sea fishing is still feeling the effects of the cold weather almost as much as the inshore waters. Places where we normally catch fish this time of year are barren. We are having to find small, protected reefs, ledges, underwater springs and wrecks to locate and catch fish right now. Grouper and snapper are being taken on these spots but it requires lots of experience and fishing techniques.

We are fishing much smaller line and hooks with smaller baits. The fish are not as active in cold water and don’t require nearly as much food so that are not prone to the fast and furious feeding frenzies we see in the warmer months. Keeping the bait, hooks and line smaller allows more action to be imparted to the baits causing the fish to strike a little better than with more traditional presentations. Often times it is a lot more fun catching the fish on lighter tackle but you do stand to lose some of the bigger ones that get back into the bottom.A few warm days could get the fishing back to normal but until then we will stay with smaller tackle to keep tricking the fish. Lots of chum will also improve your fishing chances.

Fishing Warms Up In Naples!

Fishing ReportThe weather has begun to warm up here in Naples. The entire state of Florida  has been below normal since before New Year’s day. Cold weather affects not  only the fish but the fishermen. Few people have wanted to venture out into  the Gulf of Mexico because the temperatures has been so cold. For the folks  who have braved the elements lately, the fishing/catching has been very  good. Nice catches of mangrove snapper and gag grouper are being caught  while fishing live baits over reefs and ledges. If the water warms just a  little cobia and king mackerel will show back up. Spring normally begins in  Naples and all of south Florida in early February so the cold weather could  be behind us. Until the next fishing report, stay warm and think about soon  to be balmy Naples.