The 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.