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Going to Naples, FL in February -- Bringing my Fly Rod

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I will be in Naples, FL for 1 week in February and will be bringing my fly rod with me. I've been to Naples, FL around 6 or so times but never fished there. Since fly fishing just became a new passion this past season, I cant wait to get back out there now that MA has turned dead cold. I will be staying in an area that has lots of those intercoastal rivers (not sure what they are technically called -- creeks? canals? whatever...). I will also have access to a 17' Whaler. For people who know the area, I will be in Haldeman Creek with quick access to Keewaydin, etc. 

 

Questions...

 

1. Fish: What species of fish should I be after? Are these eating fish or just game fish?

2. Equipment: I only have one fly rod -- a 9 WT w/ intermediate line (airflo Ridge coldwater striper). Will this combo work?

3. Locations: Can I fish from shore at all, or should I use the boat? Where should I be going? I don't mind driving to some areas nearby as well.

 

Any other recommendations? I have only fished for Striped Bass with my fly rod before and never have fished outside of the Northeast.

 

Thanks everyone!

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Your 9wt and Airflo intermediate will be fine, I've used the same line in SW Florida with  no issues.  You can definitely fish from shore, near the passes etc.  Most of the fishing I did there was in Bonita Beach and north, I didn't really fish Naples except Wiggins Pass (which can be productive, but you can really only fish the pass and small section of the beach).  I'm sure some of the other guys will chime in regarding species and flies.  I mostly used clousers and schminnow patterns there.  Your striper flies will probably work depending on what you have. 

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Marcel here probably has some of the most experience on the forum in that area that I know of as far as fishing from shore. One thing I will say is if you get a good sized Pompano and like to eat fish then you should take it home and try it.

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should be snook around... if you can get a kayak or paddle board that is your best bet as they will mostly be in the mangroves.  You may consider going south to marco island around tigertail beach as it was less affected by the summer algae blooms.

 

White, white pink, black

are the only 3 colors you probably need as well as some small poppers.

 

throw on the smaller size of striper flies... think a size 2 white deceiver...is all you need.

 

Also oif you go to tigertail there are redfish in the lagoon...  standard tan brown redfish flies in size 2... like a kwan

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Thanks everyone! 

 

Are there small Tarpon there? I have watched some tarpon videos online recently and they look RIDICULOUS to catch.

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yes there are small tarpon around...  but again back in the mangroves.

 

can you afford a guide for 1 day?  It is really an amazing experience to fish the everglades.

 

some photos from a few weeks ago

DSC_0042.JPG

DSC_0053.JPG

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The biggest problem you’d run into is the winter snowbirds and beach crowding. Get out early to fish some of the beaches. A beach like Bonita beach will get crowded quick. 

 

Barefoot beach, Wiggins Pass are all one large section of beach. You can walk from barefoot to mouth of Pass. 

 

 

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I’ve spent winters for the last three years in Bonita springs the next town north of Naples. I have fly fished predominately from a kayak in the creeks surrounding Estero bay.

 

many game fish inhabit the creeks during the winter including snook, jacks and juvi tarpon to name a few. The waters tend to be narrow, tea stained, mangrove lined. My best fishing has always been early in the morning. I use black or purple flies tied on 1 or 1/0 hooks. Look for the bait schools such as mullet. If the water in the creeks is cold, fish the upstream deep holes which will hold the Warmer water. Fish outside bends with moving water. I use simple 9 foot leaders 40 foot butt down to 30 pound. Even the 30 pound will cut easily on a snook gill plate. I’ve found the fish in the creeks very spooky and even from a kayak I’ll spook fish and they will move away after 10 minutes or so.

 

hope this helps. Had very poor results on the gulf beaches last year. Red tide messed it up.

 

ill be down in a month.

 

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February is prime Snowbird time so all the beaches will be crowded and fishing will be a challenge in most places. Early mornings before they they get ut of bd will be your best shot. The other issue you will have will br traffic especially in late mornings and then for the rest of the day. Waze will give toy commute times.

 

Hopefully you will get a reply from Marcel, if not I would send him a PM and introduce yourself and explain your situation. 

 

I am mostly on Sanibel and it is very crowded in February since it is an Island and traffic can make it a parking lot. Your best best on Sanibel is to be in the parking lots just before sunrise to fish and then move away from the crowds as they arrive and then you should have some quite fishing time. Even very early and before sunrise there will be crazies on the beach with head lamps looking for shells. Your biggest issue getting back to naples will be traffic, it will be a long ride. On Sanibel Ding Darling will offer fishing and a chance at baby Tarpon but it does not open utl 7 or 7:30 and there will be a long line waiting for the gate to open. The Tarpon if up are up early but by 10 am it's over. 

 

Ding Darling is closed on Fridays

 

On the beaches any thing i size 2 all white is reall all you need. For the baby Tarpon flies in size 6 or 8 would be much better, again all white.

 

February for Snook on the beach is tough, mostly Trout, Pompano, Spanish Macs and Ladyfish.

 

Forget Wiggens Pass, not worth the fee to get in to fish due to limitations on where you can fish. Lovers Key State Park in the pass and walking to the beach may be an option (google it), it is a small parking area and that may be an issue.

 

Good Luck.

 

Edited by bonefishdick

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go to naples public pier,you do not need fishing license from public pier.

you need salt water and fresh water license.

fish for.

Snook  Trout, Pompano, Spanish Macs and Ladyfish,with your light striper gear use 6' 50# mono for snook and makrell,go early you can find close parking to the pier,fishing coud be good it depend on the fish mood,when they feed and where they travell,you can use fly rod under the pier in the piling..you can go to marco island and fish under the brige,or you can drive to everglades and fly fish for bass.

for snook you can use live bait and bober,makrell  and jack  cravel use thin and flys,you can get shark and stingray off pier.

Edited by snag777

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Second BFD comments ... never been to Naples in season and so only heard the horror stories about traffic and
waiting lines at restaurants andsoforth.

I usually stayed in October in Naples just when the baitfish migration is in swing and schools of Ladyfish, Spanish mackerels

and the sorts pop up.
If would opt for the southern end of the beach near Gordon pass as access is difficult and that is which should help with the crowds.
The breakwaters and the jetty at the inlet would be a target plus of course anything that you can spot along the beach.

The inside of the pass can also be interesting as I did pretty well there on the snook when they passed in- and out of the pass.
Not sure how that spot fishes in season though.

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