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September fishing in Everglades City, Chokoloskee, and the Everglades National Park

September is the last HOT and rainy month of the summer here in the Everglades National Park. Day time air temperatures average around 91. Water temps hover around 86. Typical to our summer months, September heats up so much by mid day, that the bite will usually drop off by lunch time. We will still get early day storms which will cool things off a little, and produce a late afternoon/ early evening bite.

Typically September 1st means the beginning of Snook season, however due to the big freeze and Snook kill here in January 2010, Snook season will remain CLOSED. Keep up to date and check out current regulations at www.myfwc.com. We are catching some nice Snook right now, so the closure appears to be helping the population to rebound.

The big momma Snook are feeding on a good moving out-going tide around the outside barrier islands. Try those live baits for your best numbers. I like Pilchards, Thread Herring, and Pinfish. Try them under a cork or just natural for best results. Artificials are always a productive and fun way to catch Snook too. I really like to use DOA Terror Eyz #338 Silver glitter/green back.

The Trout are around the shallow grass flats in decent numbers. Hit your favorite spots the last hour or two of the incoming tide. Most of your bites will happen in the 3’-5’ depth range. They will hit artificial bait just as well, if not better than some live baits. I use GULP! Shrimp, DOA deadly combos, and of course live shrimp under a good popping cork.

Fish for Redfish on an incoming tide on the outside oyster bars with live Shrimp, Pilchards or Thread Herring under a popping cork. Of course many artificials are equally as good and I really like a Gulp new penny Shrimp on a 1/4” red jig head.

Tarpon are still around, although not in as many numbers as early summer. The big gals will be out feeding on the outside bays and flats early in the morning and again late in the afternoon. In our area, they are naturally looking for Ladyfish, Thread Herring, and Pilchards. My choice is to live line one of these delicacies out to them on a nice stout spinning rod. If you have opportunity to sight fish for them, try a large soft plastic bait like a DOA Swimmin’ Mullet.

Capt Pete Rapps
[email protected]
Hailing out of Chokoloskee Island Park Marina, Chokoloskee, FL
Capt Rapps has been fishing the Chokoloskee area for just over 20 years. He offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the Everglades National Park, and is happy to accommodate anyone from men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Pete is extremely patient and loves to teach. You can book a charter right online 24/7. See his online availability calendar, booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and first class web site at
Captain Pete Rapps
Backwater and near shore fishing charters. Chokoloskee, FL
Tarpon Charters at the Bahia Honda Chanel, Big Pine Key, FL


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