Southwest Florida Fishing Seasons
Most guides will tell you tarpon season is May and June. While May and June are great months to fish for tarpon, by following the migration my season runs from late February all of the way through the end of November. Here is a brief rundown of how my season progresses.
Late February I leave my home waters of Charlotte Harbor and travel south to meet the migration head on. I fish the vast backcountry of the Florida Everglades and the 10,000 Islands exclusively March through mid-April.
I return home to the Boca Grande area mid-April where the tarpon are now pouring in. Hordes of baitfish have moved to the shallow water.
The gathering begins.
May-August this is the peak of the tarpon season in the Boca Grande/Charlotte Harbor area.
The first half of the season we are primarily fishing along the beaches. Sight casting to large pods of fish. These pods or social groups average 30-100+ fish. Quite the sight to see for sure. These fish gather in huge pods along the beaches and passes to go offshore to spawn.
Later in the season the fish start to gather in Charlotte Harbor to rest and feed before they make their journey back south.
Generally speaking the second half of the season we are sight casting artificial lures to tarpon rolling and feeding on the surface. This is why July and August are my favorite months here in my home area.
Mid-September we head back down to the Everglades. Once again getting ahead of the migration. The backcountry of the Florida Everglades is the perfect place for the tarpon to feed before heading back to the Atlantic, Caribbean and beyond for the winter.
The fall migration offers some of the most consistent tarpon fishing of the year. Boat traffic and fishing pressure are close to nonexistent and the tarpon are every bit as big and plentiful as in the spring.
If solitude and big tarpon are what you are after, October and November in the Everglades is where it is at.
For more information on our fishing adventures in the Florida Everglades: Gladestarpon.com
December we get back home just in time. The snook are feeding up for winter and redfish are in abundance on the outside bars as well as around the mangroves. As we enter into our winter the tides are low and the water is clear. There are still snook around on the flats on the warmer days and the bigger fish are back in the rivers and area canals. Seatrout are all over this time of year. As we get into January and February they move to the shallowest water and sit in the potholes and on the edges of the grass. They provide excellent top water plug and fly rod action. These are not the smallish trout usually caught over the grass flats. They are the gator trout, 20″ plus, you might have heard about.
Because of the tropical climate we have great inshore fishing throughout the year. Snook, redfish, and trout are year round residents of our area. Even the coldest months of the year the many mangrove islands, creeks, and sheltered back bays provide ample cover out of the wind for our fishing. Even when it is freezing up north, most days we are catching fish down here.
Fishing is all we do year round. Tarpon are my species of choice (if you haven’t figured that out already). We fish for tarpon exclusively for just about 9 months a year. The rest of the year juvenile tarpon, snook and redfish are the main target.
If you are planning a trip please call or email.
I will give you a rundown on the species and best days to fish around the time that you will be here.
One thing you might not know about me…
I really like to fish!..lol