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Naples, Florida - Monster Grouper!

Updated on July 17, 2012
Naples, Florida - goliath grouper
Naples, Florida - goliath grouper | Source

Florida Fishing

I love Florida fishing, and Naples, Florida and other areas in the southwestern part of the state provide superb conditions. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are warm, usually calm and clear, and full of food and nutrients. We’re going to do some Florida fishing next week, in fact. Most of the other family members going refer to these excursions as “vacations,” but for hubby, two sons-in-law, two grandsons, and me, they’re fishing trips! Why travel to the Sunshine State and not get in some great Florida fishing? We plan to do a lot of pier fishing, and we’re also considering getting in some deep sea fishing for grouper fish, the tastiest finned species in the ocean.

Beach at Naples, Florida
Beach at Naples, Florida | Source

Naples, Florida

Have you ever been to Naples, Florida? It’s an unbelievably beautiful place, with sparkling white beaches and miles and miles of blue-green water. It’s located in Collier County, near the bottom of the peninsula, on the Gulf side. It’s near Marco Island, Ten Thousand Islands, and the Everglades. The city has a tropical climate, so it’s warm all year long. Even in the depths of winter, the average high is seventy-five degrees, while the average low temp is fifty-four degrees. There’s plenty to do and see here, but for avid anglers, it’s all about the Naples fishing. Just ask a few clients of my buddy, Captain Mike Bailey, who have experienced some awesome Naples charter fishing.

Fishing charters aren't just for anglers.
Fishing charters aren't just for anglers. | Source

Fishing Charters

Fishing charters are usually a great idea for practically anyone interested in catching fish with expert guides. With the right fishing charters, beginners will feel confident with all the help and tips they get from the captain and crew. Experienced anglers will appreciate the size and variety of fish species they’ll have a chance at. Even those not particularly interested in catching fish will most likely enjoy the boat ride and the scenery.

There are a variety of choices with fishing charters. Fishing trips vary by price, length of time, locations fished, species targeted, and methods employed. The boats differ, too. For inshore fishing, you might go out on a small boat with just a guide and one or two anglers. For charter fishing offshore, your fishing trip might include trolling from a larger vessel, with four or five other anglers. With deep sea fishing, you might be on a large boat with restrooms, a galley or snack bar, an air-conditioned lounge area, and twenty-five or more fishermen.

Florida Fishing Fave - Redfish
Florida Fishing Fave - Redfish | Source
Delicious flounder.
Delicious flounder. | Source
Learn about the boats of fishing charters before booking fishing trips.
Learn about the boats of fishing charters before booking fishing trips. | Source

Florida Deep Sea Fishing

Florida deep sea fishing is often an unforgettable experience. One of the most exciting parts of deep sea fishing is that you can never be sure about what you might catch. Even when you’re targeting one specific fish species, there’s no telling what might be attracted to your bait. For example, you might be bottom fishing for grouper when an amberjack takes your line.

With deep sea fishing, the objective is usually to get to deep water – hence the term. More specifically, the desired location could be the Gulf Stream, offshore reefs, deep canyons, or wrecks. How long does it take to get to locations for Florida deep sea fishing? That all depends on where the boat departs from. The coastal and offshore waters of the state are by no means uniform. In some parts of Florida, it takes hours to get to deep water, while in others, deep water with wrecks, reefs, or other bottom structure might be just a few minutes from shore.

Naples Fishing - Nice Snook!
Naples Fishing - Nice Snook! | Source

Naples Fishing

I’ve already mentioned Naples fishing, but allow me to explain further. Fishing in Naples provides participants several venues and fishing methods. They can fish from a pier, they can fish the backwater and canals, they can fish the local rivers, they can fish the bays, or they can do some Naples charter fishing.

Okay, now to the part you really want to know – what can you catch while enjoying some Naples fishing? Of course, that depends on where, when, and how you’re fishing, and the variety is impressive. Some of the fish species you’ll have a chance at include redfish, tarpon, barracuda, permit, snapper, king mackerel, snook, cobia, Spanish mackerel, trout, flounder, amberjack, sharks, tripletail, sheepshead, pompano, black drum, bluefish, and ladyfish. Among the most exciting catches possible, however, is grouper fish – especially the giant Goliath grouper. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Naples Fishing Charters with Captain Mike:

Naples Fishing Charters

Why should you consider Naples fishing charters for your next trip? Well, for one thing, the fish are abundant here, both in numbers and in species. Unless you know the area waters well, you’ll need a competent guide. By booking with one of the Naples fishing charters, you’ll get to advantage of a pro’s experience and know-how as to angling methods, baits, fish feeding patterns, and the most productive “fishin’ holes.”

Because of the location, Naples fishing charters will give you a dizzying array of options. I’ve already mentioned the backwaters, bays, rivers, and wrecks, which are all productive spots. You might want to expand your fishing trips, however, and with Naples charter fishing, you can do just that. Numerous captains and fishing guides will take you to fish Marco Island, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, 10,000 Islands, and the famous Boca Grande Pass – the tarpon capital of the world.

More Naples Charter Fishing:

Goliath Grouper

Now, to the heart of this article. A couple of months ago, Captain Mike took out a couple of clients, a mother and her son. It was the son’s birthday present, and boy, did he get a great big surprise! Fishing over a wreck just a few miles from shore, the young college student hung a goliath grouper. It’s a good thing this guy was young, fit, and strong because the fish did not come quietly. The behemoth weighed in at around 500 pounds! Too bad Mike couldn’t gift wrap the giant fish, but the species is protected. After photographs were taken and the victorious angler joined his opponent for a quick swim, the giant was released, unharmed. I’m sure that’s a birthday that will never be forgotten.

The goliath grouper, also called the jewfish, is scientifically classified as Epinephelus itajara. They can reach monstrous proportions – over eight feet in length and 800 pounds in weight. Goliath grouper can be found in good numbers in the waters of Florida, the Caribbean Sea, and the Bahamas. Sometimes jewfish are caught in water as shallow as fifteen feet, but they’re also hauled up from the real depths.

As I’ve already mentioned, jewfish are protected in the United States and in the Caribbean. Before the protections were in place, the goliath grouper was severely threatened. Like most grouper fish, their flesh is prized, so they were a favorite target. Another problem is that jewfish follow predictable patterns, so it’s not hard for anglers to “outthink” the fish. They’re growth rate is slow, too, and they sexually mature at a later age than many other fish. Since the bans, the goliath grouper is making a gradual comeback.

If you catch a jewfish, you’ll need to release it as quickly and as carefully as possible, but you’ll always have the memory of the adrenaline-pumping experience. And if you’re ready, you’ll also have a fantastic photo. Don’t worry, though – there are other species of grouper fish that are just as tasty and that are legal to keep and eat, and of course, there are lots of other great finned opponents you’ll encounter with Florida fishing. When you go fishing in Naples, Florida, you’ll have all sorts of fish chomping at your bait!


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    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Wow - that's all I can say when looking at this photos. Wow! I'm impressed with your knowledge and experience in fishing and the ocean life! Voted up and up!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I'm with Billy - when do we go fishing??? I've lived on the Gulf Coast for 30 plus years and love to fish, but Ike took out most of the piers we used to fish off of. Now that we've moved closer to Louisiana, there are more piers. Just haven't had the chance to go fishing, yet.

      Voted up.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Some great fishing opportunities in such a beautiful location - thanks for the information! Up and interesting.

    • rwelton profile image

      rwelton 5 years ago from Sacramento CA

      Great pics...loved the link to 'Retiring in Naples'


    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      I'm going next week. Can't wait!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great job my friend! The pics were fantastic and now, of course, I want to go fishing.