Idling out of Gordon’s Pass, the snook explode the surface of the water on the north side of the jetty. White herons and snowy egrets stake out pieces of the riprap. The snook push the schools of bait up along the jetty. The birds spear the scared baits that jump out of the water from the charging fish underneath the surface. A soft warm easterly breeze cuts the cool of the morning. This is the beginning of a beautiful morning in southwest Florida on the coast. The sun creeping up through the tree line of mangroves. A “grape fruit“ red morning sun. Coconut palms silhouetted all along the beach of Naples white sands and still waters. The boat purrs south at two hundred and ten degrees. A wake of purplish blue water rolls out from behind her stern. A fading trail of frothy bubbles glow neon white in the early morning sun. Rafts of cigar minnows and thread fins “shake” on the surface.
These schools of bait fish, acres large, attract offshore birds such as common terns, brown pelicans and magnificent frigate birds. The birds work together to “tighten up” the schools of bait fish on the surface. Kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and Bonitos can be found breaching the surface of these rich offshore waters. Trolling around these schools of bait with spoons and bug rigs entice these fish to bite. Trolling offshore is relaxing and exciting. The cool breeze of the deeper blue waters blowing on your sun kissed face. The cadence of the motor and gentle sway of the vessel.
(Naples offshore charter boat fishing: http://naplesfishingboat.com/)
You’re ready to take the best nap of your life but, the reel starts to “scream“ bending all the way over almost parallel to the aqua green gulf waters. The captain hollers “fish on” from the bridge and starts to turn in a large circle. With a giant Kingfish on your pole, you watch a second Kingfish “skyrocket” four feet above the surface of the churning waters after the top water” bug” that’s being dragged twenty feet from the stern. The kingfish with speed and grace of a “shooting star” erupts the surface chasing the “hot pink” bug. The kingfish with its mouth wide open glistens and shimmer suspended in the glistening sun. Missing the lure you’re in complete shock. Your heart pumps as hard and fast as these fish are swimming.
The second trolling rod dragging a spoon behind the boat slams up and down. You think the rod is gonna jump right out of the metallic rod seat and into the gulf waters as it gyrates alive. Reeling down on your twenty pound Kingfish, the captain calls out “another kingfish on!” Two kingfish on at the same time pulling line off the reels . The captain continues to turn a circle while the battle of tug a war presumes in the cockpit of the boat.
Both kingfish are reeled up along side of the boat swimming in the wake of the boat. The fish are gaffed if being harvested and placed in a fish box full of ice. Thirty minutes ago you were as tranquil as the summer time sea’s, almost asleep and then the whole Gulf of Mexico erupted with pelagic life.
King fishing is a great way to enjoy the pristine waters of southwest Florida. Fishing by yourself or with the whole family, King fishing is a sure way to experience “the real Florida“ and its natural beauty. It’s more than just catching a boat load of fish. It’s the schools of flying fish soaring in and out of the glass like gulf waters. Sea logger turtles surfacing for air and spotted porpoises chasing the wake of the boat.
Kingfish and Spanish mackerel make excellent table fare as well. Enjoying the “days catch” for dinner amongst family and friends is what fishing is about. Fishing offshore you get a little more tanner, you come to understand that cold cut fruit and frosty beverages makes even the saltiest of captain’s smile. On the journey back to shore the sun falls down toward the horizon. Worn out and suffering from ”too much fishing club” you drift off to sleep dreaming of grilled Kingfish , mango chutney and homemade key lime pie. This is one of my favorite ways to offshore fish in Naples.