Tips for Flats Fishing in Naples, Marco Island and Everglades

  • Do not operate your boat in areas that are too shallow for your equipment.
  • Never cut through seagrass beds with a propeller. Watch your prop wash for mud or plant life, which may indicate that you have strayed into water that is too shallow for your boat. Remember, prop scars take years to recover.
  • Be aware of tidal fluctuations.
  • Use nautical charts and tables to plan your course.
  • Pole or use a trolling motor when traveling across or fishing the flats. Quiet fishermen catch more fish. Consider fishing from a kayak or other shallow draft type vessel.
  • If you run aground, turn off your engine! Raise the motor and push or pole your way to deeper water. If necessary, wait for high tide to move your boat.
  • Do not crowd another boat. If you see another boat fishing on the flats or up against the mangroves, no not approach unless beckoned.
  • Stirred-up sediments are harmful to sealife. Always keep at least 12 inches of water under your propeller.

Source: Boating and Angling Guide to Collier County

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