SaltyShores Close-Up: Naples, Florida with Captain Will Geraghty
Naples could be called an ideal Florida destination and residential city. For outdoors and fishing enthusiasts, Naples proper and the huge Everglades National Park to the south offers a superb biomass of birds and wildlife plus astonishing angling around the clock. Yet it is a special city that can claim such wonderful snook fishing right in the midst of downtown year-round and alongside its’ beaches in the summer. The Gulf of Mexico sends fresh breezes across the city and offers postcard sunsets that are memory-making.
Naples beaches are blessed with sugary sands and graced by a landmark pier. Downtown Naples has superb shopping, art galleries, and excellent restaurants. And golfers will find all the courses they need in the area.
I asked friend and colleague Captain Ken Collette to join me on a long overdue sojourn for a day of inshore fishing with Captain Will Geraghty (www.naplessportfishing.com). Ken readily accepted and we made plans to meet Will the following friday at the Port-of-Call Marina just minutes from downtown historic Olde Naples. The time of the meeting was set at mid-day so Will could be ready with live bait already onboard in his spacious livewell.
The Day Arrives-
Ken and I left Miami early in the morning and took a leisurely drive across the Tamiami Trail (US 41) which lead us directly into the heart of our target zone of Will’ s dock and the Naples shopping district. We were right on time for breakfast at The Café on Fifth Avenue and we dined on sumptuous egg croissant sandwiches, rainbow granola parfaits, and strong Colombian coffee.
The end of our meal and a little exploring coincided nicely with meeting Will at the marina. As we came aboard and shook hands, Will tossed a couple live pilchards overboard into the Gordon River. Their landing into the water was greeted by the huge predatory splashes of big jacks awaiting them. I told Will if he was intending to get us stoked, he was succeeding ! Will’s vessel was a gleaming spacious 25-foot Privateer Renegade center console model. It was seaworthy-looking, crisp, and best-yet, outfitted with lots of light tackle rods.
On our way towards the pass, Will told us that we’d have to wait about an hour before the tide really would start out and the action would take off. That being the case, I asked Will to take Ken and I sightseeing around Naples Bay to see all the beautiful homes and vessels. Will complied and Ken and I were treated to some fine sights of excellent waterfront living neither of us would forget.
When the tide started out we began our fishing at the pass and slowly worked our way into the bay and fished both the dock pilings and mangrove edges. The method of fishing was chumming with the whitebait and casting to explosions and/or to likely-looking spots. Our spinning tackle was spooled with braided line that was so necessary fighting fish so close to line-cutting obstructions. When the “smoke cleared”, we released over twenty snook, countless big jacks, and a nice redfish. As with all wonderful times, it passed too quickly and it was time to say goodbye.
Like I’ve said before, it’s a very good sign when you’re planning a return trip before it’s even over !
Captain Will Geraghty
Grand Slam Sport Fishing
Web Site: www.naplessportfishing.com
Naples, Marco Island, Paradise Coast
Web Site: www.paradisecoast.com