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An Introduction to Fly Fishing | Catch and Release | Fishing Prospects | Beach Fishing | Fishing Spots
Fishing along the beaches can be quite rewarding. Snook swim in the trough right at the edge or within 3 feet of the surf line. The technique is to stand back from waters edge 10 feet or more and
search for passing snook. Cast ahead of the snook and move the fly as the snook approaches. The best time of day for this is early morning as only fishermen are on the beaches and the sun is at your
back. Late in the day when the beach goers have left will also work but then the sun is in your face. For flies a "DT" is easy to tie and effective (see under Flies on the Gallery web page for a
picture). Other patterns for the beach are clousers (chartreuse and white), bait fish patterns, and crab patterns. Smaller hook sizes like 2 or maybe even 4 are best (smaller relative to salt water
standards not trout standards). If you do not tie your own stop in at the Mangrove Outfitters, 4111 East Tamiami Trail, and the owner, Tom Shadley (239-793-3370), can provide you with flies and
whatever else you might need.
The following are some beach access points. Starting on Marco Island and working north.
Tigertail Beach County Park, 480 Hernando Drive, Marco Island - walk west from the parking lot (entry fee) until you reach the lagoon then turn right, north, and walk to the inlet of the lagoon. This works best at low tide as you can wade across the lagoon and fish any where along the inlet or walk over and fish in the gulf. Another benefit to this location is you are away from beach goers so you can fish more hours during the day. If you fish it in the evening verify with the attendant at the parking lot that the gate will open when you want to leave. There are restrooms and a snack bar by the parking lot.
33rd Avenue south - take Second Street south, also called Gordon Drive, to 33rd Avenue south and turn west. If you have a Collier County beach sticker on your car park in the designated parking spaces, otherwise park in a metered parking spot. If there are no places to park go back north to 32nd Avenue south and park there. Anyway, after you park walk to the beach and head south. You can fish all the way to the inlet of the Gordon River. If the tide is low you can wade a ways up the Gordon River, just be sure to get back to the beach before high tide or you may have to swim. In addition to cruising along the beach, snook also hang out among the pilings that jut out from the beach. There is also the possibility of lady fish or jack crevelles that you can cast to from the beach. Look for pods of bait fish being attacked.
Clam Pass Beach Park – take Pine Ridge Road west (it becomes Seagate Drive west of Tamiami, highway 41) until it dead ends at the Clam Pass parking lot (entry fee). There is a small tram that takes people to the beach but in the early morning you will have to walk. From the beach walk north to the inlet and begin fishing or fish anywhere along the beach. At low tide some people wade across the inlet. The problem is you will have to swim back if you are still there at high tide. There are restrooms and a snack bar on the beach.
Vanderbilt Beach – take Vanderbilt Beach Road west until you reach the beach parking garage. The garage is on the left (fee). Walk to the beach and look for snook. There is no fresh water inlet at this location and therefore is not as good a destination as the other locations for fishing.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park – take Immokalee Road west to the entrance to the park (fee). Drive inside the park to parking lot number 5, the last parking lot, and go to the far end to park. Walk to the beach and head north. This beach is divided between fishing and no-fishing areas. The fishing area is north near the inlet. Fish the inlet area and at low tide you can wade up the inlet to the east and then south, again if you do be aware of when the tide changes. There are restrooms by the parking lot and a snack bar at the beach.
In general the inlets at all the beaches are best the first hour of the incoming tide. On the out going tide fishing can be good until the water changes colors. When the freshwater from the river which is usually stained and/or turbid reaches the inlet the fish stop biting. Fishing is over until the tide turns and clean water from the gulf comes in.