Sport Fishing editors fished the inshore and offshore waters of southwest Florida’s Paradise Coast in mid-May, participating in a media event sponsored by Navionics, Raymarine, Okuma, Cuda, Yo-Zuri and the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. (Click here to see video of one editor battling it out with a 300-pound Goliath grouper.)
The video above includes highlights from Day 1, when we checked out a new software update from Raymarine that incorporates Navionics’ SonarChart Live. Navionics’ Paul Michele demonstrated how the software draws live sonar returns on top of your existing chart. The live data can be saved to your Raymarine unit, or it can be shared using Navionics’ Freshest Data system.
We headed out of the marina on Marco Island and turned south toward the 10,000 Islands. We cast Yo-Zuri topwaters and jerkbaits and Savage Gear soft baits for trout, redfish and snook, using Okuma inshore tackle. We caught about a dozen trout to 2 pounds, but found no redfish or snook.
We also ran several buoy lines for tripletail, casting a small Savage Gear shrimp to seven fish and hooking three but never bringing one to the boat.
On Day 2, we ran offshore with SKA captain Ron Mitchell aboard his 37-foot SeaHunter. We jigged and fished live baits around structure about 30 miles offshore. After hooking several massive rays off the R Tower, we moved to another set of numbers and caught three kingfish to 40 pounds and released two gag groupers in the 15- to 20-pound range.