The waters off of Mosquito Lagoon are considered some of the best Red Fishing you can find anywhere. Captain Neal has been known to delay or reschedule a trip if the conditions are not right and the bite is not on, the last thing we want you to do is to go on just a 4-hour boat ride.
Captain Neal Goodrich was born 8 miles from Florida in a three-story building that served as a hospital at the time. His family has a rich heritage; settling in the area in the 1800s and remaining here to work the land and the sea.
Throughout the years they worked in orange groves and on the river catching fish. Eventually opening a wholesale/retail seafood market that operated internationally.
Captain Neal has been operating a boat since he was nine years old. Many stories have been published in the local newspapers about him and his family, and he has been featured on one of Larry Csonka's fishing shows.
We had a great time with Captain Neal Goodrich this past week. The horizon line was blue-on-blue, with the only distinction a few puffy white clouds on the sky side.
Ted Gibson cut the throttle on the twin 250-horsepower Mercury outboards and the boat slowed to a stop. He released a big anchor off the bow and positioned the boat where he wanted it over 115 feet of water.
Gibson dialed up the drag until it was nearly impossible for us to pull out any of the 80-pound test line. Then he tossed the first weighted rig overboard and let it sink to the bottom.
“This is cool!’’ Volker said as he struggled to keep the rod tip up as it bent nearly 90 degrees down. Guns!’’ Gibson yelled, a bellowing order for Mike Buffett of Minneapolis to use his arm muscles and overpower the fish.
As it turns out, a 20-pound red grouper can be pretty darn tough. It’s not the rowdy, thrashing, jumping battle of a big pike or muskie or barracuda.
A grouper that knows it’s been hooked just pulls as hard as he can, down, and it takes everything in a grown man’s body to get them turned around and coming up. If the fishing slowed, Gibson would let out more anchor line and let us drift downwind to a slightly different spot.
“Slow down, meth monkey!” Gibson joked as one of our group was struggling to reel and pump. Gibson had just met us, yet he’d already come up with the perfect nickname for a member of our group.
He’s been doing it for five years now on his 29-foot Intrepid offshore boat, a perfect winter balance to his summer guiding out of a lodge in Alaska. All-told we caught more than 30 fish in our day on the Gulf, including a dozen keeper red grouper over 20 inches.
Best of all it was a perfect day, with sunny skies and nearly calm waters. “You guys did good,’’ Gibson said as he washed off his fillet board and fist-bumped everyone in our group before heading home.
Gibson also offers shorter, less expensive fishing excursions for closer-in species and sightseeing tours for dolphins. Naples, in southwest Florida, offers a variety of freshwater and saltwater fishing in winter.
You can fish the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico offshore; cast a line from a beach, pier or riverbank; or explore the canals and nearby Everglades with a charter or guide. Lake Trafford is full of bass and crappie, while the backcountry channels holds nook and redfish.
In the Gulf of Mexico, there’s grouper, snapper, king mackerel, tarpon, shook, mullet, bluefish and barracuda. There are several intentionally placed wrecks underwater that offer fertile fishing, or you can head to deep water like we did.
Hiring a guide will give you a good shot at a big fish, and avoiding tidal, weather and sea problems. You also can cast a line from the Naples Pier, with its 1,000-foot boardwalk, or fish the canals from land.
Fishing from the beach is usually good at dawn and dusk, and Naples has some bait and tackle shops for angling supplies, whether you're into fly-fishing, plugs or live bait. Reviewed July 8, 2021 via mobile Had an incredible half-day fishing experience with Capt Scott Reid of Setsquare Charters.
Scott was well-prepared when my son and I arrived, and we were able to get on the water a bit early. Scott is great with kids (14 years old) and most importantly, guided our trip exactly as I asked.
We were fishing within 30 minutes of leaving the dock and loaded the boat with mangrove and yellow tail snapper. Scott is the newest member of our team and your review confirms our good decision to have him join us.
We're very glad you had a good time and look forward to having you aboard again! Reviewed July 3, 2021 via mobile First let me start by saying my wife, kids (12 &10) and I are not at all a family that goes fishing on even an occasional basis.
We found Setsquare and what set them apart initially was they offered a “family fun day” trip which combined fishing and snorkeling (which we do a lot of). The communication before we booked as we called and asked a lot of questions about the trip, and the communication between reservation and trip were equally good. The family fun day trip is about 4 hours and is fishing for as long as you’d like and then snorkeling.
Once we had enough fun fishing we went to a sandbar to hop in the water to swim/snorkel. I should note on the way we saw a few pods of dolphins jumping near, like within 10 feet, of the boat.
All of this was amazing but what made it the great excursion it was, was Captain Jason. He baited every hook, untangled every line, and helped get the fish in the boat every single time and genuinely seemed to enjoy himself as much as we did.
Reviewed June 24, 2021 via mobile My wife and I took our two kids (ages 11 and 7) for a six-hour charter. In some cases fish were on the line by the time our bait sunk to the bottom.
Reviewed June 15, 2021 My teenage son and I fished a combo tarpon/offshore trip with Captain Jason and first mate Marissa. Had great trip with lots of fish caught.