Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 27, 2015 – December 3, 2015

CONDITIONS:

We are on the backside of the first late fall cold front with cooler temperatures and a resurgent wind. Thankfully that wind which holds at about 15 knots and gusts to 25 knots is emanating out of the east / northeast which keeps the incoming water clean albeit it stirs up the outgoing tidal water. Forecasts show that  those conditions will hold until after the weekend and then ease as the week progresses. No fronts are forecast for the period. The water temperature has tumbled into the 74 – 76 degrees range and holding. The tides are coming off a full moon and ease considerably as the period progresses……. Morning incoming stronger than the afternoon and evening outgoing.

BACKWATER:

The water temperature drop is the key feature in changing our fishing opportunities as we finally enter the fall season. Here we are seeing a change in activity with some specie activity tailing off and some other kicking in. For example…..you will see the hot mangrove snapper  bite begin to tail off replaced by more sheepshead and seatrout action. Will still be some snapper action but most will be smaller. Other species will pick up activity as the water temperatures stabilize. Look for more consistent pompano action in the Passes on both tides. Hurricane Pass, Capri Pass and Caxambas Pass will all show an uptick on pompano action especially in the first and last hours of either tide using either shrimp on a lindy rig or tipped jig worked to the bottom on a drift. Both silver trout and speckled trout to good size are active now along the deeper holes of the Intercoastal Waterway between here and Naples and biting best on small tipped jigs worked on the strong incoming tide. As the water warms in the afternoon they will move off to the shallow flats with seagrass bottoms near Johnson and Rookery Bays. Your sheepshead targets are now a shade bigger and you have a good chance for for 12-13″ take homes ( the spawners arrive in January and easily go 15-18″). Work these with patience and a small shrimp or cut crab bait worked very slowly, in the cooler water, across the bottom. Other species that have begun to poke their heads into the action pool are flounder, whiting, and black drum. So, bottom line, you’re into a whole new facet of the great fishing here on Marco Island.

NEARSHORE:

Careful on the sea condition here at least early week. Could be bouncy. Mackerel have taken their position as primaries here on the nearshore reefs and a bit beyond. With scads of bait roaming the inside reefs the mackerel are super active. They are driving the bait to the surface over those reefs enticing the gulls and terns into action as the mackerel and bluefish drive the bait schools to the surface. Would suggest staying mobile and working the edges of the surface bait eruptions with top water jigs worked quickly. Other alternative is running a troll, again through the edges of the action pool with jigs or flashy spoons. Bottom action continues on nice mangrove snapper, some triggerfish and flounder along the reefs. All on weighted tipped jigs under chum. Also this is the last call for gag grouper who move inshore in the cooler water as their season here closes (again) on 12/3/15. Best on the gags is slow trolling a magnum jointed plug just 4-5′ above the bottom.

OFFSHORE:

The cooler conditions will trigger some different actions here also. It gets a lot cooler north of us in the Florida Panhandle where the pelagics summer and they will be “pulling the cork” and heading south to the Keys. So here come the kingfish,cobia, permit and tarpon heading south. The deep wrecks will be the primary beneficiaries of the reverse migration. So, go deep (if conditions permit) and work the deeper wrecks and reefs with live bait worked under chum. All will take a well presented live bait worked under chum. Live bait fish for the cobia, King and tarpon. A live small crab will do it for the permit

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 20, 2015 – November 26, 2015

CONDITIONS:

Moving into late fall and we still have summer like conditions. We will be moving into some frontal conditions this weekend but it is still super warm. Look for mild winds and temperatures through early Sunday with some accompanying showers and occasional heavy rain and then the “cold front” appears with steady winds in the teens and gusts to the mid twenties…..all from the east / northeast that will extend through the Thanksgiving holiday. The weekend showers should chase anglers home and the windy conditions may keep them there. Although there should be some good to very good fishing opportunities with the winds staying east and northeast and chilling down the water temperatures. Another plus is the full moon come the holiday that is unusually mild….so you should have moderate tide movement through the week. Water temperatures the then are tumbling slightly into the mid seventies. All in all the water should stay clean and the change in temperatures could restart some action on fall species…….flounder, sheepshead, redfish and black drum.

BACKWATER:

The rather mild front may upset fishing conditions through the early part of the week but then the backwaters should settle down.  Look for some resurgent redfish activity here as the water temperatures slide down. As the reds move back into the bay ( Rookery, Addison and Johnson) work the mid tides in the shallower bays with a tipped light jig over the shallower grasses and then move into the mangrove edges in the late incoming working shrimp under a popper up into the shaded overhangs. There will still be some snook around but most will be juveniles and exciting on the catch but must be carefully released. Snook fall for live bait (pilchards, sardines, threadfin) freelined into edges where there is good current movement. In the Passes look for the pelagics  to return in the cooler water on the first and last parts of either tide. Pompano and mackerel, along with jacks and blue runners should show as they transit the exit and entrance to the backwaters. Work them on small tipped jigs worked close to the bottom. Bottom fishing along the mangrove edges should be good for late season mangrove snapper, flounder, black drum and early season sheepshead. All on shrimp or cut crabs worked into edges and bottom structure.

NEARSHORE:

Sea conditions could be a bit dicey here post weekend but should level out late week. Look for pelagic action (mackerel, bluefish, jacks and runners) to pick up as things settle down. Setting up on structure and getting a good chum effort going may get you good action on all four species. All four are fun to catch; mackerel is the best amount the four for the table. As the seasonal chill takes hold in the Florida Panhandle you may see as urge in the southerly migration even in the nearshore waters with cobia and small kings showing up in your domain. Keep both a live bait in the water and a live bait rigged on a standby rod aboard. The Kings will dive on a soaked bait and the cobia will show on the surface anticipating a live bait surface tossed their way.

 OFFSHORE:

Conditions permitting at least through mid week. Red grouper remain open in state waters are are showing as quite plentiful. Work the waters at the state water outside edge (seven to nine miles offshore) working a live pinfish or cut ladyfish tight to the hard bottom spots on a drift. Gag grouper, still harvestable till 12/3, are a bit deeper in federal waters and can be caught using the same techniques. On the deeper wrecks, good chance of some of the migrating pelagics (cobia, kingfish and permit) showing on the deeper wrecks and jumping on live bait worked under chum.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 6, 2015 – November 12, 2015

CONDITIONS:

Winds are diminished over what they were the past few weeks. Still will be dealing with some gusts to the mid teens from time to time but, thankfully, they all will be east and southeast. That will keep the water, especially the early morning and late afternoon incoming tide clean and green. The mid day outgoing will probably pick up some of the tannic brown color but still should be OK. The tides are going to a new moon come late week but are surprisingly docile…..almost all the tides are under the 2.0 foot range meaning you’ll be able to fish both ways every day. The water temp, cooled in the evening and night and warmed during the hot afternoons is holding in the 77-79 range which is another plus.

BACKWATER:

We just might be coming into one of our best fishing weeks.With easing winds and a moderate tide in early fall conditions, a lot could be in store in the backwater. Clean water will bring the long absent mackerel into the Capri, Caxambas and Hurricane Passes chasing the mammoth schools of bait surging back and forth. And there usually will be some small bluefish mixed in and working the same food. Work both species with flashy tipped jigs on wire leader (both species are toothy) in the top water. Also in the same Passes a good chance the long awaited pompano schools will show. They can be worked with a little heavier jigs, tipped with shrimp and worked close to the bottom on a drift. Bottom fishing along the mangrove edges is still producing some nice size mangrove snapper along with some early season mid-size sheepshead. Here you’ll need some Linda rigs loaded with pieces of fresh shrimp worked tight to the bottom. And last but not least, we still have the redfish active. Best venues for the reds has been the edges of the major bays i.e. website uptime . Johnson, Rookery and Addison working whole shrimp either freelined or under a popper tight to the shallower, shaded mangrove overhangs near the top of the tides.

 NEARSHORE:

Things should be upbeat here as conditions stabilize this week. Look for the surface indicators of bird action and surface bait eruptions which are the giveaway for the presence of pelagics; primarily mackerel and bluefish with jacks and blue runners tossed in. You can stay mobile and work the perimeters of the bait surges with tipped jigs or you can set up on structure holding bait and set block chum to draw the fish and work them with surface jigs or weighted jigs worked vertically. Bottom action out here should be on the upswing also. Wouldn’t be surprised to see some harvest size sheepshead begin to show on the major reefs (Walton, Five Mile and the Capri Barges) along with the expected lane and mangrove snapper, flounder and triggerfish. All on shrimp rigs or weighted jigs.

OFFSHORE:

The Feds closed red grouper harvest in federal waters until year end but, fortunately, state authorities have left our waters open. Red grouper are plentiful on hard bottom anywhere from 6-9 miles due west. (Stay inside the 9 mile limit to stay in open state water). You’ll need live pinfish worked tight to the hard bottom areas for your best chance for success. Gag grouper are open in both domains until 12/3/15 and should be increasingly active as the water cools. Same bait and technique for the gags. Deep water wrecks are beginning to see the first vestiges of the north to south migration with some cobia and kingfish action being reported west and southwest of the island. Live bait and chum are the tickets for these larger pelagics.