We want to thank THE MARCO ISLAND CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS for their continued fishing reports for the Marco Island area!
CONDITIONS: Like to be able to tell you that the heat is dissipating but that would be a fabrication. Unfortunately, heat will be with us through this last week in August and probably for three or four weeks beyond. Sorry. This coming week we’ll add a little gusty wind to the mixture over the weekend. Probably see some blustery winds with a velocity in the low 20’s throughout coming out of the Southwest. Will mess up the good morning tides and, a good chance, of clouding up the waters. That aberration should clear early week and we’ll be back to faster moving morning tides and back to more settled hot conditions. Those morning tides (outgoing) will be swift right through the week…..which in turn drives you to the late afternoon (somewhat cooler conditions) and a nice southwest breeze. Water stays unseasonably hot with water temps that bounce back and forth from 86 to near 90 these days.
BACKWATER: Capri Pass and Caxambas Pass have been delivering some scarce pompano action working the deeper cuts in the channels on the first hour of either tide working tipped jigs tight to the bottom. For the delight of your kids and grandkids, there will be lots of bonnet head and black tip shark on the same drifts that will brings lots of screams and smiles. Also seeing a few Spanish Mackerel in the mix especially close in to the beaches. Try the macks on a 4-5 mph troll with flashy retrieved in a hurry under a smattering of chum. Snook remain a definite target as they luxuriate in the steaming warmth. Best pickings can be had back in Henderson Creek area of Rookery Bay and the winding creek current points in Johnson Bay. Pilchards or thread herring for the snook with a minimum of weight. Redfish are scattered but may surprise anglers working the fast current in shallow waters. Lastly, your mainstay this time of year in the mangrove snapper. Just about anywhere along mangrove edges …….will be mostly undersize until just before and after slack water on tide changes. Very small pieces of shrimp on the snapper.
NEARSHORE: If you like working the Marco beaches, this is great chance for top-of the-line snook action. With the incoming tide a mid to late afternoon event this week, would suggest an rare late evening try right along the beach edges with live bait (preferred) or shrimp if that’s all that is available. Work the bait just beyond the surf line using stout enough tackle to handle a bigger fish. Elsewhere nearshore, there is top grade shark action on the first / second reefs working a large cut bait to the bottom under a good chum effort. Give the chum a chance to work before you set the bait. Good chance for a take-home black tip for the table. Snapper action stays hot on the Walton Reef as well as the corner reefs on the Five Mile working weighted jigs under chum.
OFFSHORE: Warm / hot water keeps the lane and mangrove snapper in top feeding form out here. Try to zero in on defined structure working weighted jigs into a chum effort that draws the bigger fish. Open water drifts will get you action albeit on minimum size (8″) bait stealers. Grouper action stays hot especially on red grouper. Can start relatively close in at 7-8 mile hard bottom (you can tell you’re on hard bottom when the fishfinder shows a rough and bumpy bottom) working a live pinfish tight to the outcroppings with stout tackle with the drag set tight. Work west on your drift to improve the catch to keep ratio. Gag grouper are also available for harvest now but you’ll need about 60′ of water and again working west. Deep wrecks are laden with bait and thus holding lots of pelagics that provide an other level of action. Kingfish to 20-30# on live blue runners on wire under chum and cobia on live threadfin sight cast as the cobia show on the surface.