ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT
PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
CONDITIONS: Wish we could honestly state that as we enter October here we are REALLY into fall weather. We are not. The rains/storms that tailed off a week ago are back and deluging us most every day now and are prominent in this coming weeks forecast…..again. As an aside, those that were here remember our one and only real hurricane in the last twenty years went through this area on October 23, 2005 in the form of Hurricane Wilma. So as the saying goes “it ain’t over till it’s over”. Those rains are the culprits that change the saltwater salinity and murky up the water clarity. Anyway, as mentioned, we have storms forecast at various times all this coming week, so you’ll want to study the radar info and storm timing before you warm up the engine. The winds will be down except when in the accompaniment of storms except for late week when we could have some 20 mph gusts. The tides are balanced and coming off the new moon and will be with moderate range and speed. The water temp is hanging in there a degree or two either side of 85.
BACKWATER: There were many years when October kicked in, we would be saying adios to the snook and hello to the redfish dominance. Not this year. The warmth continues to encourage the snook feeding on the enormous white bait schools holding along the beaches, passes and coastal waterways. They are mostly smaller linesiders (20-24″) but provide top notch surface action as you struggle to bring them alongside. Best venues for snook action these last couple weeks are the Passes…..Caxambas, Blind Pass on Kice Island, and Gordon Pass in Naples working pilchards freelined close to current points and eddies. As far as timing goes…..early incoming tide before 10 AM when the sun’s superheated rays are not yet scorching the water’s surface. Please use circle hooks (prevents swallowing) if your hunting snook. Redfish, as mentioned, usually are almost in full swing by this time of the season. Not happening to that degree…yet! Small numbers of reds are showing with best opportunity for action in up along the shallow mangrove edges in places like Addison Bay, Johnson Bay and the Henderson Creek area of Rookery Bay. You’ll want to work the overhang mangrove shallow edges there with either freelined shrimp, shrimp under popper or your favorite artificial lure. And the best timing is the last hour of the incoming tide when the mud edges have enough water to have the redfish work the normally exposed bottom. Elsewhere in the back country, the snapper action is waning slowly and the black drum are beginning to show on the sheepshead spots albeit the big sheepshead have not made an entrance as yet.
NEARSHORE: Sea conditions should be reasonable here but keep an eye on the sky. With white bait holding all along the first and second reef lines, should have a fair to good opportunity to run into some nice mackerel / bluefish action along the reef structure spots. Before you set up recommend making a couple passes over your target area checking the fish finder for signs of bait schools. If they show; get your chum in the water and set up in the tidal flow. Working smaller tipped jigs up near the surface over the chum will deliver your action. Still good bottom action on blacktips sharks in the area, so use a freshly caught legal fish chunk to the bottom on wire and heavy tackle. Always a chance…….
OFFSHORE: Again, eye on the radar and the sky…..you cannot outrun these storms. Deep wrecks (20 miles going west) are seeing southbound migrating pelagics showing; cobia, kingfish, permit and sharks, showing on wrecks holding bait and can be worked with live bait set mid depth in a good chum slick on heavy tackle. Kings and sharks will work most any offering with that technique. Cobia can also show right on the surface (curious) and will take a small live threadfin or pinfish sight tossed right to them. Permit prefer a small blue claw crab freelined their way on heavy tackle worked in the chum slick. Fun action on all the southbound pelagics that won’t last when things get chilled down.