Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 30th to October 6, 2016 Fishing Report

                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.

 

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 16th to 22nd 2016 Fishing Report

                ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT
             PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
                  CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

CONDITIONS: These past weeks have turned the area into a swamp. So much fresh water from frequent storm deluges that the water has so saturated the ground that it has no where to go. That over indulgence in fresh water has got to be effecting the salt water salinity but also is enhancing the conditions for the growth of bottom algae especially in our backwaters. Know that has an impact on our fishing quality just as well as the continued fresh water contaminated releases from the Big Sugar protecter-ant, the Army Corps of Engineers, in Lake Okeechobee. Makes for tough fishing conditions especially in the backwater even here in Collier County as our strong tides in shallow water basins spread  everything carried by the water very quickly. Best for us as this goes on is to fish incoming tides and move to waters that have the least tidal flow. The general weather of frequent storms; light winds except in storm conditions; and slightly moderating temperatures will continue this week.

Our tides are coming info full moon over this weekend and will show some strength. The water temperatures will ease just a bit and range from 83 to 85 with more heated water in the shallower backwaters.

BACKWATER: Could see a continuation of the snook action along the beaches and into the passes where there is good current and shallower water. Most snook are nice size (20-24″) juveniles that put up a good fight but there are some linkers also that show in spots where the water conditions are perfect and the white bait available is generous. Still seeing some redfish but not the vanguard we usually see by mid-September. Mid tides there are small schools of redfish cruising the grass bottom shallows feeding on crabs and bottom white bait. Here you’ll want to stay ahead of the moving school and work the leading edges with small tipped jigs. There will be no “hit” per se; the redfish just pick up the bait and scurry off; the first you’ll know is when line is peeling off your reel. Water quality is tannic (brown) stained and that has a tendency to slow the pompano bite. You certainly can try both Capri and Hurricane Passes on last and first tide hours but recommend restricting your time there if you don’t have some solid strikes in the first half hour of effort. Best spots for the pomps are Hurricane and Capri Passes.

NEARSHORE: Better chance here. More water volume to dissipate the infusion of the fresh water and to minimize the effect of the Lake O water. Key will be the bait population all along the first and second reefs and on the key sunken barges. If it’s mackerel /bluefish you’re after look for the bait schools showing dense blobs on the reefs themselves and then anchor up-water and get some chum going quickly. Macks and blues will show right in the slick and can be picked off working flashy tipped jigs pulled along the surface with gusto. As the chum bits settle to the bottom the dwellers there (snapper, grunts, triggerfish, flounder) will rise up to feed which provides another opportunity working weighted jigs or tipped jig heads a foot or two off the bottom for some good take home snapper et al action.

OFFSHORE: A big positive here will be the forecasted flat water conditions all week. Long runs should be easily doable but you’ll want to watch you weather equipment to track those dangerous, lightning laden storm cells heading your way. Deep there is still good to great action on the major wrecks for amberjack that hold and feed on the major structure points. Simple technique: drop a line threadfin or small blue runner directly into the structure vertically; hold in amidst the structure and stand by for a super strong strike and tussle on on rose the AJ big boys. Make sure you’re on major equipment with the drag down tight. Quite a fight. AJ’s are OK on the table but nothing near the quality of a grouper filet. The latter (red grouper) can be had working a live pinfish in 60-65′ of water due west of Marco over hard bottom on a tidal drift. A little further west you’ll run into the larger gag grouper using the same technique……live bait over hard bottom is the key.

 

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 9th to 15th 2016 Fishing Report

                ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT
             PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
                  CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

CONDITIONS: This week you can begin to feel and see the weather changes as we near the end of summer and advent of fall. The air temperatures are easing down and the storm and rain predictions are off the summer excesses. Look for the mornings to be just great with light winds and easing temperatures. Will still heat up from noon to mid afternoon but ease off again for the late afternoon. That pattern, now, will continue to accelerate and our great fall fishing season will begin. The cool down should drive the water temp that has been hovering near ninety degrees down to the mid to low eighties. The tides this period are heading to a full moon next weekend with a pretty well balanced current speed between the two cycles. Final point: Can’t yet dismiss the tropical weather systems that can develop in this the worst month for storm development. So keep up to date on what’s these various storms are doing and take appropriate action if necessary.

BACKWATER: Major changes in this sector as the water cools, and the fresh water infusion slows down for both the fish and the anglers that chase them. The major change as fall creeps will be the heralded return of two species that are legend here in our backwaters……Redfish and black drum. They will take their place quite quickly alongside the still active species i.e snook, snapper, pompano, mackerel et al. Redfish first: They will be moving in the backwaters in schools as they prepare to spawn. They will show in spots that you fished all summer and had poor action…..roaming in tight schools on flats….think Rookery Bay, Johnson Bay and Upper Addison Bay during mid tides. Here you work them with a good size shrimp loaded on a small jig head tossed to the leading edge of the school. Then, as the incoming tide moves into it’s final hour, move to shallow mangrove edges that display good current flow and toss a freelined shrimp tight to the mangrove overhangs; then as the ongoing gets going move to creek exit points and use a little more weight to get that shrimp on the deeper bottom. Black drum are the other fall invader and will show in the deeper holes (same ones used for snapper during the summer) and jump on a slow retrieved shrimp. These guys are usually in the 6-8# range and can give a strong tussle. So be ready…….

NEARSHORE: Not to be left out of the positive season change, the nearshore action should show an uptick in pelagic action (mackerel / bluefish / jacks) as the bait congeals on reef structure all along the Marco shore. Telltale signs of their presence is the bird action and the frequent bait surface eruptions. Standard procedure to get into action with these fast moving critters is to first deploy a block of chum and close behind work small flashy tipped top water jigs right through the slick…..quickly. Bottom action on those same reefs will be on the same summer snapper that you worked during the summer. Weighted tipped jigs worked a couple feet off the bottom under the mackerel chum effort should get some good action on lanes and mangroves. Might also get a surprise from an occasional triggerfish or flounder now.

OFFSHORE: Most importantly, the weather mild cool down will do nothing but further advance the great grouper action we all enjoy. The water temp changes will be mild and the grouper bite should be maintained. Red grouper will still be a top target starting in the 7-8 mile range on hard bottom and working west on a drift working live pinfish or a couple hunks of cut ladyfish tight to the bottom on major tackle with the drag wretched tight. Over time the Reds will be easing west when the inshore water temps dip into the 70’s….but for now shouldn’t be much of a change. The gag grouper will act exactly opposite and as the water really cools will head inshore. The offshore wrecks should continue to have decent pelagic action on cobia, kingfish and permit. That, too, will peak later in the fall as the reverse migration to the Keys begins. But for right now should be pretty stable fishing our Marco waters.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 2 to 8th 2016 Fishing Report

We want to thank  THE MARCO ISLAND CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS for their continued fishing reports for the Marco Island area!

CONDITIONS: The brush-by Tropical Storm left us with little to no damage other than what we experienced with some street flooding and, hopefully a minimum amount of dock and boat damage. BUT it certainly will have an impact on our fishing. The massive fresh water intrusion will damage our salinity level and chase fish from both ends of the spectrum……those species that like high salinity will find the lower salt level a reason for going deeper at least for awhile and, conversely, those that like the low salinity level will find it exceedingly low and vamoose deep as well. Will take at least a half week’s tides to restore some normalcy to the salt level. If that isn’t bad news enough,the current forecast has ripping gusty winds showing up here mid to late week. We’ll have to see how that develops. Worst scenario is a riling up of what’s left of the water clarity. The tides are coming off an early week new moon and show moderate strength early week and then fade to normal rather quickly. All in all, it will be a week of changing conditions and you’ll have to pick your opportunities carefully.

BACKWATER: Fishing forecasts this week, as you can well understand, will be tentative. But backwater, with the lower salinity water retaining at least a mid-80 temperature why not give snook a try…….your timing would match the beginning of the open snook harvest season. Couple good places you could try is Kice Island Gulf edges on the morning incoming and the south edges of Cape Romano with live bait freelined into the moving current. Also the beaches along the south end of Marco Island itself has been showing snook action over the last couple of weeks. The other “good chance” backwater target would be mangrove snapper that have been super active in the heat and (I think) are impervious to salinity changes. Good spots for them is along the mangrove edges of the northbound ICW working just a tad of shrimp with minimum weight along mangrove overhangs. Another good spot to try would be the numerous docks along Keeywadin Island…..either tide will work here. Would hold off on the search for pompano and mackerel is the Passes until things settle down.

NEARSHORE: With greater depth here the effects of the weather system should not be as dramatic. In fact, you may just find some surprises here as fish vacate the high impact backwaters and seek climate refuge here in the 20-30′ depths. Suggest you try bottom action first working the first and second reefs stretching from Tigertail Beach south to just off Caxambas Pass. Look for bait as you transverse the run; solid bait indications are a good signal that mackerel / bluefish et al could well be working the area for surface bait schools as well as bottom fish (snapper) could be having a field day beneath. If conditions permit, making a go at it on the Walton Reef might be a place to get into some surface action on mackerel and bluefish working tipped jigs on the surface under chum.

OFFSHORE: If conditions permit, best conditions will prevail out here. The salinity impact on the water will be moderate and the area may become a haven for displaced inshore species. Would work the hard bottom waters first in the 7-9 mile range hard bottom and see what you can turn up working live pinfish into the structure on a drift. This area has been a panacea for great red grouper fishing and that may well still be the case. A live pinfish worked on a drift where you identify the hard bottom outcroppings may well be the place to start. If you get action here, don’t leave the area until you try for gag grouper just a bit deeper in 60′ of water with the same bait and technique. If conditions warrant, move on out to the deeper wrecks in 70’+ and see what type of pelagics are still working the scattered wrecks in the area. Live bait under chum here will do the trick for you.