Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 28t to November 3rd 2016 Fishing Report

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

CONDITIONS: You can feel fall in the air now and begin to see it in the water. Weather is variable this time of year here and we will get the chill down like we’ve seen for the last week or so…..and then it will heat up again and here comes the humidity and, with it, the rains and unsettled weather. That’s what we will be facing this week. Our weekend will show up with some nasty winds and rains as we have some of those warm conditions moving back in. We’ll see rains on and off and some blustery winds out of the east through early week…..and then it will settle down again as the week ends to steadier conditions. We probably have to anticipate some stirred up water especially in the shallow backwaters with the strong gusty blow. But good news…looks like the red tide is finally abating and we have less personal discomfort and better fishing conditions ahead. The moon cycle will move through mid week delivering a new moon that will moderately effect the accompanying tide strengths. Looks like it’s a fairly mild event with tides that will strengthen a tad mid week and then back to normal. The water temps will start the week in the high 70’s and probably edge back over 80 late week. All in all, the week will be unsettled weather wise; hopefully the fishing will not follow suit……we need a good week after all the red tide negatives we’ve experienced.

BACKWATER: Snook are staying active as we are staying well above their magic hibernation temperature of 70 degrees. Lots of nice size (but under limit) snook in the 18-22 inch range which bodes well for the apparent snook population uptick. The weather changes have moved them off their summer habitat along the beaches and they are now more likely to show on backwater current points just off shallow shelfs. Best bait remains either pilchards or very small pinfish. Also a chance at some “big boys” along the Marco River and Caxambas Pass docks and connecting waterways from dusk into night on surface artificials worked under dock lights. Redfish are in play now just about everywhere. In small schools working the Bay flats (Rookery, Addison, Johnson) during the mid tide period and then moving to the mangrove edges as the tides reach full and jumping on shrimp either freelined or worked in the moving current under a popper. The slight chill down in the water temp has also invited the popular black drum back into our waters. These cousins of the redfish, are a great fight and comparable on the table as blackened filets. They hang out in the traditional sheepshead spots (little deeper water with bottom structure) and will take a bit of shrimp moved slowly across the bottom. They are a good fight and don’t surrender very easily. Lastly, the snapper are still active but the big ones seem to limit their feeding to the first and last hours of the tide……working shrimp just off the bottom.

NEARSHORE: Be careful with the windy weather this weekend. Could causes some nasty sea conditions even nearshore. Good news is that the red tide that plagued us in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew is just about gone. The snook have moved inshore and the “off the beach” fishing should get you good action fish……ladyfish, jacks and even a few mackerel working just inside the surf line. On the first and second reefs look for some bottom action on both lane and mangrove snapper and maybe even a few early season sheepheads working tipped weighted jigs or shrimp on lindy rigs into the structure. Might even find a few Goliath Grouper here if you sling out out some cut bait on major tackle. The long expected great mackerel action here has yet to happen……but stay tuned that action could come as the water chills down.

OFFSHORE: Keep an eye on the weather conditions here…..especially the wind which will influence the sea conditions over the weekend. The red grouper action in the 60-65′ depths is holding fairly steady. Still getting good action with a fair keep to catch ratio. Need to work live pinfish tight to the hard bottom outcropppings on a drift with either tide as an assist. There are also gag grouper around and they, now, will be moving toward cooler water probably closer inshore. Technique is about the same and you can even try trolling a deep run jointed plug for them just 8-10 feet off the bottom.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 21st to October 27th 2016 Fishing Report

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

CONDITIONS: Well, the worst of the residual effects of our “brush by” by Hurricane Matthew are fading quickly. But that means there are still pockets of Red Tide tainted water in our midst. You’ll want to give them a well defined miss…..you can visually spot these pockets as the surface water takes on a dark mottled color and you might sight a few “floaters” in the area. Avoid. Tip: If your holding live bait / live shrimp in your bait well turn your switch to recycle to avoid bringing any of the tainted water aboard. Good news is that the storms / rain deluges are gone for this coming week and that the tides are off the racing full moon speeds. Look for tides that are not only moderate but consistent both ways all week. The average rise and fall will be a steady two feet. Bad news is that the gusty winds are forecast to kick up early week and hold that speed well into the next weekend. That will 1) churn up the water clarity 2) make any offshore venture rough. And, finally the water temps both air and water are beginning to diminish which is a prime indicator that fall has finally decided to appear here. Air temps are mostly mid to low 80’s and water temps should dip to 75-77 degrees as the week progresses.

BACKWATER: After this weekend, you’ll have to be selective as to your fishing sector, as the forecasted winds will, most likely, muddy the waters up and chase the fish. Wind will be from the east so backwaters will get stirred up first and outgoing tides will be more riled up that the incoming tides. Snook have begun their migration away from the bait laden beaches and are moving inshore for their eventual slow down when the water temps dip below 70 degrees……but for now they are still active and can be found on most any shallow current point seeking “food” as the current sweeps the bait along. White bait (if available) is preferred but live shrimp will do almost as well. Freelining the bait just off the bottom is the preferred approach. Redfish are slowly moving inshore from the deeper nearshore waters and beginning their fall feeding in prep for the annual spawning action. Mid-tides you’ll run into them in small schools transversing shallower bays that feature seagrass bottoms. Technique is to approach the perimeter of the school and toss tipped jigs or jig heads to the forward perimeter working the bait with a light jerking action. Later in the tide cycle as it nears max move to the far reach mangrove shallow edges and have a freelined shrimp working tight to the vegetation  overhangs. Keep the shrimp moving or set it up under a popper and let the incoming tide provide the motion for you. In other sectors the summer snapper bite is beginning to wane…..still worth a shot but try to be there in the last and first half hour of either tide. The pompano are scarce in the tainted water but action should kick back in as we move forward from the rain run off and red tide.

NEARSHORE: Pick your fishing times carefully this week……will have some tough sea conditions here in the wind forecasts for mid to late week are accurate. Seeing scads of ladyfish and jacks all over the bait schools resident on the First and Second Reefs but, unfortunately, the mackerel / bluefish bite has been very light. But that’s liable to turn around any day so it’s worth a shot early in your trip. Try the Walton Reef or the Southeast corner of the Five Mile Reef working small flashy jigs over a good chum slick and give it 15 minutes or so to see if you can draw those pelagics. Move on if no-go. Bottom fishing the First / Second Reef line should get you some nice mangrove and lane snapper as well as some early arrival sheepshead working simple shrimp lindy rigs right on the bottom…..works well on both tides.

OFFSHORE: Ditto on watching your trip timing and potential wind impact on sea conditions. Fortunately, the red grouper bite has stayed strong and consistent even through these weather aberrations. Reports say that best target depths now are between 55-65′ over hard bottom. Technique has you working a live pinfish or cut ladyfish on a drift with those baits scooting along tight to the bottom outcroppings. You’ll want to set the drag on your reel tight to prevent the hooked grouper from a run back into his bottom lair. Keeper size on the reds is 20″ and if your running into too many shorts…..keep moving west; depth makes a difference.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 14th, to October 20th 2016 Fishing Report

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

CONDITIONS: It never seems to end…….weather conditions that is. MATTHEW was kind to us but roughed up the east coast of Florida with wind damage and then deluged and flooded the southeast coast of Georgia and the Carolinas. But the hurricane left us a little gift upon departure…….the counterclockwise winds pushed an area of the red tide from the Tampa area right into our domain. The red tide is a naturally occurring event that has been around for hundreds of years along the Gulf coast of Florida. You can learn more about it formally at the Florida Wildlife Commission website www.myfwc.com. But, for those that fish, you will see “floaters” (dead fish) in areas that are directly fed by incoming tidal waters (passes and connecting waterways) that, you probably want to avoid. Fish further away from the point of Gulf incoming current. And, secondly, if you wander into red tide waters you will feel a tickle in your throat that brings on coughing. That is generally a respiratory irritant and not harmful unless you have a respiratory aliment such as COPD or asthma. Suggest you read more about this event at the website furnished. Otherwise the fishing conditions this week will feature a full moon causing stronger tides; brisker winds from the north / northeast; less storms and rain and finally a slight dip in water temp to 81-83 degrees.

BACKWATER: As mentioned…..you’ll want to avoid Capri and Caxambas Passes as well as connecting waterways. They will be the places where the incoming red tide water is the strongest. Moving to the far reach backwaters will give you a chance at nice snook action with the linesiders still staying active in the water warmth. Look for current points with incoming tide best and work a live bait or even an artificial  right into the edge of the moving water. Best locations; try Henderson Creek up in Rookery Bay or the creeks in Johnson Bay just northwest of the Isle of Capri. Redfish action is also heating up as we move toward their spawning season. There are some small schools chasing through the shallow bays at mid tide that can be had working small tipped jigs while drifting the grass flats. Later on the incoming work the far reach mangrove edges where there are shallows with mangrove overhangs. Here, float a shrimp under a popper in the current so it runs parallel to the structure edge. Otherwise back here the snapper are still super active with bigger fish showing in the first and last hours of both tides. Best bait is small pieces of shrimp. Don’t forget to give pompano a try in Hurricane Pass with best on the clean water (hopefully) entering Hurricane Pass. Best on early first minutes of the tide with tipped jigs worked to the bottom.

NEARSHORE: The brisker winds will bring a surface shop out in the Gulf. If you stay tight to the beach, however, that chop is minimized and conditions are reasonably comfortable. Should find some snook working in close to the surf line along the Marco beaches but well away from both Passes. Action on cast tipped jigs or artificials best allowing the offering to sink and roll around in the tidal swirl. The reefs (Walton Reef off Caxambas and the Five Mile SW of same) should provide good action on both lane and mangrove snapper as well as an occasional strike from a small grouper. Work the bottom with tipped weighted jigs……and a good chum effort helps.

OFFSHORE: May see some patches of red tide and you go deep. You can notice with surface discoloration and presence of “floaters” (dead fish carcasses). Avoid like the plague. Some evident natural reefs 8-12 miles SW of the island are producing some nice catches of both lane and mangrove snapper as well as some early season harvestable medium size sheepshead. Easy fishing with weighted jigs worked in a serious chum slick. Working that morning incoming tide will be best. Deep for migrating southbound pelagics on the mid-range wrecks. Set up on wreck structure where bait schools are evident on the fishfinder and then work live bait … blue runners on wire freelined in chum for kingfish; live thread herring ready for sight cast for curious cobia that will show in your chum.

 

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 7th, to October 14th 2016 Fishing Report

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

CONDITIONS: Welcome to the Florida weather nemesis…..the Hurricane! It’s been awhile here……the last serious hurricane event occurred in October 2005 with Hurricane Wilma. That was a direct hit with a 130mph storm coming off the Gulf…..the hurricane we are experiencing, at the moment is an east coast storm where we should have marginal impacts. First and foremost, with the serious winds 100 plus miles east of us, we will be on the lee side of the storm where less storm surge will occur. But you can anticipate an extra 2-3′ of tidal water starting on Thursday. Luckily our effect from this hellacious east coast Florida will be riled up water caused by the 25-35 mph westerly winds coming at us from the west as the MATTHEW moves up the east coast. Then, also, the wind it itself, will be troublesome in trying to hold fishing spots and sandblasting those along the beaches. Otherwise the weather should be rain free post storm (storm will suck all the water out of the environment as it rambles through just east of here). The tides will be moderate both ways and the additional tidal surge may give you access to shallow spots heretofore inaccessible. Water temperature will probably dip into the 79-82 degree range which may create action the fall species that are late in showing i.e. Redfish. Black drum, sheepshead.

BACKWATER: The water temperature holding fairly stable bodes well for keeping the snook active. May be a temporary glitch in snook action if the water takes some time to clear, but the potential for snook action remains. They will begin moving back from the beaches and look for daytime action in the current points in the backwater Bays like Johnson, Rookery and Addison Bays. Incoming on the current points with white bait (if available) or live shrimp or even artificials. Another good spot in this transition period are the docks along the Marco River and connecting waterways either early morning or at dust to nightfall working live pinfish on the dock perimeter or with your favorite artificial. As mentioned, the dip in water temps could drive an uptick in the feeding activity of the redfish which is great news. The reds will show in schools working shallow flats and edges with the most notable venues being the major Bays and associated creeks. Here, your best technique is to work the leading edge of the school with a shrimp on a small jig head. Later, they will move into the tidal creeks following the tidal flow to the bait hangouts. Here it’s edging along the mangrove shallow edges and freelining a shrimp tight to the mangrove overhang. Black drum and sheepshead (few to legal size) should begin showing on those structure laden deep holes along the mangrove edges all along the waterways. Both can be enticed to the bite freelined small shrimp tight to the mangrove overhang.

NEARSHORE: Just bit of caution here as there will be some significant swells here probably through the early week. Impacts the fishing as well as the creature comfort. If the white bait schools return quickly, you should have nice action possibilities on pelagics (mackerel / bluefish) working the first and second reef structure that shows bait holding. Best approach is getting some chum in the water up current from the structure and then working tipped surface jigs right through the slick. Try and stay as close to the surface as possible to avoid the pesky blue runners working the 10-15′ range. Elsewhere, might want to sneak inshore and work the beaches Caxambas to Gordon Passes for snook working most any live bait tight to the surf with a minimum of weight. Good chance also for pompano, ladyfish and jacks.

OFFSHORE: A positive here……should be less thunder banger storms here early week but still want to be a tad careful with the boat lifting swells that should be out here. Closer in reefs 8-10 miles for good to very good action on lane and mangrove snapper as well as surface pelagics like mackerel and bluefish working the bottom structure at anchor with baits of tipped weighted jigs……also good idea to use some fresh white bait if available. Deeper the action on red grouper / gag grouper has been sustained right through the days with weather aberrations. Go for the red grouper in 60-65′ of water with hard bottom working a live pinfish for bait. If going deep is in your plans there is still good action on the deeper wrecks for amberjack. AJ’s to 35 # are available dropping a live bait vertically into the wrecks and then hanging on…they are quite a fight.