Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 18th to November 24th 2016 Fishing Report

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

CONDITIONS:  We are definitely into fall weather and it tends to be a bit unsettled. Take this coming week for example…..starts nice and placid and then goes into the tank with gusty winds from Sunday through Wednesday. Thankfully, the wind direction is NNE, and will influence your fishing but not the water clarity. The tides are coming off a super strong full moon period and will be ripping at least through the weekend. The tide range early week will be close to 4′ on the early morning incoming. A positive however… there is zero rain in the forecast which will keep the salinity level stationary and stable for fish like the sea trout and redfish. The air temperature which, in essence, controls the water temperature is steady this coming week and that will hold the water temps in the mid 70’s and favorable for ouir fishing conditions. All in all, a pretty good week for fishing ahead.

BACKWATER: Lots going on back here. Stable conditions will enhance the fall action. With the water temps still holding above 70 degrees, the snook are staying active. Almost anywhere there is good current flow and moderately shallow water you have a chance at a snook working live bait (or even a big live shrimp) freelined into the current with the incoming tide just a bit better than the outgoing…….on the outgoing move over to the deeper cuts and work weighted live bait into the deeper cuts on waterway exit points. Redfish are approaching their best opportunity period. Cooling water and good tides bring action to it’s zenith……mid tides the reds will be working shallow grass beds in places like Henderson Creek in Rookery Bay……the “Muddies” on the east side of the Marco RIver at Marker R24…….and the flats just inside Johnson Bay. They can be worked here with small tipped jigs in the 4 – 6′ depths over sea grass. Later on the late incoming move to far reach mangrove edges and send a big shrimp under a pooper at them. Seeing quite a few nice size black drum now almost everywhere where this is deeper cuts and good water flow. Again, best bait for these bigger fish is just a piece of fresh shrimp worked slowly across the bottom on either tide. Other players in the fall program here are pompano in the first hour of the incoming tide in either Capri or Hurricane Passes working a small tipped jigs to the bottom on a drift……Mangrove snapper all along the mangrove edges working live shrimp on either tide and , surprisingly, some nice size (take home) sheepshead in the deeper holes with good water flow.

NEARSHORE: Unless you plan to stay in the lee of the shoreline, would suggest getting your fishing trip in before Monday to avoid the windy and assuredly rough sea conditions. The pelagic bite (mackerel, bluefish et al) has been touch and go along the first and second reef spots. Need to find your spot with good bait markings before you deploy the chum and rigs. Once located, give the chum 15-20 minutes to work before getting bait in the water. Top water jigs tipped with shrimp worked quickly across the surface is best chance for some nice action. Good venues for action are the Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass and the corners of the Five Mile Reef. The cooler weather and water temps have drawn the gag grouper closer inshore. Try some live bait just off the bottom on close in Reef spots for possible action on gags. Great fight on the gags and fantastic table fare. Take size on gags now is 24″ overall.

OFFSHORE: As always……conditions permitting. Deep wrecks still getting fair to good action on southbound migrating pelagics. Either tide works working live bait under a good chum effort tight to the structure. Chum is also a must here to get the piscatorial attention. Chance here for  kingfish, cobia, permit feeding on their way south. Suggest a live blue runner for the kings …….a live pinfish sight casted to the curious cobia and a freelined live crab for thr permit. Elsewhere and closed inshore the red grouper are still a great target catch. Work the 60 – 65′ hard bottom depths working a live pinfish or a cut ladyfish to the bottom on a drift for best results.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 11th to November 17th 2016 Fishing Report

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

CONDITIONS: Unfortunately, the abrasive wind goes along with the nice drop in air temperatures and humidity. Thankfully, the direction has been mostly easterly and that helps keep the water from getting muddied up by the wind from the west. Backwater should be nice and clean and flat with the sea conditions deteriorating near and offshore depending on how far you’re going west. A point: be careful going deep early morning as the wind picks up mid day and will rock you’re trip home. This week looks like more of the same for the weekend and early thereafter; mid week we have a slight front coming through that turns the wind westerly for two days and is forecasted to have some 20+ gusts in the afternoons. The tides will be rocking with a “super moon” on Monday that will deliver a morning incoming tide of close to a 4′ range and then easing off the PM outgoing to just about a 2′ range. There is no rain or storms forecast for the week. The water temperature is rather consistent now at 76-77 degrees……good fall fishing temperature.

BACKWATER: Conditions here should be favorable to just about anything until early week when the moon and tides go super full and the west wind  kicks in. Snook continue to diminish their feeding activity as the fall season takes hold. Rare to find them along the beaches now as they were during the late summer months……have to look for them now in the far reach backwaters feeding on current points just off the shallows. Best venues would be the creeks in Johnson Bay and the same in the vicinity of Henderson Creek in Rookery Bay. Pilchards or small pinfish are the best baits to attract. The bigger snook are still around and “selectively” feeding. Have a couple reports of good late evening action along the Marco River docks and connecting waterways working either artificials or live pinfish under dock lights. Need stout leader here to avoid getting cut off the barnacle encrusted pilings. On the last couple of trips have found the bigger snapper in short supply. Lots of 9″ snapper that can help empty your shrimp bait bucket. Think best technique for the 11-13″ snapper is to work your spots a half hour or so on either side of the tide turns…..and that goes double this week with the racing full moon morning incoming. Pompano continue to show on the incoming water in the main channels in Hurricane Pass; they are few and scattered but worth the effort by working a tipped light jig on the drift amidst the surging incoming water. Last, but not least, there continues to be good and improving redfish action all along the mangrove shallow edges in the last portions of the incoming tide. Best would be Johnson Bay and Upper Addison for the best redfish action.

NEARSHORE: Smaller schools of mackerel / bluefish and jacks continue to roam along the first reef waters off Marco. But they are “local” and focused on already assembled bait. So best technique is to keep the fishfinder on full power as you hit the various reef spots…..you’ll immediately ID those bait schools as black blobs just off structure. Get the chum in the water and give it 15 minutes to work before winging those tipped top water jigs into the slick. Always a chance that little tunny (like a bonito) and small kingfish could show in the mix and, if so, toss a couple live baits at them. The tunny….a great fight are marginal table fare at best and would recommend release. The smaller kings have a 24″ minimum take size and have a different dorsal fin coloration than the mackerel. Still getting reports of fair to good snapper, early season sheepshead and some flounder action on the Walton Reef and out to the corners of the Five Mile ….on tipped jigs under chum.

OFFSHORE: As mentions in “CONDITIONS” could get a bit testy out here early week…..this weekend better. Deep wrecks are still holding a goodly amount of bait that draws the pelagics (kings, cobia, permit) enroute south for wintering. Fairly easy pickings…..setting up on a wreck with chum worked in these faster tides and working live baits either freelined or set at depths with weighted rigs. Grouper are still on the hunt. The red grouper seeking warmth move just a tad deeper to 65-70′ hard bottom while the gags (Like cooler water) can be moving closer to shore. On the latter try running a magnum jointed plug on a planer about five feet above the bottom on a troll at about 4-5 knots…..no bait required; they will engulf the plug. Stout tackle and heavy line / leader will keep your strikes from getting back in there lairs after hook up.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 4th 2016 to November 10th 2016 Fishing Report

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

CONDITIONS: Weather is following it’s usual seasonal pattern. Cooling down (a bit) and the winds have been consistently bothersome especially for those that have a hankering to fish offshore. Much of that will continue this week. Pattern of light morning winds and then accelerating in the afternoon will continue. Look for gusts up to the low 20 mph range mid week…..that makes for uncomfortable sea conditions. Luckily the rains and storms will hold off this week as we assume the typical dry fall season weather pattern. The water temperature is a constant 72-75 now depending on what time of the day you will be on the water and how deep you are going. The tides will be moderate this week with a little stronger late morning incoming followed by a rather weak afternoon / evening outgoing. The moon is coming off a past week high and will not be a factor influencing your fishing this week. The water, then, should stay green and clean as long as the winds don’t turn west and nasty. Overall look for a good week of fall fishing. Last point: we move to Standard Time this week make sure you adjust your tide timing appropriately.

BACKWATER: That great snook fishing you enjoyed all summer is about to go into hibernation. As the water temp nears a steady 70 and below, the snook will begin to go into “catatonic” stage. They suspend the heavy feeding stage and go into a slow down approaching the cooler / colder water during the winter months. Many times, now,  you’ll see “lurkers” on the surface just “lollygogging” but not feeding and ignoring your bait. So, you’ll want to switch your targets to the active cool water fish during the ensuing winter months. The sought after redfish should well become one of your top targets as they are very active in the cool down. Important: the tides control the redfish feeding activity. During low water and incoming tide they will frequent the shallow flats (Johnson Bay, Rookery Bay / Henderson Creek / Addison Bay) working over grass flats searching for live bait. Here, best is to work a small live pinfish in a light rig just off the bottom on a drift…if you see the redfish tailing over the area, pick up and sight cast the rig just in front of their schools movement. This week, as the incoming tide goes full during the late afternoon, suggest you move to the shallow mangrove edges and work either the pinfish or a sizable live shrimp either freelined or under a popper right up tight to the mangrove overhangs in the shallow edges. Redfish will hit with “no strike”…they just mosey up and engulf your bait and take off…… great fight and active right to boatside. You won’t miss the snook very much once you tangle with a nice size redfish. The other fall weather fish that will come active are nice size black drum (on small bits of shrimp worked slowly across the bottom); speckled sea trout that will frequent areas with shallow sea grass bottom that can be worked with a shrimp under a popper set up on a drift over the shallow grass; and last but not least…the sheepshead that is arriving in the cooler water and be just about everywhere taking shrimp / cut crabs / tube worms.

NEARSHORE: Have to think that the annual mackerel explosion will occur here any day. The “macks” typically wait until chill down and then move in nearshore chasing the white bait schools that have formed up on the nearshore reefs. Make a couple trial runs over your favorite spots with the fishfinder on full search……if you mark bait schools; anchor up current and get the chum block in the water quickly and then stand by…..if the macks are in the vicinity, they will show quickly and jump on your tipped light jigs pulled very quickly in the top water. The chum should hold the action for you. On the bottom structure, you should begin to see some “take home” size sheepshead showing up and jumping on a small piece of shrimp worked with the “soft lift” technique. (With a lindy rig baited up with just a small piece of live shrimp….drop it to the bottom and then lift the weight ever so slowly off the bottom and repeat; when you feel any weight on the lift, pull upward with gusto…..you have a sheepshead aboard. Corollary catch here this time of year can be triggerfish (14″ minimum); sea trout (15″ minimum)

OFFSHORE: Morning conditions here will be more favorable than mid to late afternoon because of wind issues. Deep wrecks will still be working the migrating pelagics heading south to the warmer water temps in the Keys. Locating wrecks with good bait activity is the key. Once located get your chum in the water and followed by a live bait (blue runner or pinfish) on wire in the slick and get ready for kingfish action. These fish are aggressive and will jump on just about anything. Kings are a ferocious fight and a challenge for most all anglers. Cobia will show on the surface being curious as to the activity and the chum effect in the water. You’ll want a couple of live threadfins ready to sightcast to the cobia which will show on the surface and will engulf a well directed cast of same right i front of their noses.