Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 23 to June 29th Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: As we move “heatedly” into the end of June, we’ll see this coming week deliver some mid day real feel temperatures in the 105 degree range. That’s the bad part……the good part is that they forecast a diminishment of the daily deluges that we’ve seen over the past couple weeks. For us anglers those superheated conditions come with the warning to stay hydrated and shaded as best you can…..overheated conditions can sneak up on you and are dangerous. Otherwise the break in the rain deluges may give us a break on the mosquito “assault”. Less standing water will ease the incredible skeeter population at least for awhile. We will coming into a new moon period over the weekend and they are forecasting afternoon outgoing tides that will range close to five feet……that’s virtually unheard of here. Will turn off the fishing and create problems with shallow water navigation. And finally, a little more good news, the winds are generally diminished along with the afternoon gusts and are mostly southeasterly.  With all that we’ll probably experience a water temp will range from 85 to 87…….THAT’S HOT !

BACKWATER: As we’ve been saying over the past weeks, for a composite of reasons i.e. superheated water, tainted water clarity from the deluge storms, suspicion of the quality of water from run off and lake releases , the quality of fishing success is definitely marginal. All these issues effect the backwater more than the general offshore areas, so back here in the “bushes” you might have to do some unusual things to maximize your chances. Start with timing of your trips: go as early in the day (cooler) as you can arrange (Note: the sun’s rays don’t directly penetrate and superheat the water until about 10AM). Consider the tides; moderate speed water works best especially in the last/first hour of either tide. Work deeper: move slightly off your “usual spot” into a little deeper water. Chance the fish may move to a more comfortable temperature without leaving their area. Enough on the tips for today ……..Main target these days are mangrove snapper that are all along the shorelines that feature moving water. Some good areas are the “points” in Addison Bay and the entire area in Upper Addison (need a high tide to transit); The edges of the islands near Keeywadin Island are another good spot as long as there is moving water. Rookery Bay has good moving eater and lots of shaded overhangs that hold fish. Other species that you may run into on any of these spots are juvenile snook (all to be carefully released), small black drum, spec trout if fishing circa seagrass bottom. Pelagic fish are scarce but you may run into some nice pompano action in Hurricane Pass on the first and last hour of either tide working a small tipped jig to the bottom.

NEARSHORE:  Deeper water out here will generally be cooler than inshore and may even draw some of the backwater fish out here. That is especially true these days as the bait schools are thick along the first reefs as well as the Capri Pass area. Get fair to good reports on morning pelagic action circa the Walton Reef of Caxambas Pass as well as the southeast and northwest corners of the Five Mile Reef complex. Seeing fair to good action on lane and mangrove snapper in both areas and even hooking into a occasional mackerel or bluefish. You need a good chum effort and a reasonable tide for both species in both areas. The Keeywadin Reef located in 20′ of water just north of the famous beach area is also some nice action on small (3-4′) black tip sharks working a cut bait to the bottom in a good chum effort.

OFFSHORE:Should be a good week to venture deep with the abeyance in the rough winds and the moderation of storm activity. Although would caution to avoid the afternoon outgoing tides over the weekend….those 4-5′ tides will have the water running like a river. Look for continuing good pelagic action on the deeper wrecks; with kingfish as the dominant visitor and cobia a close second. Work the kings either with a live runner strung out on wire leader and in a good chum slick or on a troll on the wreck perimeter with flashy spoon / plug or even a tethered blue runner. The cobia will come to you……chum and commotion will draw them on the surface. Have a threadfin all hooked and ready to go on major spinning gear.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 16 to June 22nd Fishing Report

 CONDITIONS: Seems as though we are entrenched in a wet late spring. Unusual to see such a persistent pattern of almost daily rain……which has fostered the hordes of mosquitoes that descend on most any creature foolish enough to poke their head outdoors. For the anglers, it’s the incessant rains that are creating a double dose of trouble; first, it’s altering the water quality in the backwaters to an occluded stained tannic brown which cuts down on the fish’s ability to locate lures / bait…..and secondly, without a breeze to scatter the skeeters and no-see-sums, the comfort level in the backwaters is zilch. This week sees a continuation of that pattern. Most every day we will see a period (or periods) of rain delivered in thunderstorms. Some of the storms will be dangerous (show up red and yellow) on the forecast screens… make sure you check before you kick the outboard into gear. On top of that, we are heading to another super full moon late week. The morning outgoing tides late week will deliver tides in excess of four feet. Fishing in that racing water will not only be difficult to fish… will be difficult to even hold anchor.

BACKWATER:  Confronted with the weather and galloping tides this week, strongly suggest taking the time to carve out a plan before you head into the backwaters that is timed right and concentrates on “best possibilities”. TIMING: Try and schedule your venture into the bushes to coincide with reasonable tidal flow…….the bigger fish (believe it or not) don’t like to work hard to find a meal. For them, holding against a racing tide is distressful……so they hold off their feed until the water slows down (both tides). Recommend working your spots half hour before and after slack water. Disregard this recommendation and the species runts will help empty your bait bucket. VARY FISHING LOCATIONS AND DEPTHS: The water is HOT…….83 degrees as we finished a backwater trip this morning. And after mid morning the sun’s rays penetrate deep and add another layer of annoyance to the fish. So….suggest you work spots that are shaded or in deeper cooler water. You may be surprised. Good chance opportunities this week: The bigger mangrove snapper are definitely here and active all along the shoreline edges where their is current and shade. Good venues; Hurricane Pass; Rookery Bay; Henderson Creek; Upper Addison Bay working a shrimp tipped jig head with a little motion tight to the bottom. Pompano continue to show briefly on the first hour of the incoming in Hurricane Pass but are taken more frequently along the deeper edges of the Pass instead of in the middle current flow. Johnson Bay has good action on fun-to-catch smaller snook (all to be released) and, if targeting, please use circle hooks to enable injury free release.

NEARSHORE: Be wary of weather if venturing out here. Better action in the deeper cooler water. Have had several reports that the heretofore missing pelagics (mackerel / bluefish etc) are sporadically showing on the Capri Pass barges at the beginning of either tide. Work them with tipped top water jigs pulled quickly right up on the surface over a serious chum effort. Am told the bite doesn’t last long so be there right on the turn. Just north of the Capri Barges there is the south end of the Keeywadin Reef that has been experiencing some black tip shark action in the 20-25′ depths working a chunk of cut bait to the bottom on wire leader under a good chum effort. The black tip sharks are one of the only sharks that produce good / excellent table fare…..but get them prepared and on ice immediately.

OFFSHORE: Even with the storms and rain forecasts this week, it looks like the gusty afternoon winds are gone… expect some comfort level if you venture deep BUT check and location and direction of the storm cells before you go. Deep wrecks are producing some excellent action on yellowtail snapper to 16″. Need a great chum effort to get them going and then freeline a tad of the chum itself on a #6 hook right into the slick with the bail open. The yellow tail will jump on the bait and not try to swallow for a moment or two…..and that’s when you close the bail and hang on. Great action.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 9 to June 15th Fishing Report

CONDITIONS:  We got blindsided this past week with the sloppy intermittent rain squalls which squelched opportunity in the midst of nice moderate tides and light winds. Looks better in the week ahead…..that is. if the forecasts are accurate. They show a definite change in rain / storm pattern with some of that showing over the weekend and then it’s clear, dry sailing. But most importantly, the afternoon gusty winds that ruined the fishing in May are history. Wind direction will be mainly East and Southeast with some uptick in afternoon predicted winds but most all manageable in low teen velocity. We come off a full moon early weekend which will kick up the tide velocity. The morning incoming will be moderate and conducive to good action; the afternoon outgoing will be “speedy” and not as favorable. The water temperature is edging past the 85 mark and in some of the backwater shallows is just a degree or two short of 90, which is really a late summer benchmark around here….we’ll see what happens.

BACKWATER:  As the old adage restated……the fishing was great; the catching; not so good. It’s been a tough go all through the backwaters and even out along the beaches for the last months. Lots of finger pointing at causal factors but they are all conjecture. Consider it a part of nature’s cycle…we’ve had tough periods before. They have always changed for the better and staying positive will help sustain a favorable outlook. In the interim, consider focusing on maximizing your chances of success by abiding by just a few important factors. LOCATION: Try some new fishing spots where the water is cleaner and the tides moderate…..and go there when the tides are at optimum velocity even if that means changing your normal fishing time of 8-12 to say 11-3. MOVE: Work your spots for 15-20 minutes; no action…bite the bullet and move on. WATER CLARITY: If you can’t clearly see the “lower unit step” on your outboard; the fish (save the catfish) have the same problem with your bait. Move on. Now to this week’s fishing expectations: Mangrove snapper fishing (and size) are definitely improving. But with the water heat soaring, the deeper (10-12′) spots are holding the bigger fish. Try Rookery Bay / Addison Bay on current spots with those depths with a half a live shrimp. Spec trout are feeding in the Passes (Capri / Caxambas ) early down near bottom working a shrimp /tout couple feet off the bottom on a drift. All the Passes will be action spots for scattered pompano, bluefish, mackerel with the best action times an hour on either side of slack water on a drift or anchored up. Stay put through slack water and you’ll be rewarded.

NEARSHORE: With deeper, cooler water here chances of a favorable trip improve. Fish species normally abiding inshore these days will gravitate out here in the cooler climes. Fair to good action early mornings has been reported at the Walton Reef off Caxambas and the corners of the Marco Five Mile working the bottom with tipped weighted jigs under chum. Good chance for both lane and mangrove snapper here as well as mostly smaller red grouper. Always a chance at mackerel showing especially if you’re using chum…..if you get a bottom rig sheared off with a hard strike, replace it with a tipped jig on wire and work the surface. Also you’ll want to keep a hunk of cut bait on wire to the bottom under the chum….always a chance at a grouper and lots of small blacktip sharks around.

OFFSHORE: Best chances for success are out here……cooler water and major wreck / reef structure to hold bait and draw pelagics. Deep wrecks (15-20 miles) are continuing to hold those bait schools and attracting and holding pelagics. You’ ll see kingfish, cobia and perhaps a permit in the top waters and bottom action on lanes and mangroves as well as some tight schools of yellowtail snapper. You’ll need a strong chum effort to attract and hold the pelagics and the bottom dwellers will automatically show working the descending chum bits. Out deeper on hard bottom, the red grouper are staying active taking live pinfish worked to the bottom on a drift. The deeper you go the better the chances of a better keep to catch ratio.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 2 to June 8th Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: If forecasts are accurate, we finally have a week where the weather will stabilize……i.e. no afternoon pattern storms; no blustering afternoon winds and realistic tides. Would think that will clean up the water clarity and put the fish back on their feed. As summer approaches, we’ll see a general increase in the heat with air temperatures now frequently moving into the near nineties in the afternoons and creating a “real feel” temperature just north of 100 degrees. Time to consider your and your crews safety as those temperatures escalate. Couple of things to consider: start your trip an hour or so earlier and be off the water before noon; seek shaded areas along the waterways where it will be a tad cooler; hydrate your crew with bottled water regularly and, finally wear lightweight clothing that covers and protects from the sun as well as the skeeters and the no-see-ums. In addition to the heat, the week will feature tides that are moving to a late week full moon. The morning outgoing tide will be a “screamer” with a three and a half foot range with the afternoon incoming being a bit more friendly. The water temperatures will begin tickling the 85 degree mark mid day especially in the shallower backwaters.

BACKWATER:  Still a bit of a struggle to get solid results back here. As we mentioned last week, you have to have all the factors going in the right direction to attain a reasonable success for your fishing trip. That includes……working moderate tides / fishing clean water / seek shaded areas / working fresh baits. With water temperatures now in the mid 80’s with a week of full sunshine, would recommend getting started earlier and work your spots before the mid-morning when the sun’s rays gain full penetration of the water; your targets will be more apt to be on the feed. Most active species continues to be the small snook on most any waterway current point and jumping on any live bait with pilchards being the most preferred. Please use circle hooks if your are targeting these smaller fish that need to be carefully released. Good spots close in to Marco for snook action would be Johnson Bay creeks / Henderson Creek area up in Rookery Bay and the top end of Addison Bay as the high tide peaks early morning. Mangrove snapper, the summer staple here, are beginning (slowly) to show some size. Lots and lots of “9 inches” but now beginning to see some 11 and 12 inchers in the mix; that should improve as the summer kicks in. Not much on pelagic action; the mackerel and bluefish action is among the missing this year. Some pompano on the first and last hours of both tides in the Capri and Hurricane Passes taking small jigs worked to the bottom on a drift. Finally, still seeing some scattered redfish action along the Marco River shallow edges like the “Muddies”  just north of Marker R#24…. on shrimp under a popper.

NEARSHORE: Conditions this week should give you a chance to get out here on the reefs / barges for some upgraded action. Some mackerel and bluefish are still showing on the Capri Pass barges on both tides and taking small tipped jigs worked aggressively over a good chum effort. Chance for little tunny here also on live bait. Wherever you set up now, good idea to soak a large cut bait on wire leader to the bottom…..lots of blacktip shark action being reported. Also might want to try an area south of Cape Romano titled “Naftal’s Reef” for good bottom and pelagic action . Up top there are mackerel and an infrequent cuda and down below lots of lane snapper action.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OFFSHORE: Stable weather and water conditions this week out here. Good chance for the “long run”. Super deep wrecks have amberjack stacked up that top out at 30-35#. Great fight…… and although harvest is closed, they will challenge even the most seasoned angler. A bit closer in the wrecks and reefs have massive bait schools that are enticing the pelagics heading north, to hang around for awhile. Look for kings on wrecks and surging around in surrounding waters. Work on a troll with live blue runners or a flashy spoon. Permit are at peak season out on the deeper towers SW of the island and will go for a small crab freelined into the swirling current under a moderate chum effort.