Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

March 16th 2018 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Week looks like one of the more favorable that we’ve had in the past month or so. No weather fronts and light winds…..that is until Friday the 22nd when things kick up. Should see some improvement in water clarity that will enhance the fishing with the light easterly wind pattern. Most will be E and SE in single digit speeds. Air temperatures hold in the high 70’s which should draw the water temps up just a bit to the 72-74 degree range. The tides are influenced by a new moon phase set for the weekend and will show a strong morning incoming tide with over 2’range and,uncharachteristically, have a identical outgoing in the afternoons. That pretends to encourage fishing activity in those first and last hours of the slower water flow. As we ease into the weekend, you’ll be faced with some of those winds that impact being able to hold the boat in position and seeing the bite as active…….so go early or mid-week with rod in hand.

BACKWATER: Still possible to find some of the bigger sheepshead in the deeper holes and cuts throughout the area. Some of the catch in the last week has shown either partial or aborted spawning effort all of which has been impacted with “too warm” water conditions. Spring fishing has sort of jumped in….with mackerel showing in all the Passes and mangrove snapper beginning to show on those backwater edges. Snook, too, have come alive in the heat and are active all along the structured bottom edges with good incoming tidal flow and jumping on pilchards worked post bait shower. Upper Addison Bay, just short of the last islands are producing nice catches of spec trout with shrimp worked under a popper just off the bottom on a drift. Same venue has been producing some unexpected redfish action in the last hours of the incoming tide working a whole shrimp freelined along the shallow edges with noticeable current

NEARSHORE: Things beginning to break open out here as the seasons change. Good reports on Spanish Mackerel in numbers like 3/4 years ago showing in the 20-30’ structure spots and worked either at anchor on a reef spot with using chum to attract and working tipped jigs on a fast retrieve or using the same rigs on a 4kt troll just off the edges of bait eruptions occurring throughout the inshore waters. On the structure spots working the bottom with weighted jigs under chum should draw all the mangrove and lane snapper you’ll want. Keeper size on the lanes is 8” and the mangroves have to be 10”…..both measured with squeezing the tail. Bottom action on the Five Mile Reef complex could get you a smaller size keeper grouper working live pinfish tight to the structure on either tide.

OFFSHORE: Conditions favorable here till late week. Red grouper are still a main target deep on hard bottom.  Reports say there is favorable catch to keep ratio in the 50-60’depths on hard bottom working a live pinfish tight to the bottom outcroppings. With weather stable through the first part of the week, probably worth a shot. Closer in on the 10-15 mile reef spots you have an opportunity for good reef fishing for snapper primarily on structure working tipped jigs under chum. Also now may see pelagics (mackerel) out here on wrecks and reefs. Work them with tipped jigs worked very quickly under chum on either tide. Could well be jacks and blue runners in the catch here.

March 9th 2018 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: How does the old saying go….”It ain’t over till it’s over. Well this coming week will prove the adage. Besides dealing with the start of Daylight Saving Time, you’re going to be assaulted with chillier morning temperatures and the abrupt turn of winds to the W and NW and  carrying some high velocity gusts especially in the afternoons. Besides taunting anglers trying to hold anchor etc, it will deliver the ultimate blow of dirty water. Thus, you can expect come late weekend, to see the morning incoming tides dragging fouled (dirty) water well up into the waterways and the deeper backwaters. Some scanty solace though, the weaker afternoon tides will have a trivial impact on clearing the fouled water. So your major quest for the latter part of the week is searching for clean water. Otherwise the water temperatures will probably stay in current range of 75-78. The tides will strengthen as the week progresses and we near the new moon.

BACKWATER: As outlined in the Conditions section, the quest back here this week will be finding clean water and getting enough tide depth to get there. Got a couple of reports this past week that there are still some bigger (take home) sheepsheads holding in spots where the water is deeper and cooler. Remember the temperature as displayed on your fishfinder represents the temperature where the transducer is located (top water)…….if you find depths of 10-15’ in backwater holes the temps at the deeper depth may be 5-6 degrees cooler…..and that’s what the bigger sheepshead are looking for to finish spawn…… go deep in places like Rookery Bay or deeper holes along the ICW for final winter action. Another action possibility in what promises to be a tough week back here is the whiting / silver trout action. These are both good action smaller species that are 1) fun to catch on a tad a shrimp on a jig head 2) good table fare and 3) have no size limit and a never-to-reach bag limit. Find them off any of the beaches and in moderately (7-10 foot) depth. There has been some mackerel action in Capri Pass by the outer markers when the tide is strong and the water clean……which probably won’t happen post this weekend. But if water cleans work Mack’s with flashy tipped jigs on a tidal drift.

NEARSHORE: Conditions permitting and keep a eye on NOAA setting small craft warnings. Water will not be as tainted here as backwater but will still be effected. Reef spots south and west of the Island are probably best bets. The Isaac Walton reef is worth a shot working the bottom with tipped jig heads under chum for activated lane and mangrove snapper as well as escaping sheepshead heading west. Also the infamous Five Mile Reef is always worth a try……water could be a tad cleaner there. Also might try some live bait (pinfish) on major tackle just off the bottom for possible returning pelagic action. Plus always a chance for grouper here especially on the sunken barges on the SE corner of the complex.

OFFSHORE: Be able to get to cleaner water here starting about 15 miles out……some smaller wrecks noted on the Hot Spots charts that will produce some nice snapper catches on weighted tipped jigs worked under chum. If fishfinder shows bait schools holding off structure (wreck) might want to try a freelined live bait (blue runner) on wire under chum. Chance the early migration arrivals will be hungry. The stone crab pots are about a month away from removal….so keep an eye open as you move between spots for sunning tripletail on the surface. If sighted; slow and double back working the surface adjacent to the marker with a tipped dark color jig on medium strength tackle.