Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 30th 2018 Fishing Report

 

CONDITIONS: The fishing environment this time of year changes hour by hour. Daily temperature changes……water clarity…….water quality…..and rain and wind all play a symphony of change. Right now the headlines are”scary” with reports of the treasured bottlenose dolphin fatalities being reported from Bonita right down to Marco. Logic tells you if whatever it is causing the demise of the dolphin probably has the same effect on the species your targeting. So it’s tragically, a touch and go environment this week. We see the sudden drop in air temperature which translates into the same effect on water temperature. Air temps this late week in the low 60’s can translate into a drop in water temp from the mid 70’s to the high 60’s and activate the “cold water” species action as winter begins. So the advisory for the week would be to proceed but be ready to change domains and techniques if things aren’t working out. You’ll have some more days of extreme cold (for here) and wind late week as we experience another frontal passage. The tides will our friends this week with low moderate water flow and good day to day timing.

BACKWATER: All of a sudden this past week seeing the sheepshead albeit small to medium size showing up on spots where we were besieged with nice size mangrove snapper a week or so ago. That points to the beginning of the traditional weather change here in SW Florida. We can expect the influx of sheephead and other cold water species (black drum, whiting, silver trout, speckled trout et al) to begin to dominate the water and your catch. Unfortunately, the catch for the first weeks of the annual anomaly will be small and frequent thus doing an excellent job in emptying your bait bucket. You’ll have to move around frequently till you land on a deep, more bait rich spot holding the bigger and more likely take home candidates. As a general rule look for encrusted structure in deeper water and use a technique of smaller baits worked with a frequent soft lift technique. Tads of shrimp or pieces of cut crab should be your bait of choice. Be patient and record the locations of spots that show promise…..you’ll be revisiting them as the water temperature tanks here in a month or so.

NEARSHORE: Hopefully conditions will be moderate and your trip nearshore won’t be a “Victory at Sea” experience. Forecasts say it will be favorable out here until mid week. Should be good pelagic action on the inshore reefs and wrecks. Mackerel and bluefish are adaptable species and will feed endlessly until conditions literally shut down or the bait disappears. Places like the Capri Channel barges out to the Sea Buoy should stay hot working small tipped jigs on a very fast retrieve right up on the surface over a serious block chum soaking. Could even be some small blacktips in the mix so have some mid-range tackle and wire leaders available if they show. Bottom fishing the reefs in the 2-6 mile range may have a better shot at some sizable sheepshead stopping for a snack and on their way to the backwaters. Work a lindy rig to the bottom with a tad of shrimp vertically using a soft lift technique. Take home sheepshead must be 12” O in length and are excellent table fare but a challenge to clean.

OFFSHORE: The weekend and early week will present the best opportunity for success out here……could get tumbling rough thereafter. We are in the fading days of the reverse migration where pelagics that streamed up here in the warming spring are heading back to the Keys as the chilling water directs. They stop along the way for a snack or two on the way. Look for mid range wrecks that show a gaggle of bait working and set up live bait tethered at 15-20ft on wire leader in a good chum effort and stand by……good chance ravenous kingfish will find you and provide you an exciting catch and some excellent take home filets. Nearby there may be some surface action signaling that the yellowtail snapper are schooled and feeding on extensive bait schools. Here anchor up in current and get a block chum in the water. Peel off a handful of chum bits and impale them on #6 small hooks and freeline that right into the current fed slick with the bail open. The yellowtail will slam the bait and run but holding off from “taking” the bait for a short period and that’s when you close the bail and Hang on. These snapper are beyond delicious table fare and will make your trip.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 23rd 2018 Fishing Report

 

CONDITIONS:As we close in on the final chapter of 2018, you will some rapid changes in weather cycles. Forget the sudden violent showers; they will be replaced with cold fronts emanating from the Upper US. In those fronts will be lots of wind that will stop our fishing in it’s tracks; dirty water inside and raucous rough water offshore. So the encouragement for this week is to take advantage of the “nice days”. Can do that by being flexible in your activity scheduling……save some stuff to do at home or at the shopping malls for those BAD days. Unfortunately, we’ll see the first of those fronts this coming week. We’ll see a moderate front here late weekend that will do exactly as predicted. Chilly with rough and dirty water. The singular good that will come from that event is a decline in the water temperature thus moving us closer to those “sheepshead and black drum days”. The current water temp of 75 will probably tumble 3 or 4 degrees by week end. And to top that off we’ll be coming off a full moon on Saturday and face some racing incoming morning tides all week. Winter fishing is fun here but you gotta be careful in picking your days.

BACKWATER: If the forecasted conditions noted above pan out you will be working with some tough water clarity conditions starting early week. The areas that will carry the “sandy mud” will be those that have fast moving tidal water; the areas, least effected will be those that are distant from those tidal waters i.e. small bays / hidden creeks etc. There will be normal action prior to the arrival of the front and you will most likely see snapper….most undersized but some keepers; there are lots of small redfish (15-17”) along the mangrove edges that will jump on a shrimp bait moved slowly across the bottom. Try place like Addison Bay and the area know as Upper Addison when the tide is sufficient to allow transit. In the Passes (Capri, Hurricane, Caxambas) there has been fair to good action on Florida Pompano in the first and last hours of the tide (if water is clean). Work pomps with a tipped small white or pink/white jig worked just off the bottom.

NEARSHORE: Conditions permitting, good chance the pelagics (mackerel, bluefish and jacks) will be feeding in the fast water circa Capri Barges and along the First and Second Reefs. Look for schools of the bait on your finder before you decide to set up. Then start up current with a good block chum effort set on the surface……give it ten minutes or so before you get the tipped jigs being pulled back quickly through the descending slick. Chance you may run into a hungry blacktip shark being tempted by the chum that will come up off the bottom and either take your catch or, in reality, anything he wants. The southeast corner of the Five Mile Reef has been producing nice catches of both lane and mangrove snapper working weighted tipped jigs just a foot or two off the bottom under a generous chum effort. You can get surprised out here with some small red grouper that must be carefully released.

OFFSHORE: With west winds in the forecast early week……please be careful on your (questionable) trip offshore. First of all, if your searching for the annual red grouper harvest, the only reports that we have received indicate that you’ll need 80’ water depth to chance a run at take home grouper. 80’ means close to 40 miles offshore. Would recommend giving that passion a hold……as the air temperature drops we will see a correspondent drop in water temperature which will drive the red grouper closer inshore…….much more convenient to make a hour trip to a 60’ depth than a dangerous trip for an additional hour. But at those inside right now that are holding bait you can find good action on lane, mangrove and yellowtail snapper that can be worked with light tackle set up over a serious chum effort.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November16th 2018 Fishing Report

 

CONDITIONS: This is a Holiday Week and the first caution is that it will be super busy on the water (with some dependency on the weather). The general fall chill down will continue and you will need that light jacket to fend off the mid 50’s to the low 60’s temperatures early morning. That will tend to dip the now 80 degrees water temperatures and think you’ll be looking at the low 70’s come late week…..especially in the mornings. These fluctuating water temperature changes are not radical enough to switch on the “cold water species invasion”. Now along with those substantive drops in temperature will come the gusty winds that coming late weekend will be doing twenty knots out of the east. That will upset the holiday week fishing applecart for those planning some nearshore or offshore trips. Could well get bouncy. To round out the fishing conditions you will face, the tides even though heading to a full moon late week will be moderate both ways and should enhance opportunity especially the backwater creeks and bays.

BACKWATER: The state of the water (fouled or clear) has become a dominant factor back here after we dealt with the devastating red tide and algae intrusions. So….happy to report that the water will be clean and fishable in most all backwater venues. Save the open water shallow spots where the gusty wind late week may stir up the clarity. Most all reports indicate that the “summer” fish are still quite active and thankfully more sizable than we experienced during those scorching summer days. Look for continued action on mangrove snapper on most all waterway edges with good tidal current flow working shrimp tight to bottom structure. Ditto on pompano in the Passes (all three) on the early incoming and late outgoing working tipped jigs tight to bottom on a tidal drift. Also might see some keeper size (12”O) sheepshead beginning to show along the Marco River docks and pilings and then along the connecting waterways. Trick here is shrimp to bottom on soft lift technique.

NEARSHORE: Positive point here….will get bouncy with the gusty winds in the Gulf proper late week but with the winds out of the east the first and second reefs will be in the lee and enjoy a little less vigorous sea conditions. There you will have a good chance on both lane and mangrove snapper working tipped weighted jigs just off the bottom post a good block chum effort. The chum will also draw pelagics (mackerel, bluefish, jacks etc) on the surface for some exciting action on flashy jigs on wire leader tipped with shrimp on a fast retrieve. If you can make it out to the Five Mile Reef area you could add the possibility of red and gag grouper action with most undersized and an exciting chance at a barracuda to the top water that will chase a artificial vinyl eel trolled quickly over the artificial reef mounts.

OFFSHORE: Caution to all on afternoon sea conditions…..could get rough. With colder water now dominant north of us (think Panhandle of Florida) the pelagic migration to wintering grounds in the Keys will pick up speed and we will see visits of kingfish, cobia, permit, tarpon and sharks to the deep wrecks and reefs that are holding bait. So this is the time to take the risk of fishing deep with live bait tethered in a good chum slick tight to a wreck or reef showing bait action on the finder. Insure you have the major rigs and ground tackle aboard for BIG action. On the way out and back, good idea to set a lookout visually scanning the area around the crab pots looking for what looks like a floating piece of paper in the water…..that’s likely a tripletail sunning. Double back and toss some tipped dark color jigs for some great action and delicious tablefare.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           tger

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 2nd 2018 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: The continuing aspects of the welcome “changing of seasons” these last two weeks keeps the expectations of improved fishing results alive and well. This week we’ll experience our first fall cold front passage that will rile the weather up a tad but give us the first decline in water temperature so vastly needed to resurrect sustained good fishing here. The drop in water temperature is showing a low temperature in the mid 70’s as compared to circa 90 degrees some weeks back. That makes a major difference both in water quality and the feeding aggressiveness of the various species. Hopefully, we won’t experience the red tide and algae intrusion for some time to come. This week is also the change week for DST as we return to Standard Time with light filled mornings. Make sure you double check your tide predictions as the times double up over the weekend. The weather post frontal passage should be favorable with easterly winds and just a tad of rain intrusion over the weekend. All in all……would have to say that things are “looking up”.

BACKWATER: As the weather changes this week it will bring a different look and feel to the action. In the ranging backwaters here the summer favorites of mackerel, pompano, snapper and snook will be joined or replaced by the cold water piscatorial favorites of black drum, redfish, speckled sea trout and, of course, the legendary sheepshead. Although we have change in conditions, if the last 3/4 year pattern is repeated, it will take 4-6 weeks to reach stabilized low winter temperatures (Low 60’s). In the meantime should focus on the prolific redfish and the black drum now showing in good numbers all along the edges of Rookery Bay, Addison Bay (especially the section known as Upper Addison) and the creeks and shallows of Johnson Bay. Best for redfish is tight to the shallow mangrove overhangs with a whole shrimp on 4’ gossamer leader under a popper. The black drum (cousin of the redfish aka red drum) will be feeding on a 5-7’ location just off a deep cut in the current flow and take a small shrimp bait slowly mooched across the bottom on either tide.

NEARSHORE: Action is still focused on the summer residents….i.e. lane and mangrove snapper; mackerel and bluefish; occasionally, triggerfish, porgies and seatrout; seldom keeper grouper. The geographic channel just west of the Capri Channel is a top drawer location for the macks and blues working a flashy jig on a rapid retrieve tipped with shrimp in the top water over chum. Another spot for action on these pelagics is the John Dee wreck whose coordinates can be found on the “HOT SPOTS CHART” available at the marina and most tackle shops. The lane and mangrove snapper can be found most anywhere along the first and second reef artificial structure just off the beaches. Need chum again but set it deep to get to the bottom and then work the area with tipped weighed jigs just off the bottom.

OFFSHORE: Inquiries to several stone crabbers came back with…..” still seeing some dead floaters but better than two weeks ago”…..so a hopeful sign that the fouled water is dissipating. Deep wrecks that hold active bait should be seeing the retreating pelagics heading south to the Keys. Kingfish, cobia, permit, tarpon and sharks could show most any day and anywhere. For all you need livebait (blue runners, jacks, threadfin,  and pinfish) set out on heavy tackle in waters with a good chum slick going. This would be a good week for that action with the Panhandle water temps dipping into the low 60’s already. Other dominant action will be on tripletail energized to feed with all the crab pots now flooding the offshore waters. If sighted, throttle down and crawl back then work a simple shrimp rig or jig right to the pot. Good action and great table fare.