Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

April 20th 2019 Fishing Report

              ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

 

CONDITIONS: After a tough beginning to the Easter weekend with that windy / rainy frontal passage, things will settle down but it will take couple days for the water to clear…….causal factor is those strong westerly winds. Would project that things would be settled down by Tuesday. The rest  of the week should be typical early spring marked with some afternoons gusting up a bit but certainly fishable. You certainly noticed the prominent full moon over the weekend and that is a key factor in tide determinant – the tides will definitely be a factor this week…..the morning incoming tide that is usually strong will weaken quickly and be at a volume of less than a foot by week end. Conversely the outgoing tide will strengthen during the week and finish the latter days with a plus 3’ drop. Bottom line you’ll want to avoid the weak morning incoming and if you fish afternoon work the first and last hour of those tides for best results. The water temperature as we begin with week is a degree or two on other side of 79 degrees. Weekend weather will probably dip it a degree or two and then in will recover ending the week circa 80 degrees.

BACKWATER: Best bet as to how the area recovers from the “Friday Front” is that the backwaters will be visually churned up until perhaps Tuesday morning and the fishing slowed both along the coast and up in the backwaters. Come then look for good snapper action along the coastal areas from south of Rookery Bay to the east edges of Hurricane Pass…….with a secondary opportunity in that Pass itself. Should be good hunting for snapper along the eastern edges of the Pass working a 1/2 jig head tipped with shrimp tight to the downed fauna. A drift in the Pass itself with a 1/2 oz tipped jig could deliver a pompano (early in the tide cycle) or a mackerel as the tide matures working a flashy jig or small spoon on a drift. Unfortunately the mega sheepshead are virtually gone………offshore to cooler climes but they leave behind their offspring that have a knack of emptying your bait bucket. Working a spot and that’s all you see….LEAVE. But now the Passes are showing bird and bait action especially early in the first hours of the AM incoming. Worth a early effort to tie on a tipped jig and try a couple of drifts down the Passes…..always a chance at some mackerel or even the sought after Florida Pompano.

NEARSHORE: .Best info from those still trying…….the BIG sheepshead are headed offshore even from their inside reef spots. Now is the time to work the top waters on the nearshore reefs for mackerel et al (bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and an occasional little tunny). The process….. either home in on bird or surface action with tipped jigs or working chum into bottom structure and then working surface flashy jigs on quick retrieves. Both techniques work. Bottom action on the established reefs are also providing results on lane and mangrove snapper as well as an occasional triggerfish or nice size porgie. A nice chum slick will help attract and hold a gathering for you. For the more adventurous, a large chunk for freshly cut runner or mackerel will attract shark action. Make sure the rig is on wire leader and your equipment is strong.

OFFSHORE: Things improving out here as time and temperature erodes the fouling aspects of “dead zones” and bait has returned to many of those ledges and reefs listed on the HOT SPOTS charts. Should continue as better conditions continue. Mid range reefs that have bait showing on the finder should be prime opportunity for good yellowtail snapper action. Get some good chum action down upcurrent and give it a 15-20 minute hiatus to start the draw and then work tads of the chum on #6 circle hooks freelined into the slick with the bail open. Strikes will be strong with immediate run off…….but count to “ten” before you close the bail and initiate the strike. Deeper wrecks and reefs should have action now from returning migrating pelagics and be engaged in solid on both tides on major structure. Bottom action with mega baits same venue could get you some heart stopping action or a range of shark species.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

April 12th 2019 Fishing Report

PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

     CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

CONDITIONS: Week will kick-in with some “summer like” super heated conditions with the heat level approaching ninety degrees by mid afternoons. There will be light to moderate easterly winds with some bothersome gusts by late afternoon. That should be right “down the alley” for sportfishers. Then things turn around a bit by mid to late week as the winds go west and the wind increases in velocity. So get ready for some heightened sea surface and churned up water by late week. Probably be worse offshore than in the backwaters but there will still be some carryover. The major factor in determining what lies ahead is water temperature. We need the big bait schools to invade first and then sought after by the pelagics, many of which are in the process of vacation winter residence in the Keys. Thus early week we’re looking at fair weather water temperatures somewhere between 77-79 but the “upheaval” will most likely tumble the temperatures backwards to the low seventies by week end. Tides are another important factor and are unique this week. Tides at the week git-go are extremely weak and as they head to full moon on the 19th really pick up steam and will have to be worked “First-hour and last-hour” as you ply the waters here week end.

BACKWATER: If the water temperature doesn’t tumble too much, we should see some good action for spring/ summer fish species here to chance the bait schools. Already seeing some mackerel with intermixed bluefish and jacks showing in both the Marco Passes. Action is best on the incoming tide and early is better than late. Macks et al will go for a fast moving high visibility bait like a light colored jig tipped with shrimp being either retrieved quickly or trolled at a rapid speed. No matter…either way suggest a mid weight wire leader to prevent cut offs on both the mackerel and the companion bluefish. In the far reach backwaters, the mangrove snapper are still ferociously active and will jump on a well presented shrimp tossed tight to the mangrove overhangs……especially close in the downed trees and fauna. A tip….late in the week when that tide accelerates, you’ll want to fish in the first and last hour of the tides when the water speed is at it’s minimum.

NEARSHORE: .Those pelagics (mackerel,bluefish, sharks) that you are targeting in the back will also be super action on the First and Second Reefs in 15-25’ depths and working schools of bait on structure. Look for bird action and upheavals on surface water as a indicator of their presence.  Plan on either setting up on the reef and getting a chum slick underway and then with a 15-20 minute delay give the effort a chance to work and then get those tipped jigs working in the top water. Stay right up top to try and avoid the nuisance blue runners hovering beneath……The other technique is to head toward that bird action over the top water disruptions and working on the edge of the frantic top water action get those tipped jigs running about 100’ behind the boat running at 4 kts. Lastly, the major reefs…..the Walton and the Five Mile….work the bottom with weighted jigs under just a bit of chum for nice lane and mangrove snappper.

OFFSHORE: Been getting reports that there still are areas offshore that have “dead water” due to oxygen depletion caused by the red tide and the algae depletion. So you’ll have to scoot around and try your spots until you hit paydirt. Good spots will have returning pelagics from the Keys heading to the panhandle ……kings, cobia, permit, sharks and last but not least barracuda. All of these guys love live bait worked in attaracting chum. Blue runners are best for kings and sharks; small crabs are the same for the permit and the cobia will show in the top water and can be worked with a live threadfin on a sightcast on the surface. Last advice….if you’re going deep go early week to avoid those predicted winds late week.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

April 5th 2019 Fishing Report

PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

APRIL 5, 2019 TO APRIL 12, 2019

CONDITIONS: From assembled forecasts for the week, it looks like this first week in April will really be the first week of solid spring weather. Conditions for both temperature, wind and absence of precipitation all come together to provide a great pre-Easter period. With that stability, would hope that the spring fishing comes roaring in with action on our spring piscatorial visitors. As noted in the sector notes that follow, we could well see the final turn of winter conditions and a end to the abnormally slow winter fishing we have all experienced. Even the static conditions i.e. tide and water temperature should prove a positive factor all our anglers. The tides are coming off a new moon but will have a moderate morning incoming and finishes off the evening with a evening ebb tide that will average just under a 3’ fall.

BACKWATER: Water temperature should be the major change agent this week. With a steady diet of mid 80 degree water these coming afternoons will drive the basic water temp into the low 80’s. That will, hopefully, drive the spring species to chase the flood of bait schools that typically arrive in these conditions. Would expect to see the Spanish mackerel schools throughout all three Passes especially on the morning incoming. Working a flashy tipped jig on wire leader on a drift should enable some solid action. Another spring opportunity should show with pompano right at the very start of that morning incoming tide right at the Gulf Passes and be very active for an hour or so as they traverse the bait rich cut snd then scatter on connecting waterways …….best opportunity is while they are congregated in the Passes and being worked tipped small jigs worked right off the bottom.

NEARSHORE: A repeat from last week……..good chance there will be some yet-to-spawn sheepshead of considerable size still hanging out at the First and Second reef spots off the hotels/condos in 20-25’ of water. That anomaly won’t last forever as they eventually will make their way due west to cooler climes. Right now, they will still take a well presented tad of live shrimp or a cut crab. Otherwise, there should be a good presence of mackerel and bluefish mixed in with jacks and blue runners that are surface feeding on scads of bait. You’ll need a good chum effort to draw them and then it’s top water fast retrieves of flashy tipped jigs worked right in the spreading chum effort. If you do get into action…..might want to put a large fresh cut bait out on heavy gear just off the bottom……you never know what all that mackerel action is attracting.

OFFSHORE: Still seeing mixed action deep. There are still wide areas which have not totally recovered from the effects of red tide and algae infestation which has apparently depleted oxygen levels in the water……almost all species of fish avoid such a domain. So it’s a hunt to find good to very good action. A key is to look for bird action on a given spot……..birds will find the surface bait and that is the key to active pelagic fish feeding beneath. Also another positive trend is the activity of the returning pelagic fish emanating from their winter digs in the Keys. Once you find a working spot make sure you record the Lat/Lon as that benefit should last as other areas near it also recover.