Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 28st 2019 Fishing Report




               JUNE 28, 2019 TO JULY 4, 2019


CONDITIONS: The superheated conditions this last ten days has everything we do here on edge…….fishing certainly fits somewhere at the top of the list. We are seeing consistent afternoon heat that invokes special danger warnings for overheating and at the same time we are getting water temperature readings of 90-92 degrees (unprecented) in the backwaters and coastal waters. Consider, for a moment, that the superheated conditions effect all creatures but to an unknown degree for the multiple species of fish that we encounter here in the sub tropics. Here is a current excellent example of that: In the last two weeks many of the charter captains have expressed amazement at the sudden strength of the snook bite…..that’s right SNOOK. Here is a species that is categorized as “on the bite” at 70 degrees……so what’s going on at 90?. Lots of unknowns about our marine live. For you as an angler, that uptick in snook action lies out there for your fishing enjoyment this week….they are about everywhere / on either tide / at any time of the day or night. Just remember they are outside their capture season and must be returned to the briny unscathed. Good thing also to switch over to circle hooks to enhance a safe release. And finally the other factors this week….the tides will be influenced with a new moon just before the 4th and the resultant afternoon tides will be strong through the period. The morning incoming will be more moderate. Not much rain in the forecast and the wind looks like it will all be single digit and mainly southwest in direction.

BACKWATER: Certainly, if your out there this week and even if snook isn’t one of your regular targets, you might want to give them a shot. Their favorite hangout back here is where there is a good current flow adjacent to a drop off and the incoming tide is their favorite. Bait of choice is the pilchard, a small schooled bait……if you can handle a cast et, the pilchards are all along the mangrove edges……if not a whole sizable shrimp or an artificial (Zook Lure) could work. Treat the catch carefully and try not to remove the catch from the water as you gently release the circle hook impalement. Otherwise, in the backwaters you should see some pelagic species……mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle that early morning incoming in all three Passes. They go for small flashy tipped jigs worked under a tad of chum either at anchor or on a tidal drift. Along almost all backwater edges tangent to mangrove overhangs or downed trees, you’ll run into some nice take home snapper working a weighted jig to the bottom . Both mangrove and mutton snapper will show in good action and make very good table fare.

NEARSHORE: Evident that the action just off the beaches all along the Marco shore will continue as conditions remain hot and stable. Anywhere along the 7-12’ water depth off the beaches from Kice Island (Cape Romano) right up to the south end of Keywadin Island are target areas for schools of bait that quickly draw feeders i.e.pompano, snapper, triggerfish, jacks etc that will readily take a wel presented bait on a lindy rig or attached to a small colorful jig. Can deploy a little chum to get things started but consider the tidal movement to insure placement is right on for continuing results. Reefs from the barges off Capri Pass to the Walton Reef have surface bait action that is pinpointed by bird feeding action as well as surface eruptions…….all pinpointing pelagic presence. Get some block chum going as you anchor up current and watch for the pattern of pelagic feeding. Once action starts increase the volume of chum and use flashy surface tipped jigs to attract and get some nice mackerel, bluefish and even some bottom dwelling snapper for the table.

OFFSHORE: With winds light to moderate predicted, you should be considering an offshore run…….but keeping an eye on weather changes or on-line forecasts…..things happen quickly out here. The mid range to deeper wrecks and reefs have abundant bait swarms and continue to attract northbound pelagics even with the super hot conditions. Suggest making sure that your selected spot shows evident boat schools before you set up chum and get live bait tethered in the tidal flow. Good chance at most deep spots for kingfish action as primary but good chance of seeing cobia as well as sharks and barracuda steaming the surface especially if you do land a kingfish or larger mackerel. Results on most sought after grouper is evident but action is considered moderate to slow especially in the deeper spots……consider it still has something to do with oxygen depravation in some of the offshore spots.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 21st 2019 Fishing Report



               JUNE 21, 2019 TO JUNE 27, 2019


CONDITIONS: Just a quick note on trying to forecast summer weather here on the Paradise Coast. We use both local forecasting predictions for the week ahead and the nationally recognized ACCUWEATHER on line forecasts to try and tell folks what lies ahead. While Accuweather does a thorough and mostly accurate job on general weather, wind, wind direction and frontal issues, they, and most everyone else is at a loss in forecasting the daily parade of afternoon storm conditions that rake our domain ……the best chance of accuracy there is the local news TV stations that are reporting two or three times daily…….you are encouraged to consider this report for basic issues but keep an ear to broadcast media for afternoon storm patterns that appear and disappear almost hourly. Staying safe out there is of primary importance.

And now to this week’s general weather predictions: Overall prediction is a week of no frontal activity and, of surprise, forecasts of winds in single digits only. That’s great for sea surface calm but not so good for over air and water temperatures. You won’t see much wind but lots of flat water and accentuated air and water heat. Expect real feel temperatures to tickle 100 degrees early afternoon and skyrocket water temperatures to the low 90’s. Only relief will be working the time of day to your advantage. That means GO EARLY and well before the sun is driving vertical rays into the water. Will match up well with an early incoming anyhow. There is only one late week afternoon with rain threats but remember what we just said about daily storm flow. Last issue: tides for the week will be moderate both ways with the morning incoming getting the most favorable nod.

 BACKWATER: A positive factor regarding water temperature: heat excites and drives attraction for most bait species. With that as a well known… will drive the fish, especially pelagics to feast. There should be feeding mayhem early mornings this week in the Passes (all three) with sea birds and most all pelagic species tearing into bait schools. Good chance for mackerel, bluefish, some pompano and even small permit on drifts working tipped jigs or spoon rigs on a tidal drift in the early morning first hours of the incoming tide. Keep the rig a few feet off the bottom to avoid small sharks and catfish. Heed the bird action as to the intensity of the bait surge…….birds leave / you leave. Action then in the good current fed backwater spots in Addison Bay, Rookery Bay and Johnson Bay should be considered working shrimp or live bait along the mangrove shaded edges in c=good current flow. Expect good snapper action here as primary with always a chance at some of the pelagics that disbursed from the Passes and few hours earlier. Again………recommendation of GO EARLY and quit when the heat starts melting your anglers and the bite.

NEARSHORE: Over the last couple weeks have seen a continuation of a good bite right up tight to the beaches from Cape Romano on north to the edges of Keywadin Island on large schools of pelagics and bottom dwellers that hold tight in the shallow water on schools of bait fish feeding on crabs and other crustaceans in the surface tossed water. Try setting up anywhere along the outside edge (away from bathers and shore anglers) and casting a baited jig on a slow agitated retrieve. Good chance for pompano here. Otherwise recommend working the artificial reef lumps all along the 20-30’ depths from South Seas to just south of the Marriott. Get a little chum in the water first and then work tipped jigs up the surface for pelagics or weighted jigs / rigs just off the bottom for snapper, triggerfish or even some small black tip shark action. Outer edges (30’) of the nearshore on the Five Mile and associated reefs working the bottom with live bait for bigger snapper, triggerfish and undersized grouper. Top water, under chum with fast retrieve artificial for barracuda or deep for black tip sharks on large fresh cut bait under chum on major gear.

OFFSHORE: Water surface conditions should be superb (flat) and with a moderately good tide especially the morning incoming should be very please at albeit HOT this week. Mid range reefs will be good potential for sizable lane and mangrove snapper with a occasional big porgie or triggerfish thrown in working cut bait just off the bottom under chum. Also beginning to see some keeper size gag grouper working the deeper reefs that have surrounding bottom structure. Work the gags well off the bottom with live bait worked on fluoro rigs under limited chum. Also showing deep are north migrating permit (20-30#) that LOVE the AF towers SW of the island. Working lee side of the water flow with freelined small crabs is best for exciting action. This particular venue is home to ravenous very speedy Goliath Grouper…….fish on……. reel as fast as you can with super tight drag. Exciting event.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 14th 2019 Fishing Report



                JUNE 14, 2019 TO JUNE 21, 2019

 CONDITIONS: Just a moment to cover a matter of very important background on the water quality problems that plagued southwest Florida last year and our fishing quality !. This year the Florida Wildlife Commission has undertaken a comprehensive study and reporting on contaminated water conditions from Tampa south to the Florida Bay. They report their findings every other week on line at…..they do a excellent job segregating areas by geographic markers. Thus far,  they report some background issues but no active red tide or blue green algae intrusions……but they lay caution about what might happen when the major t-storms and tropical events are incurred here in the months ahead. For all of you who fish, copy down that site, and stay tuned as to what’s going on in your fishing area. If the 2018 event occurs here again,  look to selling the rods and reels.

Now to this coming week…..looks like we’ll get a short reprieve from the weather tumult of last week. Pattern is pretty consistent with clear mornings till late afternoons and no rain until late in the day. Of equal importance is the fact that the wind will be Easterly and Southerly and single digit velocity… you can count on reasonably clean water…..will not be the totally transparent water we faced last week but water with just a tad of haze that will hide the gaudy fishing gear and allow the fish to go for your bait. You should see a remarkable difference there. The water temperature is going to hold consistent in the 82-84 degree range and shouldn’t mount any action problems. And last but not least the tides are going through a full moon cycle and feature a favorable morning incoming moderate strength but hr outgoing in the afternoon will strengthen and be difficult to work. So all condition facets for the week point to more favorable morning action…..and it will be a tad cooler on you and you’re crew.

BACKWATER: The better water quality (and less clarity) will play out very well back here. Early will work very well this week as the start of the incoming tide with align almost perfectly with daybreak. Those features should provide good action on mackerel / bluefish et al working the marauding pelagics working the schools chasing the flood of bait being dived on by the gulls and pelicans. Choice is yours to either anchor up on structure and use chum to draw the pelagics or turn the cart and chase them on their eruption spots trolling a plain jig or a flashy spoon at about five knots, Both techniques will draw action and sustain same. Back in the bushes the nicer size mangrove snapper should be dominant and working current spots adjacent to fauna cover… attractant here are pieces of shrimp worked just off the bottom on 1/4 jigs or jig heads insuring you are working moving water. Back here you also always have a shot at something bigger like blackdrum, redfish or even a snook……all on live bait worked tight to ambush points.

NEARSHORE: The unusual pattern of school fish feeding on enormous swarms of bait up along the outside west edges of Keeywadin continues very strong……might try a venture there and check out the action. The specific spot is adjacent to the half dozen homes built on the island just north of the recreational beach……in 7-10 ft of water over a sand bottom that for some reason has drawn an overflow of bait. Action comes easy on tipped jigs or bottom rigs worked right along the bottom with a little encouragement with a measure of block chum fed into the current (incoming water has been best). Closer to Marco there is sustained action on mackerel and a few bluefish in 20-25’feet of water on the structures located there years ago. Key here is to “follow the birds”. Both pelicans and gulls are the “scouts” that dive on bait forced to the surface by the ravenous mackerel et al. Toss anything here and you’ll get a strike and either a throw back blue runner or a take home mackerel……and even a dreaded catfish. Both these spots are action intensive and close to home.

OFFSHORE: As we’ve always reiterated…..the BIG fish are out here in deeper water. And hanging around natural reefs and and rough bottom that hold their food (other fish). If you have your spots loaded into the GPS you’re all set……if you’re new to the game, the best addition to your fishing arsenal is the HOT SPOT CHART (available at the Rose Marina Store) which lays out Lat and Lon spots and the fish you can expect there. Now going deep, especially in the summer time, can be dangerous especially with stormy conditions. Cardinal Rule: Don’t take chances. But in good weather conditions, working one of these listed spots can be a delight. Using your GPS you can hone right in on the spot and see the structure in all it’s detail right on your fishfinder. Calculate your set and drift so that you end up with the “honey hole” just behind the boat and then get your chum block in the water pronto and get whatever rig you’re using right into the spot. Anything small to big can happen. Again…keep an eye on the weather; have a Chart to identify your catch; and release unscathed all discards  and undersized fish. Enjoy !

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 6th 2019 Fishing Report




CONDITIONS: This will be a week that reminds you of what the “full” summer vacillating weather conditions will be like. It’s a real feel of over 100 degrees as we enter the coming week but that will quickly change and bring us storms and gusty winds by the week end…..expect winds (unfavorable) out of the west and blowing with gusts in the 20-25 knot range expected late mornings and on into afternoons. That will make a difference in the quality of fishing during those couple of days but will make some positive difference in the days that follow. We lamented last week that the “too clean” water experienced over the past couple of weeks had put the bite on edge as the clarity of the water made the fish skittish as they avoided the intrusion of the obtrusive sight of the tackle.

That will change as the water clouds up a tad. Other factors for the week will see tides of reasonable strength off a new moon with the morning outgoing more favorable. The water temperature will still be cooking and running from 81 to 84 degrees depending on your locale and depth.

BACKWATER: As noted in Conditions, backwaters in particular were primary in the anomaly of crystal clear water and the skittish reaction by fish sighting the intrusion of tackle in their feeding environment. That should change radically post the wind caused bottom upheaval late week. As the water “hazes” up things should go back normal. The primary opportunity then will be pelagics (mackerel, bluefish, pompano, jacks etc) in the Passes on the first parts of either tide taking tipped jigs in areas where sea birds are active. Along the backwater edges anywhere from Addison Bay up through Johnson Bay to Rookery you’ll be into mangrove snapper action working shrimp pieces on jigs or lindy rigs tight to fauna edges. A tip: mangrove snapper school by size; if you run into a bunch of undersized runts, pick up and move on to a deeper spot with better water flow which should hold some keepers.

NEARSHORE: As reported last week, we are seeing inshore action all along the beaches in the 7-10’ depths of both pelagics and non-pelagics working sizable bait schools working that depth and current. Best spots might be just off the tip of Kice Island (south of Marco); the waters within 1/4 mile off the tip of Sandollar Island and the area north of Marco just off the west edge of Keeywadin Island in the proximity of the coastal houses. Best approach is with light chum worked in the faster current points pulling tipped jigs slowly just off the bottom. Should see pompano, jacks, small sharks, mackerel and an occasional smaller snook (release). Deeper reef fishing spots would be the Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass and the Naftal Reefs just south of Cape Romano where bottom fishing could draw anything from sharks to small kings……so if you decide to fish these spots upgrade you’re equipment.

OFFSHORE: Running deep now comes in two “flavors”……..deep and really deep. For deep you’re talking reefs and wrecks in the 20-30 mile range either west or southwest of the island. Note: Most of these locations are listed on the FWC (Florida Wildlife Commission) website ( and include artificial reefs, natural reef formations and sunken wrecks (usually barges). As far as timing goes this week, with wind and storms forecast mid week, something late weekend or early week would be the best (and safe) bet. On arrival at a chosen spot, first run the reef with the finder on……..locate bait “balls” that’s the spot – no bait – move on. Once located your spot, set up upstream in tidal flow and get some deeper set block chum working; get a large cut bait to the bottom on max tackle and then work light weighted live or cut bait in the slick. Targets: mackerel, small to medium kings, small grouper, cobia to some size; and chance for Goliath Grouper.


God Bless those who gave so much on June 6th 1944 in securing America’s Freedom.