Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 23rd 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

          AUGUST 23, 2019 TO AUGUST 29, 2019

 CONDITIONS: The Paradise Coast is continuing to have issues with a VERY WET late spring and summer. Seems like every day we see both morning rain and then a couple hour hiatus and then we get it again in the evening with lots of accompanying thunder bangers. That pattern has kept our weather on an unparalleled heat track. Our fishing has taken unusual turns this late spring and summer with all the unusual aberrations. The unusually warm and wet weather with dominant SW winds have kept the natives sweltering and changed the arrival and departure problem for most of our piscatorial residents. Of priority the snook which usually go dormant  inland vacate the premises in December and January never left and been actively feeding right through all the traditional off months……..the offset of course was the damage the algae / red tide did to their population. Otherwise, generally the fishing population has survived the weather anomaly and are more active as we reach the end of summer because of the influx of immense bait schools ……almost all species save sheepshead and trout have generally thrived during the heated sea water that reached a historic 92 degrees backwater in the sweltering backwater. Like most, we have no specific idea what this winter will deal for us weather wise but most early subtle suggestions is that it won’t change much. Fishing, generally, will be about the same with a late arrival and early departure for the sought after sheepshead. And to finish up on weather conditions this week…….it will be a week of morning and evening rain threats and morning warm air and water temperatures. Weather offset will be very light winds. The water temperature will cover the mid 80’s and the water quality in the backwaters will be stained with mangrove root runoff especially in the backwaters. The tides will be mid morning moderate outgoing and a tad weaker on the afternoon ebb.

BACKWATER: The true backwaters in amidst the mangroves will have clear but stained water to deal with. Which will “hide” some of the tackle parts and provide a little better take than when the water in gin clear. That should provide a benefit for general action back there and be a definite advantage for the primary targets back there i.e the snook and the redfish. So the tackle utilized can be “normal “ and snaps /swivels/ leaders are OK and will not spook the action. Both of those species are still super active with the snook finishing up with their spawn and moving back away from the Passes and coastal waters. And for those linesiders, the “feed”is still on the avalanche of bait that surged in here this summer. Just as a reminder, the snook season is open here with 28-33” slot. The redfish are in the process of putting their annual spawn together. You’ll find the larger bull males adjacent to the passes and in the close in reefs; the breeding females are all though the backwater cuts, and edges. Best rig for reds is a handpicked shrimp strung on a 4’ fluoro leader under a popper worked tight to the mangrove edges at last of the incoming tide.

OFFSHORE: The unusual occurrence of massive bait schools strung along the beaches from Romano to Gordon Pass will continue. Those schools are attracting feeders in the form of pompano, small permit, whiting, mangrove and lane snapper and even a fairly sizable numbers of sharks (bonnethead and blacktop) that are all fair game this coming week with a repeat of the light winds and favorable tides. A block of chum soaking on a current point will draw any and all of those species working a tipped jig about 30-50 yards off the beach and working the moving tide. Mid range the close in reefs at Five Mile and Walton and John Dee are all doing well on pelagics near the surface (mackerel, bluefish, jacks) early in the morning tides working tipped jigs under chum. And if you drop to the bottom you’ve got a good chance for land and mangrove snapper as well as a visiting shark and even a maurading Goliath. Deep you’ve got the continuing action on kings and cobia with some permit and barracuda on the wrecks and reefs and all going for live bait under chum.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 16th 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

          AUGUST 16, 2019 TO AUGUST 22, 2019

 CONDITIONS: If by chance, your familiar with the weather history of SW Florida in the heat of summer…….tell me if you’ve ever experienced a year when we’ve ever had a year without even a tropical storm warning come mid to late August. We’ve been here since 1988 and the answer is ZERO. Not that we cherish the absence but it draws the question as to what is going on ?????. Add to that deviation from normalcy that we never have experienced the tumulus morning storms added onto the Everglades normal summer evening thunder bangers. So what’s happening ??? Answer: something!……so stay tuned. Back to reality and the projected fishing conditions this coming week…….Still have the daily recitation of RAIN / TSTORMS any time from any direction morning, noon or night but you can add in some wind that has been absent most of the spring/summer. It will show up here on the afternoons post weekend in the form of low teen gusts…..won’t shut the fishing down but will add another element that can foul the water and angler dispositions as they get tossed around. The searing heat will continues with real feels by noon touching three digits and the water temps will hold in the 85-88 degree range. Best fishing will be early to mid morning. The tides are post full moon and moderate both ways so they can be worked normally.

BACKWATER: The inundation of rain will continue to add a coloration akin to the mangrove roots in the backwaters. So fishing for the hot species now such as mangrove snapper and infrequent action by nice size black drum will probably slow just a bit. Both those species are summer active working the current fed mangrove edges especially on an incoming tide working simple shrimp rigs tight toward the evidence of bait action and moving water. Snook are staying super active all along the current fed backwaters especially where there is a drop off from a fast current fed edge. Snook are mostly small but provide an aggressive fight. Please use circle hooks and release carefully. Redfish are moving into the spawning cycle. The nearshore waters will cradle the big males that are part of the annual reproduction process……..great fight but now restricted north of the Gordon River totally and to published limits of 27” south. The females are feeding all along the backwater high water edges and still in season south of the Gordon…..but good idea to release for stock building issues.

OFFSHORE: The slight wind this week will probably not change either the fishing quality offshore or the creature comfort level. Tight to the beaches stiill seeing enormous schools of active bait that draws consistent action from Kice Island all the way north on Gordon Pass on legions of “desirables”…….snapper, pompano, mackerel, whiting, small sharks, working the massive bait schools working the incredible late season conditions. Almost any bait worked in the first 75-100’ off the beach in 7-10’ of water will draw substantial action on the tantalizing incoming tide. Simple tipped jigs worked under a light chum will draw all sorts of action. Deep the marked reef action looks like it will be sustained in the feeding cycle with kingfish,cobia still super active in and amongst the hordes of evident baitfish working these spots. Kings, cobia, yellowtail snapper, are still leading this late season parade. Tune the waters on the reefs with good block chum efforts followed up with fresh cut or just harvested live bait. No question as to what you’ll draw with that combination. Lastly, for some exhilarating action, try super deep wrecks for amberjack action with live bait dropped verticall right into wreck structure and then on major rigs hang on with all you’ve got.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 9th 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

          AUGUST 9, 2019 TO AUGUST 15, 2019

 

CONDITIONS: Forecasts for this coming week show some improvement in the raucous summer weather we’ve experienced for the last two to three weeks. There are seven of the week’s half day periods that indicate rain and storms (dangerous lightening events) so as the saying goes “it ain’t over yet”. But on the positive side, all that energy in the atmosphere has a tendency to quell the wind…..and so that will be a plus as all the forecast winds for the week are single digit and emanating from the favorable easterly direction. So flat water should be the standard for the coming week both in the backwaters as well as offshore. The water temperature should be nudged up a degree or two caused by the absence of the cooling rains we’ve seen for the past two or three weeks……Look for 86 degrees in the backwater and hovering around 84 offshore.And finally the tides will be interesting with strong incoming tides all morning every day. Morning tides with a plus level of 3’ everyday…..afternoon outgoing will end up being a foot less. Water clarity should be a neutral factor with some rain and negligible wind. Recommend even if your backwater take a device running a weather app and keep an eye on those red blotches (strong storms) and their predicted motion.

BACKWATER: Best choice of time to be on the water back here is EARLY!. First light will cut in between 0630 and 0645 which is comfortable for the angler and the feeding fish. And as you know if you’ve fished here the last month or so….it gets steaming hot as it approaches noon. And for the fish they feed by that cycle chowing down early and as those sun’s direct rays begin to pierce and heat the water they pull off and take siesta. If you work most any of the backwaters, you’ll see that cycle clearly evident. For big game we are seeing snook action from the Pass entrances to the connecting inshore waterways. All three passes have the same pattern with snook moving to waterway edges where there is a drop off, good tidal waterflow and evidence of bait schools working the area. Snook bait of choice is pilchards worked on fluorocarbon leader and circle hooks post bait shower. Redfish are the other major species showing good action in and among mangrove edges with the reds favoring the last (high water) stages of the incoming tide. Most active however right now are nice size mangrove snapper (11-13”) all along most backwater edges and jumping on a shrimp bait….either tide as long as the water isn’t racing. Now, a word  of caution….all that stays true as long as the water clarity remains clean. So watch the wind velocity predictions and wind out of the west. Will change everything.

OFFSHORE: Still experiencing great action all along the beaches from KIce Island (Cape Romano) all the way to north of Naples Gordon Pass as bait has assembled here and feeding on wide spread bait schools and are “plums” for the picking. Work either live bait or tipped jigs under a light chum effort especially in the morning incoming tides and you may surprise yourself with a nice pompano or small permit as well as a a nice size bottom feeding mangrove snapper. There are even a number of small sharks and ladyfish in the mix to raise the excitement level. The popular nearshore reefs (i.e. Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass and Five Mile Reef 4 miles SW from the Walton) are holding top water mackerel action in the morning incoming this week. Simple set up for the macks: anchor upstream from structure on incoming tide; deploy a block of chum..give it 15 minutes to draw the action and then work small flashy tipped jigs up close to the surface on a swift retrieval. Can also see bluefish in the catch here. Deep water offshore is best on selecting a wreck that shows plenty of bait action on the fishfinder as you search the area. Again chum in the water and if your target is the kingfish…tether a live bait at a 15th depth under a float on major tackle. Other frequent visitor here is the cobia and they will present themselves on the surface and best having a rig with live pinfish ready to cast to these curiosity seekers. Again…..caution and keep an eye on the sky. …You can’t outrun the storms !!

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 2nd 2019 Fishing Report

 

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

            AUGUST 2, 2019 TO AUGUST 9, 2019

 CONDITIONS: Classic summer pattern now is well ensconced as we dive into August. So rather than repeat the weekly weather particulars…….let’s go “upstream” and talk about handing fishing in the sub-tropics in the summer. If there is precipitation in the morning it usually blows through as you ready for your outing and returns much later in the heat on a shattering downpour as the late afternoon creeps downhill toward nightfall…….what’s left in between is what the anglers have to play with. As an aside issue, don’t want to chance a trip where you and your gang is in the storms jeopardy ring so you make safe choices and stay aware of your weather surroundings full time. Mornings just after first light will probably give you a worthwhile chance of starting and moderately sustaining a good trip. The bait will be active on wake up; the winds will be almost dormant and the fish are hungry. Only variable with that early start is what the tide will be doing…..you’ll want a moderately moving tide going in either direction but not racing, as the fish will bottom out unable to catch with the swift rush of the tidal water. Angling qualities will begin to fade as the sun hits about a 45 degree angle and the spectrum of the rays  soak and superheat already hot water…..the fish will then ogo off the feed and retreat into the shadows. Bottom line: you’ve had the best of the day…….count your catch and give thanks for the beauty of the morning. Tomorrow’s another day………

BACKWATER: Water staying unusually hot. Ranging between 85 and 87 with rain cooling it down a degree or two and then it will edge back up when the rain takes a break. Looking at some of my past records in the same same areas that about 3 degrees higher than we’ve ever experienced here. BUT that “record’ temperature has drawn an unparalleled amount of bait hordes just about everywhere and that has turned on the bite. Best show is the excessive amount of 12-14” mangrove snapper flooding the backwater edges and overhang fauna. Also the warmth has held the sought after snook all through the current points as they are seriously on a sustained feed, For the snook look for a backwater deeper spot just adjacent to a sheer drop off and the action point with be just off the curve between deep and shallow. Pilchards are the bait of choice for the snook big and small. The other anomaly is the number of sharks ………blacktops, bonnet heads, sand, that are attracted by the dual treat of hot water and tons of bait. The sharks will go for a fresh cut hunk of any of those bait fish……..fun to catch but, other than the black tips, not much on the table.

 OFFSHORE: Close inshore chasing legions of bait the pompano, mackerel, lane snapper and small sharks are anywhere in first 75-100 feet of water off the shore. And that ranges all the way from the Keeywadin Flats to the Naples Pier and taking most any bait teased up with a light dose of block chum. Mid range in the 3-5 mile domain where the first artificial reefs are located, there is strong bottom action on snapper, a few keeper triggerfish and some wandering tripletail and small kingfish, Those spots are easy to work with chum worked into the structure and sets the stage for good bottom action on some medium size kingfish and off a the bottom some capture-able 3-5’ black tip sharks. Sharks go for a sizeable fresh cut bait on wire leader and a mega hook on stout equipment. Super deep the game is on sizable kingfish as well as some curious cobia that work live bait on sight cast up near the surface. Might even come across a mega Goliath Grouper out here as well as some life size sharks.