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.