April 13th 2018 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: Interesting weather week ahead. Air temperatures stay about the same with 64 to 75 degree morning temperatures escalating to steamy mid 80 afternoons. That will continue to drive the water temperatures northward and they will hover in the mid 70’s all week. But, the interesting part of the weather week is the burst of predicted windy periods over the weekend into early week. The event will start on Saturday emanating out of the E/SE and range from 12 to 21 knots and then switch W/NW from 13-18 knots. I’m sure that activity will churn up the water clarity and impact, especially, the backwater fishing quality. In addition the tides do through a new moon phase on Monday and the PM outgoing will be particularly strong through the balance of the week. The morning incoming is average and is fading late week. And to top it all off, we still have some “fading” vestiges of the red tide in our midst that effects anglers as well as their targets.
BACKWATER: As mentioned in the Conditions section above, there will be a downturn in backwater conditions starting over the weekend, basically from deteriorating water quality with the accelerating wind periods. Might want to focus your activity away from the Passes and major current flows as you fish this weekend…..at best, water should be murky. The mackerel action that has been heating up very nicely this past week will most probably move west and be confined to the 20-30’ ranges nearshore. Backwater action will be centered in the Bays and creeks off the main Marco River waterflow. Look for Addison Bay and it’s associated creeks and cuts to have decidedly cleaner water and producing action on the mangrove snapper, sea trout and, hopefully, black drum. There are still a few sheepshead lunkers around but most of that species action is in the smaller and hungry midgets. Also good chance now to catch some early spring snook and redfish action in the cleaner creeks and bays with good water flow like Johnson Bay, Rookery Bay, Henderson flats and along the northern edges and creeks of the ICW north of Marker #G33.
NEARSHORE: If you can get past the choppy conditions here come weekend to early week should have cleaner water than back inside and some sustaining mackerel / bluefish action. Spots like the Capri barges, the first and second reefs and the Walton and Five Mile Reef should be positioned to provide good action. Primary now is the snapper action, both lane and mangrove, working weighted jig heads tipped with shrimp just off the bottom under a good chum effort. Mackerel and bluefish could very well show up in the top waters on the same venues…..if so lighten up the rigs and work the surface with quickly moving baits. Also a chance as the weather warms to see some migrating pelagics show up on the inside reefs searching for food (bait schools)……recommend you keep a live bait (pinfish, thread or small blue runner) on wire 10-15’ depth in the chum …….you never know what might show. Make sure you have the bait on a major rod with good strength line. OFFSHORE: Ditto on sea conditions out here. Water will be cleaner and you could have good to excellent action on wrecks and reefs from ten miles on out. Reports on bottom action here on snapper, primarily, have been excellent. Good size mangrove and lane action starts on structure as close in as ten miles. Need a good chum slick and weighted tipped jigs or jig heads worked just a foot or two off the bottom. And always a chance here for grouper action but recognize, at these depths, most grouper action will be reds and underside. Always fun to catch but nothing for dinner!. Last call for tripletail……if the stone crab marker buoys haven’t already been pulled they will be this week. If you happen across an unpulled trap line, set a lookout and look for the floating TT on the surface sunning. Cut power, double back and work with a tipped dark colored jig right up on the surface.