August 10th 2018 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: As far as fishing in Southwest Florida right now, the best description might be “a time that tries men’s souls”. For this generation we are immersed in the worst conditions debacle that most can even remember. To have a ten month visit from the scorned red tide was bad enough but then the annual deluge of phosphorus and fertilizer laden algae from the Sugar Barons, made this a cataclysmic event. The unfortunate folks circa Sanibel through to Fort Myers Beach really got inundated (no need to draw pictures; the beach photos of frontloaders hauling dead fish was enough). A good friend mentioned “the only thing positive about this tragedy is that it was SO BAD AND SO PUBLICIZED that it may draw the hovering politicians to take action. Time will tell ! Now to the conditions this week……look for continued heat with scattered evening storms everywhere. The winds will be dominant from the EAST and SOUTH with some breezy afternoons early week……..that direction of the wind will keep the worst of the killer water north of us. The tides are coming off a strong new moon and will deliver a couple of early week dats with plus 4’ tide swings. The water temp is somewhat mitigated with the rain intrusion but still hovering 86 to 89.
BACKWATER: The shallower backwaters will take the brunt of effect from the red tide and algae “soup”Stay aware of the quality of the water you’re fishing in……kinda green; no surface bait; void of bird action especially the black skimmer. If all of those come together pick up your gear and move on. Good current, bait dimpling the water surface and bird action will be the place where the fish have run to. There you will find the action. Mackerel are around in the fast water flow and can be had with tipped jigs worked over chum. Bottom action now is almost exclusively on mangrove snapper that have grown nicely over the past two or three months. A tipped jig head to the bottom adjacent to structure should get you what you’re looking for.
NEARSHORE: The light southerly and easterly winds should keep the sea conditions flat out here this week. Mornings absent showers should be best timing coupled with a good incoming tide. The barges in the main Capri channel should be a haven for good pelagic action on mackerel, bluefish et al. Once you sight surface bait anchor up and get a block of chum going immediately, then work flashy tipped jigs tipped with shrimp just over the tidal driven slick. A 15 minute ride out to the well identified Five Mile Reef will give you the venue to work the bottom with tipped jigs, again with chum in the water, for good size lane and mangrove snapper. Might even see a black tip shark here. If interested set a fresh cut bait out on the bottom with wire leader on heavy tackle.
OFFSHORE: Further you go west the cleaner the water thus you escape the ravages of the fouled water. Try the deep wrecks around the 20 mile range for king mackerel. Find a wreck or reef with good bait schools and anchor up current with a good chum slick. Then deploy a large cut bait on wire leader under a float set at 15-20ft. Won’t take long to draw action if the kings are anywhere in the vicinity. You’ll get a good fight and some nice take home filets for the grill or the smoker. Closer in reef spots are producing some nice catches of land and mangrove snapper working tipped weighted jigs with block chum as the teaser.