ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT
PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
CONDITIONS: After a tough beginning to the Easter weekend with that windy / rainy frontal passage, things will settle down but it will take couple days for the water to clear…….causal factor is those strong westerly winds. Would project that things would be settled down by Tuesday. The rest of the week should be typical early spring marked with some afternoons gusting up a bit but certainly fishable. You certainly noticed the prominent full moon over the weekend and that is a key factor in tide determinant – the tides will definitely be a factor this week…..the morning incoming tide that is usually strong will weaken quickly and be at a volume of less than a foot by week end. Conversely the outgoing tide will strengthen during the week and finish the latter days with a plus 3’ drop. Bottom line you’ll want to avoid the weak morning incoming and if you fish afternoon work the first and last hour of those tides for best results. The water temperature as we begin with week is a degree or two on other side of 79 degrees. Weekend weather will probably dip it a degree or two and then in will recover ending the week circa 80 degrees.
BACKWATER: Best bet as to how the area recovers from the “Friday Front” is that the backwaters will be visually churned up until perhaps Tuesday morning and the fishing slowed both along the coast and up in the backwaters. Come then look for good snapper action along the coastal areas from south of Rookery Bay to the east edges of Hurricane Pass…….with a secondary opportunity in that Pass itself. Should be good hunting for snapper along the eastern edges of the Pass working a 1/2 jig head tipped with shrimp tight to the downed fauna. A drift in the Pass itself with a 1/2 oz tipped jig could deliver a pompano (early in the tide cycle) or a mackerel as the tide matures working a flashy jig or small spoon on a drift. Unfortunately the mega sheepshead are virtually gone………offshore to cooler climes but they leave behind their offspring that have a knack of emptying your bait bucket. Working a spot and that’s all you see….LEAVE. But now the Passes are showing bird and bait action especially early in the first hours of the AM incoming. Worth a early effort to tie on a tipped jig and try a couple of drifts down the Passes…..always a chance at some mackerel or even the sought after Florida Pompano.
NEARSHORE: .Best info from those still trying…….the BIG sheepshead are headed offshore even from their inside reef spots. Now is the time to work the top waters on the nearshore reefs for mackerel et al (bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and an occasional little tunny). The process….. either home in on bird or surface action with tipped jigs or working chum into bottom structure and then working surface flashy jigs on quick retrieves. Both techniques work. Bottom action on the established reefs are also providing results on lane and mangrove snapper as well as an occasional triggerfish or nice size porgie. A nice chum slick will help attract and hold a gathering for you. For the more adventurous, a large chunk for freshly cut runner or mackerel will attract shark action. Make sure the rig is on wire leader and your equipment is strong.
OFFSHORE: Things improving out here as time and temperature erodes the fouling aspects of “dead zones” and bait has returned to many of those ledges and reefs listed on the HOT SPOTS charts. Should continue as better conditions continue. Mid range reefs that have bait showing on the finder should be prime opportunity for good yellowtail snapper action. Get some good chum action down upcurrent and give it a 15-20 minute hiatus to start the draw and then work tads of the chum on #6 circle hooks freelined into the slick with the bail open. Strikes will be strong with immediate run off…….but count to “ten” before you close the bail and initiate the strike. Deeper wrecks and reefs should have action now from returning migrating pelagics and be engaged in solid on both tides on major structure. Bottom action with mega baits same venue could get you some heart stopping action or a range of shark species.