Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

November 8th 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

           Friday 11/08/19 to Thursday 11/14/19

 

CONDITIONS: Forecasts for the week are finally showing a change in the weather pattern. All the predictors are calling for a winter like front to make it through here early week with wind and a smattering of rain and a tumbling of temperature. All of that will probably show up early week and we’ll live with the effects through late week. We’ve been waiting for the change as the summer weather is overdue to vamoose. Hopefully the cooler climes will hold and we’ll finally get some seasonal weather here. We need the chilldown to bring on the winter species here. Sheepshead and drum etc are at the door and waiting to invade for all the winter commandos here for the season. Hopefully we’ll see that if the next two weeks……if not we’re in trouble and the fable of global warming will get another boost. Now to get past the general outlook. The tides will be in a full moon cycle and strong come late week. The water clarity will depend on how voracious the winds come at us this week,

BACKWATER: In the last week, we’ve begun to see the smaller sheepshead begin to show up……but nothing of size….yet as the temperature of the water really controls that. The other action continues to be mainly mangrove snapper as the warmer conditions continue to hold their attention. Just make sure you’re landing into nice size snapper on your casts…..snapper will school by size. Too small…..best to move off and try another spot. Pompano are active in Capri and Hurricane Pass on the beginning and end of either tide working tipped jigs right into the first and . Last hour either way usually works best. Redfish are showing in the backwaters all along the Marco River but, be careful, most are somewhat undersized and to be carefully released, Snook are also enjoying the elongated warmth and feeding usually early morning on pilchards worked close to the Gulf.

OFFSHORE: As we anticipate a weather change this week, be aware of the change that will probably occur on the major species that have been in play here all summer. First thing that happens is that the bait schools sense the weather change and head south…….soon to be followed by their predators. So those great days with permit and cobia may soon go on holiday. Be ready to change the focus to bottom dwellers like grouper and triggerfish and ,of course, the invading sheepshead and drum. As an aside there will also be invasive action from sea trout near the bottom and Spanish mackerel in the top water. Both top water fishing with tipped jigs and bottom fishing with cut shrimp or crabs will both work. Big fish offshore now will be in the realm of grouper or Goliath Grouper.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 25th 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

          October 25, 2019 TO October 31, 2019

 

CONDITIONS: Even though it riled the water conditions a bit TS NESTOR did us a favor with some strong winds and tides which rid some of the backwater and coastal areas momentarily of the red tide devil. We had two or three days where the fishing results were akin to normal……but as we write those troublesome conditions are moving back in. Would have to say that we need a major cold front passage to reset the conditions that restrains the fouling of especially the near coastal and backwaters. As previously mentioned, the best “predictor” of positive fishing chances is finding waters where there are birds feeding as well as bait fish working the surface……both activities will signal cleaner water and feeding activity. Otherwise, on the condition front, look for a week with unusually warm water temps tickling 80 degrees mid day that feature light to moderate winds mostly E and SE and will, most likely, bring some brief afternoon short duration showers. Offshore, sea conditions should be moderate straight through. The tides will be moderate in the 2-3’ range both ways and be a plus all week.

BACKWATER: As mentioned, it will probably take our first cold front to move or dissolve our red tide problem. In the interim, in the backwaters it’s search and find for possibly the next couple weeks. Reports indicate that it’s possible to catch some nice top-of-the-line species but it takes trial and error effort. The deeper water spots like Rookery Bay and Hurricane Pass seem to be doing better because of water depth, current flow and the presence of bait. As previously mentioned, trigger signs are birds working the area and surface bait activity. Catches reported are the old favorite of mangrove snapper and the seasonally introduced redfish and silver trout and whiting. Both species will like spots with good water flow (cleaner water) and structure……..bottom fauna for snapper and mangrove edge overhangs for the redfish. Worth the effort as we await the weather event which will bring us fall weather ……finally

OFFSHORE: A little different here………face the much more invasive water quality effects as you move offshore. Tidal effects as well as wind are the drivers of just where the fouled water will be……and it can move miles one way or the other in a morning or afternoon. But with flat water (mostly this week) making a major move deep is a reasonable possibility. Although expensive, a run to 30-40 miles SW would give a range of towers, reefs and wrecks that hold possibility of some major fish. Reports of the emergence of keeper size red grouper are surfacing on hard bottom adjacent to the established wrecks is a very positive signal of change as well as the continued presence of the retreating migratory kingfish and cobia on some of the reefs out deep. All that will change with that first major front. And don’t forget that the traps for the stone crabs are in place now and attracting those triple tail to hover on the markers.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 20th 2019 Fishing Report

 

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

              October 20, 2019 TO October 26, 2019

CONDITIONS: Troubled water conditions continue. Current Florida FWC weekly reports show our beaches and coastal waters the having the most red tide accumulation in all of SW Florida. And that’s been hanging in here for at least a month now. If have tried to fish or use the beaches you know the effect. The beaches and surf edges are littered with dead fish of just about all bottom feeding species and does that have an effect on tourism. Fishing takes a bit of a different turn……..the surviving fish try to escape by running to deeper waters with good tidal flow which will defer those escaping from the red tide to find place of safety. So there are some limited fishing opportunities. In the backwaters look for deeper water spots  (Rookery Bay, the ICW north Keeywadin Island) where there are birds feeding) birds mean bait is present……bait presence means feeding fish. It’s a tough go and all we can hope for is a cold front which will turn rhe situation around. Otherwise conditions this week are neutral……..average 2’ tides, moderate winds and high air temps.

BACKWATER: As mentioned in Conditions there are still some limited opportunities in the inside. The deep waters along the inside channels may hold some healthy fish. Places like Collier Creek on through to Collier Bay may hold some healthy silver trout and whiting….the Capri deep edges of the Marco River May hold some retreating bottom feeders……snapper, early season sheepshead with baits worked just off the bottom. The Calhoun Channel just north of Capri has some fairly deep water mid channel that may be clean and of course the water around ICE R#22 is very deep and hold some treasured pompano. Bottom line work areas that show seabirds and pelicans working from above and bait splashes on the water surface. Not going to be easy but maybe you’ll luck out.

OFFSHORE: Here it will be a much tougher call this week. Would recommend that you visit the FWC website before you plan your trip (www.myFWC,com) and follow the instructions to visit the Red Tide Report. On a page of that weekly report there is a map of the SW Florida coastline where samples for red tide intensity are plotted. The water quality north of Marco is much better than we are experiencing here.Pick a spot where the water is clean and then transfer that info on to a HOT SPOTS FISHING CHART (available at the ROSE store)………now look for the closest deep water reef  and set sail. If there is bait evidence, bottom action should get you snapper, triggerfish etc. Mid depth with live on wire under chum should get you mackerel and kingfish and maybe even a cobia.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 4th 2019 Fishing Report

 

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

            October 4, 2019 TO October 10, 2019

 

CONDITIONS: Very evident that fall has taken hold of our weather. Wind has become a factor that is very influential in fishing conditions and the summer “lights out” afternoon storms are essentially gone. Both factors are a bit paled by the news this week that they have ascertained that the red tide has shown up just north of Marco circa Fort Myers / Sanibel and there is evidence now on the beaches of a fish kill. Nothing yet on evidence of the blue green algae infestation caused by releases of over fertilized waters by Big Sugar in Lake Okeechobee ……but that may well be in the offing. Be interesting to see how all of that plays out here in the weeks ahead. In the 2018-19 winter months, Marco was spared the severe conditions that were evident from Naples north. We had the milder conditions here like respiratory distress and occasional fish kill but nothing like north of us…..in fact we had an egress of fishing activity here by folks launching here and fairly good results in the waters associated with the start of the Ten Thousand Island area. Hopefully that will be a repeat as we near the 2020 season. You have access of a weekly report of evidence of red tide by accessing  www.myfwc.com and selecting red tide report. Other routine weather this coming week looks like a continuation of wind with some brief afternoon rain interludes…..most wind out of the east that will not foul the water and the rain will be briefer and less violent than our summer storms. And lastly the tides will be moderate both ways.

 BACKWATER: With the water temperature holding in the mid 80’s the “summer” fishing continues strong especially for “well fed” mangrove snapper that continue to show in the 12-13” range. One caution however, snapper have a tendency to school by size, so if you begin working a spot where all the snapper are small and under limit size…….make a move usually to a spot with a little deeper water and once to begin to land size, stay put and the size bonanza should continue. Redfish are moving into their peak fall activity……their spawn is completed and they are feeding for size as favorable conditions continue. Look for expanses of shallower water that favors sea grass growth and then work a shrimp worked on a 3-4’ fluoro leader under a popper on a drift. Then as the incoming tide crests move to the mangrove edges and work that same rig tight to the mangrove overhangs and in water usually shallower than two feet. Good chance you could run into some nice sea trout in the same venue.

OFFSHORE:  Inshore / coastal, the quasi summer action continues as bait is holding and continuing to draw some pompano, sea trout and bottom dwellers (snapper, triggerfish, lane snapper and arriving sheepshead) all working bottom structure that has been triggered with a little spread of chum. On the inshore reefs we’re beginning to get reports of gag grouper showing in some of the deeper spots and going for live bait worked in the structure crevices. Best baits are pinfish and small blue runners. Deep and out on the wrecks and major reefs still seeing some southbound migratory heading to the Keys and feeding on the way. Kingfish are the main target and falling for small to medium size blue runners tethered out on wire with a chum draw. That action should continue as long as the water temperature holds and the bait hangs around……all of that should bode well for early winter action here……hoping that is not disturbed by intrusion of fouled water. Keep your fingers crossed.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 27th 2019 Fishing Report

              ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

CONDITIONS:  Looks like a change in conditions this week as we emerge into fall. The early part of the week is forecasted to be placid with mild winds and warm temperatures…….good for fishing. But then that tropical mass that we’ve heard about all week looks like it will edge onshore on the east coast and mess things up. We have varied forecasts dependent on what weather forecast you listen to as to the strength of the associated wind and the temperature variation. Only thing that is consistent is that “something is coming”. Would suggest that if you can’t get that fishing trip in before the beginning of the week would stand by and see what it looks like come Monday or Tuesday morning, Tough winds will rile up the water clarity inshore and make it virtually unfishable offshore. But, as always the weather doesn’t last forever here and the end of the week may look much better, Elsewhere the tides are coming off a new moon and are extremely strong. Range both ways is in excess of 3’ and could go even higher both ways. Recommend targeting those first and last hours of the cycle when the tide speed will be more docile. The water temperature is continuing to hold in the high 80’s and probably will continue at the level for another couple of weeks.

BACKWATER: The more placid backwaters will be more friendly this coming week no matter how it works out. Still have mucho reports on good to very good mangrove snapper action all thru the Addison Bay cuts and edges working cut shrimp plain or as part of a jig lure worked tight to the mangrove edges. And, importantly, it’s been such a great “bait” year the fish have reached a great harvest size with many in the 12-13” range and great table fare. Additionally, the redfish have shown right on schedule and are schooled up post spawn and working the spots along the ICW with grass bottoms on both tides. Live, sizable shrimp on a 4’ leader under a popper worked over those grass flats up along the ICW towards Rookery Bay can garner some surprisingly good results working the incoming tide. The Passes (Capri and Caxambas and Rookery) have good and bad days working the pelagics i.e. mackerel, pompano and trout. Best approach is to give it a try on the first hour of the incoming with shrimp tipped jigs worked to the bottom on a drift.

OFFSHORE: Of some concern is the first reports from the FWC that there is evidence of red tide patches north of us near Bonita Springs. Will keep an eye of that for you in these weekly reports………we never got the full effect of the red tide last year here but it devastated Fort Myers. That issue aside, a couple of pluses……..have reports of good action on most of the intermediate wrecks and reefs that the action on kings and cobia is holding strong as the water begins to cool and the migration from the northern Gulf to the Keys has begun. Most all the published spots offshore Marco are experiencing the southbound action working live bait in chum in the stronger tides. That action should continue until the water winter chills. Using live bait tethered in chum under a float for the kings and a surface cast live pinfish for the cobia usually works well. Last but not least, the stone crab fleet is in process of putting out their seasonal traps and that will begin to attract the triple tail who love to sun on the surface right by the traps. Keep your eyes open when transiting the area.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 20th 2019 Fishing Report

              ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

 CONDITIONS: Now easy to feel the transition in seasons as we work towards the end of September. Still have the threats of tropical waves emanating from the SE Atlantic waters that puts a damper on on feeling an end of summer but the weather turn still is very evident. The humidity that fostered the horrendous rain events is basically gone replaced by an upturn in wind conditions and a cooling of temperature. Think you can look for both a continuation of that trend and the advent of weather fronts that traditionally assail the fishing in the weeks ahead. Will stay reasonably warm in the month of October but, without doubt, the condition transition is underway. Worst effects of that transition on fishing is the deterioration in water quality (clarity and surface conditions) which will effect the beginning of the fall traditional beginning of the migration of pelagic species south and the influx of the cooler water species into our waters. Expect to see the exit of kingfish, cobia, sharks, tarpon etc and the arrival of sheepshead, black drum, trout, in the short term. This week look for a weak but defined drop in water temperature to high 70’s and a strengthening of tides which will just be the beginning of the season transition. Hopefully this will be a seasonal change without the reemergence of fouled water with red tide and algae intrusion.

 BACKWATER: Would expect a continuance of the good mangrove snapper action we have enjoyed all summer. The “snaps” should hang here as long as the bait does and provide good action all along the mangrove edges and backwater cuts working simple shrimp rigs into current points. The redfish action should intensify as the water cools and the water, hopefully, stays clear. Look for the best action up along the ICW north of Rookery Bay and just to the east circa Johnson Bay working whole shrimp just off the bottom especially where there is evidence of sea grass patches. But, the key factor for “winter season” action here will be the inshore arrival of sheepshead, drum and trout. If a moderate weather transition those species will show gradually and intensify as the water temperature drops. They all jump on baits indigenous to a bottom feeding culture i.e. cut fiddler crabs, shrimp, tube worms and covet the places with rugged bottom structure. Sea trout action should also intensify all along the grass patches evident along the ICW where there is evidence of sea grass. So, as seasons change work the transition with a change in technique and keep an eye on backwater sea conditions.

OFFSHORE: This will be the domain with the greatest change factor as we enter fall and winter. As the water begins to chill down, you will notice a move of species moving south…….now some of that is a plus as you’ll see species that “summered” up around the Panhandle begin their move to the warmth of the Florida Keys and be working down our coast feeding on wrecks and reefs holding bait. Great opportunity for our anglers as the weeks roll on working when good conditions exist. For awhile you’ll experience an uptick in activity as kingfish, cobia, permit and tarpon work their way south and that transition has a good chance of beginning in the near term. Another “new” opportunity will occur as the stone crab fleet begins to place their traps along the Marco coast. That marks the transition to the arrival of tripletail who “home” on the surface waters surrounding the trap markers. So, enroute to the deep waters, good idea to set a lookout and if seeing an TT sunning next to the marker, cur speed / double back and work a small jig on the surface. One of the most desirable fish delights on the planet.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 14th 2019 Fishing Report

              PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

               September 14, 2019 TO September 20, 2019

 

 CONDITIONS: Those contiguous waves of early fall storms are right in line as we slide into the middle of September. We all took a deep breath as DORIAN skidded by to our east but here we are looking at some other undefined low pressure systems keeping us on edge with storm shutters in hand. As we take a look at the middle of the month and our fishing prospects we have to be cautious and hopeful that we can clear the next couple of weeks and skid into full blown fall weather here on the Paradise Coast. In the interim, or at least for the next week or so our nemesis will be those conditions that will follow us right into winter, namely wind and unsettled general weather conditions. So as we open the week ahead expect to see some raucous winds and rainy conditions to prevail. We will encounter some rocky seas as well as wet periods almost all of the coming week. Can expect to see the seawater temperature to tumble downward just a bit and you’ll be looking at a drop on water temp of 2-3 degrees ………not a major shift but may make some of our summer species to go skittish on the bite. The winds, too, can put some water clarity deterioration in play. But hopefully we’ll again escape a major storm hit. Finally, the tides will be coming off a full moon on Sunday and will be moderate with an early morning incoming and the easing on the afternoon ebb.  As they say……..hope springs eternal.

 BACKWATER: Since most these updated effects are, at best, very moderate we most probably will see a continuance of the late summer action in the backwaters. Albeit that the wave of weather differences day to day doesn’t spin the barometer downhill which could directly effect the”bite”. Expectation is that we will continue with excellent action on sizable mangrove snapper throughout the inside waters. The bait rich waters this summers have provided a wealth of growth opportunity for the fast growing mangroves and seeing a wealth of 12 and 13” snappers has made many a happy outing. That should continue at least until we get a solid cold snap. The cool water action should shift to see more nice size trout showing in in the grass bottom spots along Caxambas Pass and the Johnson Bay grass patches on either tide and taking that nice shrimp worked under a popper especially on the incoming tide. Redfish are also staying dominant in the cooling conditions. A whole shrimp worked under a popper alone the last hour of the incoming tide all along the Marco River shallow edges should get nice action.

OFFSHORE: Couple of divergent factors here……..sea conditions at times,  may put a damper on creature comfort and forestall working the deeper waters for the still available migrating species i.e. kingfish, cobia, permit but that could be well replaced as the stone crab fleet begins the placement of the traps and markers which are nirvana for the treasured tripletail all along the Paradise Coast. Anytime circa 10/15 when making transit east or west, set a lookout to sight what looks like a piece of flotsam alongside the trap marker……that’s a tripletail sunning. Double back quietly and work a dark colored tipped jig and you’ll be rewarded with one of the finest tasting seafood on the planet. Otherwise the action deep will depend on how the water and air temperature work out as the winter progresses. Chill down quickly means sheepshead; warmth means a moderate continuation of summer / fall action i.e. snapper, mackerel and pompano

.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 7th 2019 Fishing Report

              ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

      September 7, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

 CONDITIONS: Dorian may be tearing up the Eastern Seaboard as we put this week’s weather projections together but as will be see here, it’s side effects continue to play out here. Weather Channel hurricane movement for Dorian will continue to play out through most of this coming week. No raucous hurricane wind or high tides but it, essentially will suck the wind and moisture in the atmosphere out of our domain for the balance of the week and the some.  The loss of those two summer weather factors will #1 give us more basic heat that will add another 5-6 degrees to our REAL FEEL heat factor……..look for 102 to 104 in those afternoons this coming week. The loss of the moisture in the usually steamy afternoons will also add to the temperature level and the humidity. Bottom line morning conditions will almost be a mandatory choice for your trips. Can also look to water temperatures in the backwaters to top 90 degrees most days. But all of those downsides for the swipe by DORIAN here in SW pales in comparison to the damage that would have been endured by our total domain if the storm had been100 miles further west. Otherwise our conditions sans the searing heat will be different but livable…….the winds at light single digit strength will keep the water flat and the tides are straddling full and new moons so the tides will be workable both ways.

 BACKWATER: The usual annual exodus from SW Florida as the school year back home has commenced and our winter residents are still readying the fall has cut our fishing reports fairly thin these past weeks. So, it’s a bit sketchy this week. The water temp staying super warm and the water staying fairly clean with the lack of mangrove stain runoff gives us a dichotomy of factors consider this week. The warmth will hold the summer species like snapper but the stained water will be a turn off…..the couple of reports we are working with this week shows that……..bite still there but off a bit. A good sign …….on two different trips this week we ran into pompano action in deeper cuts like Rookery Bay and Hurricane Pass working tipped jigs just off the bottom in the start and end of moving tides. Also a couple of hints of redfish staying active in the north end of Upper Addison Bay and the flats in Henderson Creek filtered in adding hope for a quick return to normalcy here when “fall”arrives.

OFFSHORE: The expectation of a brief continuance of nice flat seas brings hope that once the things settle down a bit we will retain the presence of the huge bait schools we experienced deep this summer…….drawing nice action on bottom dwellers such as snapper, triggerfish and even a few keeper grouper as well as some strong visits from the roaming kingfish, mackerel, cobia and amberjacks. Plus a slight cool down just may trigger that surge in the red grouper bite that we have long awaited for. Additionally, we’re closing in on the 2019-20 stone crab trapping exercise next month will be the key to draw the tripletail action once again. That all will be possible if we are lucky enough to keep the red tide and the infusion of the blue-green algae intrusion from the people managing the water at Lake O……….maybe the conference in Bonita Springs two weeks ago will bear fruit on the management of our SW seawater……We’ll see.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 30th 2019 Fishing Report

 

                  PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                        CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

                AUGUST 30, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 7, 2019

  CONDITIONS: Held off just a tad this week in putting this weather and fishing report together…….Hurricane Dorian was well in the way. As Saturday melts away it looks like the hurricane may be drifting east and will spare the SW Florida domain a “Pass”. We obviously will get some riled up water but nothing like what would happen if Dorian was a direct hit. So this week look for some riled up water especially in the backwaters that should clear after no more than two or three tide cycles. It will slow the fishing but not stop it. The nearshore and offshore water should be impervious to the upheaval but the shallower backwater will have some impact. The balance of the week will clear whatever impacts of Dorian are left and we should be back to normal by late week. Hopefully all the impacting issues of the Hurricane will dissipate quite quickly. The tides will be coming off a new moon early week and then easing mid week with a weakening ebb tide come late week. The water temperature will hang in there with readings ranging from 86 to circa 84 depending on the water depth you are working. Finally, personal experience has shown that the fishing will be “hesitant” as the fish respond to the weather turmoil….so giv it a day or two to have the conditions settle.

BACKWATER: Should be a good week to work the changing conditions from summer to fall even with the climate turmoil. Redfish action is literally coming alive as the redfish “runts” show up from the hatcheries and feed heavily almost everywhere . Get a shrimp or live bait anywhere in the backwaters and and one of those guys will scoff it down  (Careful release please….they are our future!) There is still good snook action all along the  tidal waters on our coast and they are comfortable even as the summer wanes. There are MANY mongo snook on the waterway corners and edges …. please be careful on the release, Mangrove snapper have had a banner year on growth and it’s not unusual now to see a steady diet of 11-12’ mangroves working most all backwater mangrove havens holding structure and bait . Redfish are the active name of the game now with activity anywhere along the bait laden waterways working a shrimp on a simple rig of shrimp on a circle hook worked on a 4’ fluoro leader under a popper on a drift along a mangrove edge worked at the last part of an incoming tide.

OFFSHORE: Hurricane won’t make much difference here…..some impact deep as the counter-clockwise water churns back through the expense at the curvature of the Northern Gulf. Should not be an major impact here as we still work the rather stable water conditions on the nearshore and offshore reefs and wrecks. If anything, would think that the turmoil of the waters in DORIAN would have scads of fish head our way. Kings, cobia, sharks etc have continued to be very active as we travelled through this period of turmoil. Would think the fishing prospects here would be enhanced as the storm moves north ……all that hurricane action drives a difference in conditions which many times enhances the bite. Bottom line, if it all plays out we’re lucky here in SW Florida……Play your advantage this week.

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.