PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
November 15, 2019 to November 21, 2019
CONDITIONS: Well the prediction last week that we could expect a major weather change (cooler) has been fulfilled……..but the unexpected change is the gathering intensity of the red tide situation all along the coast from Marco to Naples and beyond. It continues to take it’s toll not only in dead fish but has been a tremendous hurdle for visitors and winter residents that want to get their feet in the water. In fact, the current report from the web site www.My FWC that publishes a bi-weekly red tide report indicates that the most current reports show strong red tide some 7 miles offshore with will heavily impact the nearshore and most probably the offshore fishing between here and Naples and maybe beyond. Not much we can do about that until some of the scientists come up with a substance that will put a stop to the k.brevis which the natural substance that creates the problem. That substance has been evident here for hundreds of years……..but most times it is dormant. You know if you use the beach here it hasn’t been anything but super active for the last few years…..unfortunately. Angling takes on a different perspective now and the only key to “good water” is to search for water which shows wildlife (birds feeding; bait working the surface etc) which indicates that the life suffocating issues are absent in that particular area …….for the moment. And longer range hope as the cooler weather depends on us it will scatter the malady and send it offshore. Quickly……the other conditions are the continuation of the coo down, a tide that is friendly both ways with some period of rainy wind mixed in. So winter that is besieging the north is finally here.
BACKWATER: Even if you don’t usually work the backwater, it might be a good chance these next couple weeks to give it a try ant least on the first hours of your trip. If you schedule your visit amidst a stronger tide period, either way, you find some reasonably good action where there is good faster moving water………sometimes that speedier water will carry it k.brevis onward and away from the area. And as previously mentioned keep an eye open for feeding birds and baits breaking the surface. The cooler water is a haven for stronger action especially in the deeper waters. You will probably have a chance for sheepshead now…….not the big breeders yet but certainly some that you box in the cooler. Also this is time that we see the beginning of the sheepshead and drum action along the mangrove edges and the whiting and trout just off the beaches.
OFFSHORE: Will be touch and go here this week with that latest report of the red tide hovering just offshore in the oft used nearshore area. Would recommend avoiding and give it another 5-6 miles before you dip bait. Bait and fish schools can sense the red tide presence and scoot away usually deeper. Would expect that the grouper (mainly gags now) will be on deeper structure out at 12-15 miles working spots that are holding active bait and can be worked with live bait under chum on either tide. There are still some of the pelagics, kings, cobia, tarpon, sharks making their way south and can well be targets as they meander from bait school to bait schools heading south. Live bait tethered 10-15; amidst chum is the ticket for these guys. And don’t forget to be checking the stone crab markers for tripletail for this is their season.