October 12th 2018 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: This week’s report is entitled…..”We catch a break”. The radar this morning is showing HURRICANE MICHAEL streaming just to our west and heading for the Florida Panhandle. Our prayers and best wishes are for those folks along that shoreline. But we’re not totally out of the woods and will have to keep an eye on high water probability on this Friday and Saturday at high tide times at early afternoon. Other concern expressed in the news articles is regeneration of the red tide….always possible but the winds this coming week are generally easterly and moderate and the water temperature will take a dip as the storm passes west. – those two factors are unfavorable to any red tide regeneration. My bet is that we’ll stay clear. Otherwise, our conditions this week are rather normal early fall. The air temperature begin to edge down especially in the evenings and overnight which will dip the water temperature to hovering just above 80 for the week. The winds, even with the nearby hurricane passage, are forecast at single digit and mostly from the E in mornings and switching SW in the afternoons. One hiccup however……winds at end of the week will go gusty. Tides are coming off a new moon and favorable morning incoming with a much weaker PM ebb. Overall should be a good fishing week here.
BACKWATER: Conditions and expectations this week remain very positive here. The species availability in the backwaters remains very strong with both summer species hanging around in the non-chilled water and the fall species activity kicking in they hit the reproduction cycle. The summer mainstay of mangrove snapper are now of good size and staying active all along the mangrove shorelines. Best, as reported, are Hurricane Pass and the Keeywadin Island docks, the mangrove edges all along the Three Island Creek back in Addison Bay and the flat portions of Rookery Bay to our north. Bait of choice has been live shrimp worked on a 3/4 oz lindy rig or a 1/4 oz jig head tight to the bottom structure. And last week we talked about species “relocating” here in the red tide debacle, so don’t be surprised to see a flounder, a seatrout or a whiting fishing those same venues. Additionally, the snook are still on feed with warm water temps and hot action on the early morning incoming working plentiful pilchards along the current edges early in the tide cycle. Redfish are showing in full fall expectation on the exaggerated high tides this week all along the Marco River islands and back into Johnson and Addison Bays with whole shrimp under a popper tight to mangrove overhangs.
NEARSHORE: As an adjunct to the favorable backwater action, good things should occur out here. Bait has been strong all along the first and second reefs just off the beaches, creating a feeding nirvana for both pelagics and bottom dwellers. Look for mackerel, blues and even a few tunny working the hot bait spots on the favorable morning incoming tide with tipped jigs on wire under chum. Also dropping weighted lindy rigs under the surface slick may draw some nice action from bottom dwellers i.e. snapper, triggerfish and maybe even a grouper or two. Move out a little deeper to the Walton Reef, the Five Mile or the John Dee wreck and you could be into the same type of action and possible action on small sharks and perhaps a top water barracuda.
OFFSHORE: Forecasts show conditions out to 25 miles should be OK. And with the unsettled water spinning off the hurricane and the barometer pressure differentials you never know what could have run east and into our offshore domain. Get your bait inshore and give it a run to wrecks and reefs holding bait in the 20+ mile range and be ready for anything. Weather and sea conditions should be good but, perhaps, going strong as the week ends. Good possibilities out here.