Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

October 14th, to October 20th 2016 Fishing Report


CONDITIONS: It never seems to end…….weather conditions that is. MATTHEW was kind to us but roughed up the east coast of Florida with wind damage and then deluged and flooded the southeast coast of Georgia and the Carolinas. But the hurricane left us a little gift upon departure…….the counterclockwise winds pushed an area of the red tide from the Tampa area right into our domain. The red tide is a naturally occurring event that has been around for hundreds of years along the Gulf coast of Florida. You can learn more about it formally at the Florida Wildlife Commission website But, for those that fish, you will see “floaters” (dead fish) in areas that are directly fed by incoming tidal waters (passes and connecting waterways) that, you probably want to avoid. Fish further away from the point of Gulf incoming current. And, secondly, if you wander into red tide waters you will feel a tickle in your throat that brings on coughing. That is generally a respiratory irritant and not harmful unless you have a respiratory aliment such as COPD or asthma. Suggest you read more about this event at the website furnished. Otherwise the fishing conditions this week will feature a full moon causing stronger tides; brisker winds from the north / northeast; less storms and rain and finally a slight dip in water temp to 81-83 degrees.

BACKWATER: As mentioned…’ll want to avoid Capri and Caxambas Passes as well as connecting waterways. They will be the places where the incoming red tide water is the strongest. Moving to the far reach backwaters will give you a chance at nice snook action with the linesiders still staying active in the water warmth. Look for current points with incoming tide best and work a live bait or even an artificial  right into the edge of the moving water. Best locations; try Henderson Creek up in Rookery Bay or the creeks in Johnson Bay just northwest of the Isle of Capri. Redfish action is also heating up as we move toward their spawning season. There are some small schools chasing through the shallow bays at mid tide that can be had working small tipped jigs while drifting the grass flats. Later on the incoming work the far reach mangrove edges where there are shallows with mangrove overhangs. Here, float a shrimp under a popper in the current so it runs parallel to the structure edge. Otherwise back here the snapper are still super active with bigger fish showing in the first and last hours of both tides. Best bait is small pieces of shrimp. Don’t forget to give pompano a try in Hurricane Pass with best on the clean water (hopefully) entering Hurricane Pass. Best on early first minutes of the tide with tipped jigs worked to the bottom.

NEARSHORE: The brisker winds will bring a surface shop out in the Gulf. If you stay tight to the beach, however, that chop is minimized and conditions are reasonably comfortable. Should find some snook working in close to the surf line along the Marco beaches but well away from both Passes. Action on cast tipped jigs or artificials best allowing the offering to sink and roll around in the tidal swirl. The reefs (Walton Reef off Caxambas and the Five Mile SW of same) should provide good action on both lane and mangrove snapper as well as an occasional strike from a small grouper. Work the bottom with tipped weighted jigs……and a good chum effort helps.

OFFSHORE: May see some patches of red tide and you go deep. You can notice with surface discoloration and presence of “floaters” (dead fish carcasses). Avoid like the plague. Some evident natural reefs 8-12 miles SW of the island are producing some nice catches of both lane and mangrove snapper as well as some early season harvestable medium size sheepshead. Easy fishing with weighted jigs worked in a serious chum slick. Working that morning incoming tide will be best. Deep for migrating southbound pelagics on the mid-range wrecks. Set up on wreck structure where bait schools are evident on the fishfinder and then work live bait … blue runners on wire freelined in chum for kingfish; live thread herring ready for sight cast for curious cobia that will show in your chum.


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