ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT
PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
CONDITIONS: We are definitely into fall weather and it tends to be a bit unsettled. Take this coming week for example…..starts nice and placid and then goes into the tank with gusty winds from Sunday through Wednesday. Thankfully, the wind direction is NNE, and will influence your fishing but not the water clarity. The tides are coming off a super strong full moon period and will be ripping at least through the weekend. The tide range early week will be close to 4′ on the early morning incoming. A positive however… there is zero rain in the forecast which will keep the salinity level stationary and stable for fish like the sea trout and redfish. The air temperature which, in essence, controls the water temperature is steady this coming week and that will hold the water temps in the mid 70’s and favorable for ouir fishing conditions. All in all, a pretty good week for fishing ahead.
BACKWATER: Lots going on back here. Stable conditions will enhance the fall action. With the water temps still holding above 70 degrees, the snook are staying active. Almost anywhere there is good current flow and moderately shallow water you have a chance at a snook working live bait (or even a big live shrimp) freelined into the current with the incoming tide just a bit better than the outgoing…….on the outgoing move over to the deeper cuts and work weighted live bait into the deeper cuts on waterway exit points. Redfish are approaching their best opportunity period. Cooling water and good tides bring action to it’s zenith……mid tides the reds will be working shallow grass beds in places like Henderson Creek in Rookery Bay……the “Muddies” on the east side of the Marco RIver at Marker R24…….and the flats just inside Johnson Bay. They can be worked here with small tipped jigs in the 4 – 6′ depths over sea grass. Later on the late incoming move to far reach mangrove edges and send a big shrimp under a pooper at them. Seeing quite a few nice size black drum now almost everywhere where this is deeper cuts and good water flow. Again, best bait for these bigger fish is just a piece of fresh shrimp worked slowly across the bottom on either tide. Other players in the fall program here are pompano in the first hour of the incoming tide in either Capri or Hurricane Passes working a small tipped jigs to the bottom on a drift……Mangrove snapper all along the mangrove edges working live shrimp on either tide and , surprisingly, some nice size (take home) sheepshead in the deeper holes with good water flow.
NEARSHORE: Unless you plan to stay in the lee of the shoreline, would suggest getting your fishing trip in before Monday to avoid the windy and assuredly rough sea conditions. The pelagic bite (mackerel, bluefish et al) has been touch and go along the first and second reef spots. Need to find your spot with good bait markings before you deploy the chum and rigs. Once located, give the chum 15-20 minutes to work before getting bait in the water. Top water jigs tipped with shrimp worked quickly across the surface is best chance for some nice action. Good venues for action are the Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass and the corners of the Five Mile Reef. The cooler weather and water temps have drawn the gag grouper closer inshore. Try some live bait just off the bottom on close in Reef spots for possible action on gags. Great fight on the gags and fantastic table fare. Take size on gags now is 24″ overall.
OFFSHORE: As always……conditions permitting. Deep wrecks still getting fair to good action on southbound migrating pelagics. Either tide works working live bait under a good chum effort tight to the structure. Chum is also a must here to get the piscatorial attention. Chance here for kingfish, cobia, permit feeding on their way south. Suggest a live blue runner for the kings …….a live pinfish sight casted to the curious cobia and a freelined live crab for thr permit. Elsewhere and closed inshore the red grouper are still a great target catch. Work the 60 – 65′ hard bottom depths working a live pinfish or a cut ladyfish to the bottom on a drift for best results.