ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT
PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
CONDITIONS: Fairly stable weather conditions forecast for us this coming week. With the consistently warmer air temperatures driving the water temperatures higher (week end water temps in the Marco River were recorded at a steady 76 to 77 degrees). That bodes well for settling the fishing action down to early summer fishing once and for all. We need the pelagic mackerel / bluefish action in the cuts and passes and the big mangrove snapper action along all the shorelines and mangrove edges. There are but one or two predicted times for showers early week with some associated wind gusts but that fades quickly and we get back to a week of manageable winds ; very little precipitation and improved fishing expectations. Even the tides are “Going Our Way” with moderate and workable tides all week ; both ways. Keep your fingers crossed….this coming week could be our breakthrough !
BACKWATER: Results back here during this past week you’d have to classify as “inching forward”. There was some improved action on speckled trout up along the edges of the ICW’s Calhoun Channel working shrimp or live bait just off the shoreline edges in 4-5′ on the incoming tide. Using the current to produce a slow drift seemed to work best. Could foresee a repeat of that action again this week……especially with the end of the “season” boat traffic in it’s final stages. Snook, especially, the juveniles are ravenous and will lurch out of the shadows all along the mangrove edges to snatch a well presented pilchard or small pinfish. Best venues for the snook are Upper Addison (at high tide) and Henderson Creek in Rookery Bay. Both are great spots to work a snook in the shallower faster moving water. There are some redfish around now even in the heat. Look for them on the high water early afternoon working the shallow far reach mangrove areas where the current is moving and the water is clean. But mangrove snapper have to show up “in size” for us to make this a memorable late spring and summer. Hopefully the warm water breakthrough will make a difference and you’re ratio of catch / keep mangroves will improve dramatically as the summer moves in.
NEARSHORE: Reports and rumors have the fishing out here working a tad better than inshore. Even with some gusty wind afternoons, the generally more stable water out here will deliver both pelagic we well as bottom action. Pelagics will likely be hanging out around the Capri Pass barges that line the route west in 20+ feet of water feeding of surging bait schools. Best approach is work the faster water of the late morning incoming tide with tipper top water jigs pulled over a serious chum slick. Once action starts don’t let the chum effort dissipate ……an second block of chum often saves the day. Generally the high activity catch is Spanish Mackerel with some nice size bluefish in the mix along with assorted other pelagics…….jacks, ladyfish and the blue runners. For reef action you’ll need a little more of a ride to the Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass or the Five Mile Reef a little further SW. Again chum is the ticket for good and sustained action off the bottom. Main attraction will be both lane and mangrove snapper taking shrimp on lindy rigs or weighted jigs played a foot or two off the bottom. Here you’ll also want to keep a mega fresh cut bait on wire soaking on the bottom on major gear…..hello to a gag grouper / a Goliath grouper / a blacktip shark.
OFFSHORE: Should be a fairly placid week out here as far as sea conditions go. Some afternoon westerly winds early week that yo should be able to work around. Good action awaits you on the deeper wrecks with the pelagic migration in full swing. Reports of top action particularly on kingfish with cobia and permit running a close second. Kings will be harbored on the wreck itself or in the surrounding waters for at least a quarter mile. Technique can run from anchored with live bait on wire under chum to trolling a kingfish plug at 10-15′ depth at 4-5 its. Great action !. Cobia will show on the surface especially if you’re anchored up feeding chum into the current. Their curiosity will get the best if them when they jump on a live bait cast right in front of them. Another species with a great fight that continues after you bait them. Be careful. Finally, the permit that will give you a run for your money jumping on a small crab freelined into the swirling current on structure.