Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 29 to October 5th 2017 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Generally, think all agree that weather conditions are improving here on the Paradise Coast…..less thunderbangers; nice docile wind and just a tad cooler morning temperatures. For our fishing impact with all that, it’s virtually a non-event. IRMA delivered some punch! The damage to property was extensive and well beyond what any of us have seen on Marco Island / Naples since Hurrricane Donna in 1960. So…’s tough to get all heated up about a fishing trip if your roof at home has been ripped open; your landscaping now belongs to your neighbor and broken shutters jammed down make your experience at home much like a submerged submarine. But, folks here are a resilient tribe, and things will improve…….slowly this time because of the wide swath IRMA left behind. All of that aside when we look at conditions for this coming week things are on the upswing. Very little rain in the forecast…..almost as if IRMA, MARIA et al was summer’s last gasp. The winds stay morning mild and then kick up as the afternoon heat kicks back in. Look for afternoon gusts in the mid teens for variable directions. The tides are heading to a full moon late week and will range in the high 2’ range with the morning outgoing just a bit weaker than the PM outgoing. Water temps are inching back up but not as quickly as in late August. You can expect water temps in the backwater in the 83-85 range and a degree or so cooler outside. So, when you’re ready to start playing at fishing again the conditions, generally, will be on your side.

BACKWATER: Limited activity here during the last week to draw any experience recommendations. Still have limited availability of live bait shrimp with marinas / bait shops focusing on recovery and getting viable power back aboard. From a cursory examination of the area looks like the water quality is slowly getting past the fresh water deluge from IRMA and the toxic water releases from big sugar in Lake Okeechobee. Checked the salinity here and the level is still under the optimum 23 ppm…….but it’s getting better. Would assume that those bait schools that exited when the pressure dropped pre-hurricane are inching back and when complete will be the foundation for our fall fishing. Chief among the targets in these backwaters will be the revered snook and redfish. Snook should be hanging out on current points especially on the late afternoon / evening incoming tide as the sun drops those vertical rays penetrating the shallower water. If pilchards / threads are a bit slow to show for bait get yourself some frisky pinfish by goldhooking the inshore reefs. Redfish: This their time ! All the urges to feed pre and post spawn are evident in their activity level now. Look for the bigger bull redfish (males) out along the first Gulf edges feeding along downed brush edges. Here a shrimp (if available) or a small pinfish freelined right into the “stuff” should do the trick. Look for bottom action all along the interior shorelines to continue on mangrove snapper that are now at max size for the season. Work just a small piece of bait freelined on weighted jigs to the bottom flotsam and downed brush structure. Of course, water clarity and tidal flow will make a big difference on success. But it’s a start back to normalcy.

NEARSHORE: Will be dependent here on the re-arrival of bait on the inshore structures. Good chance as water will clear here first that smaller schools of mackerel and bluefish et al will show on places like the Capri Barges and key reefs like the Walton Reef and The Marco Five Mile. Look for telltale signs on the fishfinder of bait schools before setting chum and working tipped weighted jigs just over the decending chum. Bottom action here will be much of the same as inshore with snapper, both lane and mangrove, attempting to re-feed. They can be worked on the same pelagic spot by dropping tipped weighted jigs to the bottom under the chum.

OFFSHORE: Overall sea conditions should be a definite plus here plus water quality should be near normal. Deep wrecks could hold both pelagics in the top waters with hungry reef fish beneath. Look for kingfish that have not yet started south with some cobia in the mix both taking live bait and being drawn in with generous chum effort. On the hard bottom at 60-65’ you should have chances at a harvestable red grouper by working live pinfish tight to the bottom on a tidal / wind drift.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 22 to September 28th 2017 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Post IRMA conditions prevail. Concentration now on home / business  clean up and planning restoration. This event was not a “usual” Hurricane brush by here……the island and the surrounding environment too a real hit. Not mush to say about the fishing since that activity has been pu ton the back burner as we all face other priorities. Focus this week will be to advise of numerous waterborne dangers that have developed as a result of IRMA’s tumult. First and foremost you need to be careful and do things as your underway and reigniting your fishing passion. First and foremost SLOW DOWN…there are literally tons of wood (trees, branches, 2×4’s, protection panels etc) that are now water soaked and lying just below the surface in the water i.e. submerged flotsam. At 20 knots plus a collision with one of those dandies can either sink you or destroy your lower unit. Secondly, make sure your depth sounder is powered up and functional…… there has been an upheaval in bottom conditions and depths. You could roar into a grounding on a spot that you sailed through a couple weeks back. Otherwise the weather for the coming week should be radically different from what we experienced with the tropical weather assault. Generally the weather is placid for the next week…….sunny (steamy) days with light winds mainly from the northeast with just an occasional isolated shower. The tides are coming off a new moon and are relatively mild with a mid morning low tide and a nice incoming until mid afternoon. Water temperatures will be zooming back up to pre IRMA levels circa 88-89…….not a good sign if we get another banger coming out of the Caribbean……that heat draws wind intensity.

BACKWATER: Not much activity here this last week. Marina damage…….no   or limited availability of purchased shrimp or netted live bait and concentration at home on fixing storm damage. Think things will begin to normalize this week and here are a couple of tips on what USUALLY happens this time of year here on the Paradise Coast. Redfish should show big time. Bull males out along the first reefs and along the coastal shoreline edges ; Female redfish and juveniles all along the inside coastal edges working the shallow edges on the incoming tide with freelined live bait of any variety. If bait shows up in the passes and the water is just a tad cooler may see some pelagics (mackerel, pompano ) in all the Passes especially on the incoming tide. And as a residual from the heated summer, good chance for mangrove snapper all along the coastline edges with shrimp / cut bait into downed shoreline structure.

NEARSHORE: Will be dependent here on the re-arrival of bait on the inshore structures. Will certainly be some bottom action on “activity” species i.e. Grunts, sea robins, lizard fish but the unknown is the resupply of cherished pompano, mackerel et al that SHOULD return and conditions stablize. Worth a shot; but head deeper is limited action in first Thierry minutes.

OFFSHORE: Look for conditions here to be closer to normal than the other two domains. Less of tannic water / less salinity loss can translate into close to normal fishing. Bottom action on reefs / wrecks should be best working cut / live bait into structure under chum.


Sorry for the limited narrative this week……… should have a handle on what post IRMA has is store for our fall fishing next week. STAY SAFE AND GO SLOW !!!

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 8 to September 17th 2017 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Not much we can say after these last two weeks other than…….that’s south Florida in late August and September. After that week to the day of incessant rain we were visited by a Force Five hurricane named IRMA. If you were here or vacated just before the hit there is no need to tell you about the ferocity of a direct 130 mph screamer hurricane…………with our little island the recipient of a IRMA’S second direct hit. The populace here is still dazzled with things other than fishing, such as standing in line for hours for a limited availability of gasoline for auto and home generator…….trying to fine a restaurant, supermarket, or just anything to provide substance. As a result, there is little interest in catching one of those denizens of the deep……that quest is replaced with survival at least through the next couple of weeks. But general conditions have improved and will be there for those with fishing interests after those of basic survival have been set aside. We look for a week totally opposite of the one just past. Nice days with a slight pattern on showers on a few afternoons. With temperatures (believe it or not) just beginning to decline in the beginning of fall pattern…..we will even have days with close to seventy degrees to start the day. The water now a rancid summary of overflows and inundations will show a better clarity each day and, believe it or not, good fishing will return and maybe, just maybe showing a glimmer of the traditional fall fishing here. We’ll hope that that’s the case for all that love the sport.

BACKWATER: Here the fishing that survives the inundation of IRMA should be surprisingly different. The water will cool down and projected to hold a temperature of the very low 80’s this week. That alone will trigger change. The bait schools will move back in and and be active in their schooling process. Look for the return of the long lost traditional fall pelagics (mackerel / bluefish / jack) to make a showing in the three Passes (Caxambas, Capri and Hurricane ) especially on the morning incoming and then the mid day moderate outgoing tides. Equipment for these battlers are chum to start the action and tipped top water jigs to latch onto one of the gang. Also expect to see traditional redfish action take off….the is the month that the breeding habits of the redfish kick in and the action goes from summer “once in awhile” to fall “mayhem”. Good action spots on the jumbo males will be along the outside edges of the coast shoreline from Gordon Pass all the way south to Kice Island. They will be more active on live bait worked into the shallows. Earlier in the day as the incoming tide crests look for both male/female working the edges of the far shallow backwaters and worked with a shrimp tossed tight to mangrove overhangs under a popper. Elsewhere look for black drum to some size on those sheepshead spots you tried so valiantly to land “take homes” last winter. Bait is shrimp / cut crab moved ever so slowly over the deeper holes where the current is goo

NEARSHORE: Action here should improve basically with better water clarity and lower temperatures. Look for those fall favorites to show here also. Hopefully the pelagics will show and provide top water action on the wrecks in Capri Pass and outside to include the corners of the Five Mile Reefs and perhaps westward to the John Dee wreck and beyond. Need chum to supercharge the water and top water jigs loaded with shrimp. Deeper action on the inside reefs should continue strong on summer’s good bottom action on lane and mangrove snapper. Here it’s chum first and then working tipped weighted jigs to the bottom.

OFFSHORE: Less of tannic water / less salinity loss can translate into close to normal fishing out here. Close in should be action on the artificial reefs and shallow wrecks for bottom action – lane and mangrove snapper as well as smaller grouper and grunts. The major deep wrecks should still have bait schools holding and drawing the plentiful number of kingfish in the area as well as some Spanish mackerel and bluefish: Kings on live runner on wire in chum and macks and blues on top water tipped jigs under chum.