Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 29th 2018 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Well, if you’re getting tired of the hot and often stormy weather… least you can say is that it’s consistent. And it’s “gonna” stay that way as least through the coming holiday week.In fact the forecasts show the fireworks show for the 4th will be aided and abetted by nature’s thunderbangers. Of a more serious note, it looks like the superheated water and air conditions mixed with the red tide spores is delivered get some tough water and, alas, fishing conditions. Those effects are moderate yet in the immediate Marco waters but it’s an entirely different story north of us from Fort Myers up through the Sanibel  and Estero areas. My perception is that condition is worsened there with the constant discharges of fouled (fertilizer /pesticide) waters created by the sugar barons along the Caloosahatchee River. The key factor keeping the condition mild here is the wind direction…….we will have easterly and southerly winds this coming week – if for some reason they turned NW or W and picked up velocity that serious red tide condition would be here. So the heat and rain “ain’t” that bad for us. Just check your forecasts before you head out on the briny. On the other condition fronts, the tides are coming off a full moon and are moderate both ways which is a positive. The water temperature is now stationary at 88 to 90 degrees but just a tad cooler early morning and late evening….which should provide a clue as to when to conditions will be best.

BACKWATER: Even though their “season” is closed until September, the snook are super charged in the heat and with the huge expanses of bait along the backwater edges and out along the beaches have the feed bag on. They could show just about anywhere and are not finicky……jumping on a hunk of shrimp as well as a top-of-the-line live bait. Please, if you’re  targeting these linesiders, please use circle hooks and use special care in releasing. Elsewhere…..things are strange. Species that are not common here are showing consistently. Like permit to 12” in the waters of Rookery Bay on either tide and taking a simple shrimp either on a lindy rig or set up on a jig……mixed in that foray are mackerel and an occasional pompano. We have also seen a few bonefish along the deep cuts the line the drop offs at Hideaway Beach lagoon. They, too, are not particular on their chow and will take whatever you’re offering. Again…..they are a great gamefish, so please be careful on release (after photos, of course). Mangrove snapper, as appropriate, are the mainstay this time of year and as the weeks slide by we are seeing more and more take homes…..suggest if you’re getting size, release the 10” inchers (tiny filet) and hang on for the 11-13” versions.

NEARSHORE: Good and bad news……the winds are down this week so the conditions should be flat BUT the storms are forecasted just about every day. So be selective on the day and time for the fishing trip outside. Mackerel are the top number out here this year and will roam long distances to work those big bait schools. Close in there seems to be good results for those fishing the Capri Pass wrecks out to and including the legendary Pass Barge. Approach is consistent and standard: Good block chum effort and sit tight for 15 minutes and then tipped flashy jigs on a fast retrieve right through the slick. Good chance little tunny could show in the activity and if so toss out a couple rigs (with heavier tackle) with cut bait into the slick. Other action appears to be focused on bottom action (mangrove and lane snapper et al) on the major reef spots like the Walton Reef just off Caxambas Pass and the legendary Five Mile reef. Here working weighted tipped jigs just off the bottom will get you results.

OFFSHORE: Conditions here will be in line with what you experience nearshore. Interface with online weather info offshore will help you make the right decisions……stay in place or run.  Good reports on pelagics (kings, cobia, permit, sharks, cuda) on most of the deeper wrecks and reefs holding bait. Working these spots takes a bit out patience to wait out the impact of your arrival and the chum effort. Once that kicks in, you have to be ready for most anything…….the species that will show differ…..from the ravenous kingfish to the slashing barracuda. It’s a spectacular show with differing results……but all lots of fun. Good chance for delectable take homes (cobia, permit and kings).


Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 15th 2018 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Looks like we’re settling into typical summer conditions here. Red and green blotches all over the weather radar streaming through the west side of the Florida Peninsula from morning to night…. gets to be commonplace. However, we have yet to see the steady stream of dense black clouds forming late afternoon in the eastern sky and heading our way amid raucous thunder and lighting cracks……all of that settles in as summer takes over here. So, for you folks that love the water and the fishing here….GET OUT EARLY…’s cooler / less chance of thunderbangers / and the fish are more likely to respond to you’re effort. And as most long term residents here do, take a siesta and reappear late afternoon. It beats the heat and provides you with minimum disruption and maximum safety. Also, this week is another part of the tide cycle and we’ll be coming off a new moon early week that will grace us with four foot outgoing tides for the afternoons of early week and then easing each day to weekend. Those super fast tides are mostly to be avoided…… have to work too hard to feed and hold in that tumultuous current. And finally…..the heat of the water is starting to COOK. Recorded readings of surface water in the back country to 86 degrees last week…..very bad sign for our expected storm season.

BACKWATER: Unusual back here… the descriptive adjective that describes current conditions and results. The disruptive water flow, the unusual amount of fresh water intrusion, and the corruptive deposits from   Lake Okeechobie are causing strange happenings back in the inside waters. Fish species, almost historically foreign here are showing up in bewilderment. Trip last week produced spotted sea trout in 20” plus sizes in fast moving backwaters that were totally foreign to their expressed habitats and then a hour later we found permit in the deeper waters in some deep water cuts in Addison Bay (another first). So, bottom line, it’s an unusual turn of events probably caused by the melange of weather events occurring here over the past six weeks. But in all the aberrations, there is a steady delivery of the “summer” fish here the mangrove snapper. The sizable versions of the species will show in those last and first hours of either tide (as the water slows and the effort to feed eases) working small shrimp tight to the bottom with just some slight motion to enhance their presence. Other summer action has mackerel invading all three Passes on the middle to end of the incoming tide and jumping on tipped jigs worked in chum.

NEARSHORE: Conditions here should be generally favorable for the week. Some forecasted storm periods……so check those forecasts before you sail. Tough to outrun a storm front coming at you at 30 knots. Close in, between the Capri Barge wrecks and the “Pass Barge” there are schools of marauding mackerel and bluefish chasing huge bait schools. Watch for the bird action working the surface to give you a starting point. Can either anchor up and spread some chum or stay underway working jigs on a troll through the bait eruptions. Either way good action is generally available. The major reefs….the Five Mile Reef complex, the John Deere wreck and the Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass are all producing pelagic action on roaming mackerel schools as well as solid bottom action on lane and mangrove snapper. With activity on structure can expect to see good to very. Many of the spots with good water flow and bait schools are also attracting surface pelagics.

OFFSHORE: Check out the pelagic action that is picking up speed with the vanguard of the spring-summer migration of the pelagics heading north. Sites of deep water wrecks and as well as bait laden mid-depth reefs and wrecks can produce great action in these heated conditions. Look for the hard fighting kingfish to show on most of the structures that harbor bait. Capture a few mid-size blue runners and string them out on wire leader under a float at a 10-15’ depth in a chum slick and prepare for some serious action. Kings are ferocious fighters right to the very end and are worth the effort. The other major player out there now is the “curious” cobia. Cobia will be attracted by fishing commotion and odors of chum and appear on the surface tight to the boat. Have a rod ready armed with a live threadfin herring and sight cast and be ready to hang on. Exciting times out here.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 8th 2018 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Finally get a brief respite from the relatively constant rain and stormy weather. Now we get the scorching heat with PM temperature real feel in the 100-105 degree range. Tough on us and tougher of the fish. Experience on charters has shown that conditions on the water are generally in a state of flux……constantly changing. Perhaps as we move into the heart of summer here, we’ll see conditions settle down. You know the drill……nice cool mornings with just a tad of a breeze that heat up by late morning and send us packing to the air conditioning until the PM Everglades T-storms descend on us for an hour or and cool things off for pleasant evenings. And that routine, day after day, will settle down the fishing quality with it’s consistency. The expected weather this week shows some evidence of that happening……some patterned showers over the weekend and then the balance of the week is crystal clear and devoid of tumult. Significant for the week however is a super strong tide triggered by a new moon late week. Look for afternoon outgoing tides that will exceed a four foot drop in 6-7 hour time frames. Finally the water temperature is creeping up and will be showing the mid 80’s by week end.

BACKWATER: The unsettled conditions show up most prominently in the shallower backwaters. Species such as permit and bonefish are showing in the backwaters which is not a customary occurrence……and sort of displays the “mixed up” water and weather conditions. Think if those conditions settle down, we have a chance back here for a good summer season. The heat of the water will energize the mangrove and lane snapper and we should see a steady increase in nice size “take homes” in the 11-13” range. Try most all mangrove edges which display downed trees and other fauna working shrimp on a 1/4 oz jig hear or on a lindy rig tight to the structure. Another tip on bigger snapper is that the major size fish will restrain from working hard in the faster moving tides and show up to feed in the half hour / forty five minutes on either side of slack water. NOTE: Try to avoid the raging outgoing tide mid to late week afternoons…as noted it will fall over 4’ in six hours. Other possible action, as the water cleans up will be mackerel and pompano in all three Passes working tipped jigs to the bottom on a drift.

NEARSHORE: Storms will be a problem here both morning and afternoon over the weekend……should ease up early week. Action on mackerel / bluefish seems to be holding steady all along the first and second lines of reefs off the beaches. Look for bird feeding action or surface eruptions of escaping bait and either set up current with a block of chum working tipped jigs or peel off 100’ of line towing a spoon or flashy jig on the edges of surface eruptions. Troll speed in the 4-5 kt range. The intense heat and rising water temps have excited the shark populations and there are reports now of good blacktip action along those same reefs as well as the major spots like the Capri Barges and the Isaac Walton Reef. Live bait on the bottom under a good chum slick should get you some hot exciting action.

OFFSHORE: Post weekend should be great out here with good tides, flat water and good pickings. The inside reefs that are swollen with bait have solid populations of both lane and mangrove snapper with an occasional triggerfish or porgy thrown in. That action can be initiated on structure showing bait on the Fathometer and then drawing fish in a generous chum effort…….working them with weighted jigs just a couple feet off the bottom. The mid range wrecks and reefs will have action on pelagics (kings, cobia, permit) working live bait, again, accentuated with a good chum effort. Plus your activity might well excite some sharks and cuda into the fray. Sharks on live bait and cuda on bait or fast trolled artificial eels.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 1st 2018 Fishing Report

CONDITIONS: Looks like the effects of Alberto have past ……at least the rainfall, variable wind conditions and the threat of floods. But what we are left with is a huge immersion of fresh water mixed into the salt which has significantly dropped the salinity levels. We’ll have to see how that plays out over this whole week. But the general weather conditions that confront us this this week are generally favorable. There are a few isolated period of threatening T-storms that are rather weak and scattered. The winds for the week will be mainly W and WSW and moderate with the exception of a couple afternoons late week. That will tend to moderate any water tumult caused by last week’s storm. The tides, too, will be moderate the eases in strength as it moves past last week’s high tide. Don’t have an accurate water temp effect the week ahead but predict all that storm driven fresh water may depress this week’s temperatures into the 75 to 77 range which would be a 5 degree average drop from what we had before the storm. An aside……this is an early start for tropical conditions on the Paradise Coast which should put all of us on the caution for a tough, dangerous 2018 Hurricane System.

BACKWATER: Will forecast that the conditions that were producing fairly good action of the spring species of snapper and mackerel will kick back in as soon a the barometer begins moving north consistently…….and that the water clarity moves towards clear. Might find the better spots now as close to the max current flow as possible are occurring. Look for action on spots like the current points in Rookery Bay or working the docks along Hurricane Pass. The snapper should stay close to their annual pinnacle of action and be taking small shrimp worked in the moderate current either way. And then in spots like Addison Bay current points there should be the same level of action with a good possibility of black drum showing on spots vacated earlier this year by the sheepshead. The drum will go for a bait moved slowly along the floor of the deeper cut just off the tide flow. And finally, don’t be afraid to try any of the three passes as the mid morning flood tide begins for mackerel which move to bait from their nearshore holding spots in search of bait schools. Best on mackerel is a tipped jig worked up in top water in a moderate chum effort.

NEARSHORE: Should be a recovery week. Just how fast that process proceeds will this an iffy week. Can try the Capri Pass just off the turn of tide early morning working tipped jigs under chum in vicinity of the barges trying for pelagics which would be the first group of species to return to the feed as the conditions return to normal. Factors would be moderate that give the activity here the week after a tropical storm but our area was really on the fringe of the severe conditions north of us. Other chances would be on the nearshore reefs i.e. the Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass and the legend Five Mile Reef and few miles further SW. Would suggest working the bottom here with weighted jigs under chum for snapper et al.

OFFSHORE: Not nearly the impact here from the water intrusion but more the lingering effect of the winds that were in the storm last week. Good bet to postpone your trips to the latter part of the week to allow time and fair weather to settle the water surface down. As far as the fishing goes, should recover quickly with good snapper action, both lane and mangrove, on the closer in reefs and wrecks. Setting up current and working tipped weighted jigs into the chum slick should get you good to very good action. Further west, on the deeper wrecks that hold bait schools, there should be solid action on pelagics especially kings and cobia with a few permit mixed in. Live bait is the ticket for all three: live runner on wire for kings; sight cast threadfin for the cobia; and small live crabs for the permit. All of that after early insertion of chum.