Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

July 26th 2019 Fishing Report

 

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

                 JULY 26, 2019 TO AUGUST 1, 2019

 

CONDITIONS: As we finish this screaming hot and wet month, we see the first tropical event of the season forming off the Miami / Bahamas corridor and then sweeping north as a vivid reminder as we’re almost at “that” time of year again. It’s an absolute signal that the “hurricane season” will be ringing in here shortly. But a momentary good thing…..that tropical event should sweep away some of the wet and a tad of the heat here this coming week. Forecasts readily show that that the frequency of afternoon storms this coming week will be about the same as past week but the intensity will be less….plus the winds that have a way of keeping Gulf anglers home and the backcountry fishers on edge with uncomfortable conditions will be redically diminished this coming week. Good news for all. But……you can’t escape tough conditions all together this time of year – so get ready for some very unusual strong, fast tides post weekend. For example the late morning incoming is predicted to range out at a 5’ change and the afternoon outgoing tides will range in the full 4’ drop. Especially in the backwater that will be a halt to good fishing at any time after a hour on either side of the turn. Best fishing will be over the coming weekend.

BACKWATER: Personal observation. Think the combination of hot weather that has warmed the water to an unprecedented level in the backwaters has done the same thing to the mangrove snapper action. Many reports of anglers limiting out (5 per angler) on less than a few hours on nice size mangroves. In fact the bite in most of the mangrove edges is so intense you either begin using tiny bits of live shrimp or break the bank on your bait costs on a routine trip. Many of the “keeper size” mangroves are a minimum 10”…….that is a small fish that produces but a mini-filet. Folks that understand that usually will agree to a trip modification and make the keeper limit at 11”…..more substantial filets and an abundance of the 10” fish that promise action later in the season or next year. Otherwise in the backwaters we have been seeing some scattered pompano mixed in with permit in the first and last tidal hours in all three of the passes with the reigning champion still the fast water Pass at Keeywadin. Working a small jig tipped into the initial movement of either tide should produce action……Activity seems to be strong in the first hour or so as the fish will scatter inland as the water picks up speed either way. The quieter water domains where there are spots where a drop off spins the water current and attracts the lingering season snook to feed…….even surface working artificials will also work here very well…..usually exclusively on the incoming tide. Other species in play backwater are smaller redfish who you will find deep in the “bushes” and jumping on a whole shrimp bait worked tight to the mangrove overhangs.

 OFFSHORE: As noted, this should be a week with exceptionally fast tides but should be crystal clear for sight fishing even deep. The warmth has done miracles in stabilizing the steady presence of bait, of all sizes and species, on the major offshore reefs. There is no question as to activity from just off the beach on out to 60-70. Bait holds working on the plethora of smaller bait species available and in turn brings the traditional “big stuff” to those offshore spots. There are certainly a huge number of “spot” opportunities working the information contained on commercially available charts as well as public Internet forums. Suggest forming a game plan as to where and when either near or offshore keeping those strong tides in mind as you recommend tides and opportunities.

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Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

July 5th 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

                 JUNE 5, 2019 TO JULY 12, 2019

 CONDITIONS: As we turn the calendar into July, you’ll note that the “rain forecast” really doesn’t exist……it’s just a forgone conclusion that it will “do it” every afternoon. For fishing that presents the issue as to water quality (both cleanliness and saturation) for the next day. And the point is made that that makes day to day totally variable as far as fishing “quality” goes. It’s not only water temperature, tidal strength that are key determinants as to anticipated fishing quality on a given day……as we endure the rapidly changing weather factors like water clarity, salinity levels, and even cloud cover as changes in superheated suns rays been penetrating backwaters can make a difference in fishing quality day to day. Marginal effective weather forecasts for this coming week show an abundance of cloud cover come mid-morning which presents a good chance for early day action in the backwater as well as the shallower nearshore stretches. The water temperature will probably hold reasonably steady circa 86-88 degrees and lastly the tides are coming off an early week new moon with strong tides both ways early week and then easing quite a bit as the week plays out.

BACKWATER: Keys to angling success this week can probably be lumped into two categories…….water clarity and current strength. Know we’ve written about this before but the water clarity factor is paramount. Get muddied water from wind strength in the backwaters things just about shut down…..and on the other hand if your fishing in 10th of water and can pick out shells on the bottom in the gin clean water you will most likely get the same result – shut down and the clear sight of your fishing hardware will spook the fish. So look for the happy medium which is water in which you can sight your outboard lower unit and still keep the hardware hidden. As far as water current goes….you want moderate speed and a good approach is to work the first and last hours of tides when the water flow is a moderate as it’s going to get for the next 5/6 hours. As to what’s biting this week….snook (mostly small) are everywhere and on a voracious feed with the water warmth and enormous bait schools. If you get that moderate tidal flow the Passes have small permit, pompano and mackerel with best in the first hour after the tide turn. Snapper are feeding heavily and are (on average) as big as we’ve seen them in the backwater edges. Not unusual now to land 12-13” mangrove snapper. Last tip: go early before the sun climbs over the “yardarm” and ends the bite.

NEARSHORE: Those enormous bait schools are emanating from the shallow nearshore waters as well as the backwater brush and are drawing good action all along that first 50’ of shoreline from south of Cape Romano to north of Keeywadin and beyond. If you work that usually placid area just off the slight tidal surge anywhere along that beach line with fresh netted live bait of even cut shrimp you have a good chance at mackerel, bluefish, whiting, snapper and small sharks. Lots of action being drawn by the bait schools and conditions. Using a tad of chum in the leaching current also helps the action. Mid-range (20-35’) structure has been delivering some nice action on both lane and mangrove snapper off the bottom as well as an occasional smaller (? 10-15 #) goliath grouper (all release and keep in water). Might also run into flounder and a now keeper size (14”) triggerfish. On the inshore reefs like the Walton off Caxambas Pass, get there just after first light and get some aggressive chum going for the Spanish mackerel morning feed working flashy jigs up top in a good chum effort.

OFFSHORE: Weather forecasts will determine access here. Should be storm free early this week and then go “it’s own way” early afternoon. Still getting fair to moderately good action on the mid range reefs and wrecks on kings and associates (sharks, barracuda, Goliaths). Some kings now are juveniles and look like Spanish mackerel. Be careful on ID…….small kings have a distinctively different dorsal fin arrangement and require a 24” size minimum. Be careful. The big guys (sharks etc) will be deep and jumping on a fresh mega bait set just off the bottom after being teased with a serious chum effort. Deeper wrecks and AF towers SW of island for nice size permit now working freelined small crabs on the current outflow from the towers. You’ll need a seriously fast retrieve if you get a permit to outrace the Goliaths that are sitting on the bottom.