PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
October 25, 2019 TO October 31, 2019
CONDITIONS: Even though it riled the water conditions a bit TS NESTOR did us a favor with some strong winds and tides which rid some of the backwater and coastal areas momentarily of the red tide devil. We had two or three days where the fishing results were akin to normal……but as we write those troublesome conditions are moving back in. Would have to say that we need a major cold front passage to reset the conditions that restrains the fouling of especially the near coastal and backwaters. As previously mentioned, the best “predictor” of positive fishing chances is finding waters where there are birds feeding as well as bait fish working the surface……both activities will signal cleaner water and feeding activity. Otherwise, on the condition front, look for a week with unusually warm water temps tickling 80 degrees mid day that feature light to moderate winds mostly E and SE and will, most likely, bring some brief afternoon short duration showers. Offshore, sea conditions should be moderate straight through. The tides will be moderate in the 2-3’ range both ways and be a plus all week.
BACKWATER: As mentioned, it will probably take our first cold front to move or dissolve our red tide problem. In the interim, in the backwaters it’s search and find for possibly the next couple weeks. Reports indicate that it’s possible to catch some nice top-of-the-line species but it takes trial and error effort. The deeper water spots like Rookery Bay and Hurricane Pass seem to be doing better because of water depth, current flow and the presence of bait. As previously mentioned, trigger signs are birds working the area and surface bait activity. Catches reported are the old favorite of mangrove snapper and the seasonally introduced redfish and silver trout and whiting. Both species will like spots with good water flow (cleaner water) and structure……..bottom fauna for snapper and mangrove edge overhangs for the redfish. Worth the effort as we await the weather event which will bring us fall weather ……finally
OFFSHORE: A little different here………face the much more invasive water quality effects as you move offshore. Tidal effects as well as wind are the drivers of just where the fouled water will be……and it can move miles one way or the other in a morning or afternoon. But with flat water (mostly this week) making a major move deep is a reasonable possibility. Although expensive, a run to 30-40 miles SW would give a range of towers, reefs and wrecks that hold possibility of some major fish. Reports of the emergence of keeper size red grouper are surfacing on hard bottom adjacent to the established wrecks is a very positive signal of change as well as the continued presence of the retreating migratory kingfish and cobia on some of the reefs out deep. All that will change with that first major front. And don’t forget that the traps for the stone crabs are in place now and attracting those triple tail to hover on the markers.