Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 14th 2019 Fishing Report

              PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

               September 14, 2019 TO September 20, 2019

 

 CONDITIONS: Those contiguous waves of early fall storms are right in line as we slide into the middle of September. We all took a deep breath as DORIAN skidded by to our east but here we are looking at some other undefined low pressure systems keeping us on edge with storm shutters in hand. As we take a look at the middle of the month and our fishing prospects we have to be cautious and hopeful that we can clear the next couple of weeks and skid into full blown fall weather here on the Paradise Coast. In the interim, or at least for the next week or so our nemesis will be those conditions that will follow us right into winter, namely wind and unsettled general weather conditions. So as we open the week ahead expect to see some raucous winds and rainy conditions to prevail. We will encounter some rocky seas as well as wet periods almost all of the coming week. Can expect to see the seawater temperature to tumble downward just a bit and you’ll be looking at a drop on water temp of 2-3 degrees ………not a major shift but may make some of our summer species to go skittish on the bite. The winds, too, can put some water clarity deterioration in play. But hopefully we’ll again escape a major storm hit. Finally, the tides will be coming off a full moon on Sunday and will be moderate with an early morning incoming and the easing on the afternoon ebb.  As they say……..hope springs eternal.

 BACKWATER: Since most these updated effects are, at best, very moderate we most probably will see a continuance of the late summer action in the backwaters. Albeit that the wave of weather differences day to day doesn’t spin the barometer downhill which could directly effect the”bite”. Expectation is that we will continue with excellent action on sizable mangrove snapper throughout the inside waters. The bait rich waters this summers have provided a wealth of growth opportunity for the fast growing mangroves and seeing a wealth of 12 and 13” snappers has made many a happy outing. That should continue at least until we get a solid cold snap. The cool water action should shift to see more nice size trout showing in in the grass bottom spots along Caxambas Pass and the Johnson Bay grass patches on either tide and taking that nice shrimp worked under a popper especially on the incoming tide. Redfish are also staying dominant in the cooling conditions. A whole shrimp worked under a popper alone the last hour of the incoming tide all along the Marco River shallow edges should get nice action.

OFFSHORE: Couple of divergent factors here……..sea conditions at times,  may put a damper on creature comfort and forestall working the deeper waters for the still available migrating species i.e. kingfish, cobia, permit but that could be well replaced as the stone crab fleet begins the placement of the traps and markers which are nirvana for the treasured tripletail all along the Paradise Coast. Anytime circa 10/15 when making transit east or west, set a lookout to sight what looks like a piece of flotsam alongside the trap marker……that’s a tripletail sunning. Double back quietly and work a dark colored tipped jig and you’ll be rewarded with one of the finest tasting seafood on the planet. Otherwise the action deep will depend on how the water and air temperature work out as the winter progresses. Chill down quickly means sheepshead; warmth means a moderate continuation of summer / fall action i.e. snapper, mackerel and pompano

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Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

September 7th 2019 Fishing Report

              ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

      September 7, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

 CONDITIONS: Dorian may be tearing up the Eastern Seaboard as we put this week’s weather projections together but as will be see here, it’s side effects continue to play out here. Weather Channel hurricane movement for Dorian will continue to play out through most of this coming week. No raucous hurricane wind or high tides but it, essentially will suck the wind and moisture in the atmosphere out of our domain for the balance of the week and the some.  The loss of those two summer weather factors will #1 give us more basic heat that will add another 5-6 degrees to our REAL FEEL heat factor……..look for 102 to 104 in those afternoons this coming week. The loss of the moisture in the usually steamy afternoons will also add to the temperature level and the humidity. Bottom line morning conditions will almost be a mandatory choice for your trips. Can also look to water temperatures in the backwaters to top 90 degrees most days. But all of those downsides for the swipe by DORIAN here in SW pales in comparison to the damage that would have been endured by our total domain if the storm had been100 miles further west. Otherwise our conditions sans the searing heat will be different but livable…….the winds at light single digit strength will keep the water flat and the tides are straddling full and new moons so the tides will be workable both ways.

 BACKWATER: The usual annual exodus from SW Florida as the school year back home has commenced and our winter residents are still readying the fall has cut our fishing reports fairly thin these past weeks. So, it’s a bit sketchy this week. The water temp staying super warm and the water staying fairly clean with the lack of mangrove stain runoff gives us a dichotomy of factors consider this week. The warmth will hold the summer species like snapper but the stained water will be a turn off…..the couple of reports we are working with this week shows that……..bite still there but off a bit. A good sign …….on two different trips this week we ran into pompano action in deeper cuts like Rookery Bay and Hurricane Pass working tipped jigs just off the bottom in the start and end of moving tides. Also a couple of hints of redfish staying active in the north end of Upper Addison Bay and the flats in Henderson Creek filtered in adding hope for a quick return to normalcy here when “fall”arrives.

OFFSHORE: The expectation of a brief continuance of nice flat seas brings hope that once the things settle down a bit we will retain the presence of the huge bait schools we experienced deep this summer…….drawing nice action on bottom dwellers such as snapper, triggerfish and even a few keeper grouper as well as some strong visits from the roaming kingfish, mackerel, cobia and amberjacks. Plus a slight cool down just may trigger that surge in the red grouper bite that we have long awaited for. Additionally, we’re closing in on the 2019-20 stone crab trapping exercise next month will be the key to draw the tripletail action once again. That all will be possible if we are lucky enough to keep the red tide and the infusion of the blue-green algae intrusion from the people managing the water at Lake O……….maybe the conference in Bonita Springs two weeks ago will bear fruit on the management of our SW seawater……We’ll see.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 30th 2019 Fishing Report

 

                  PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                        CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

                AUGUST 30, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 7, 2019

  CONDITIONS: Held off just a tad this week in putting this weather and fishing report together…….Hurricane Dorian was well in the way. As Saturday melts away it looks like the hurricane may be drifting east and will spare the SW Florida domain a “Pass”. We obviously will get some riled up water but nothing like what would happen if Dorian was a direct hit. So this week look for some riled up water especially in the backwaters that should clear after no more than two or three tide cycles. It will slow the fishing but not stop it. The nearshore and offshore water should be impervious to the upheaval but the shallower backwater will have some impact. The balance of the week will clear whatever impacts of Dorian are left and we should be back to normal by late week. Hopefully all the impacting issues of the Hurricane will dissipate quite quickly. The tides will be coming off a new moon early week and then easing mid week with a weakening ebb tide come late week. The water temperature will hang in there with readings ranging from 86 to circa 84 depending on the water depth you are working. Finally, personal experience has shown that the fishing will be “hesitant” as the fish respond to the weather turmoil….so giv it a day or two to have the conditions settle.

BACKWATER: Should be a good week to work the changing conditions from summer to fall even with the climate turmoil. Redfish action is literally coming alive as the redfish “runts” show up from the hatcheries and feed heavily almost everywhere . Get a shrimp or live bait anywhere in the backwaters and and one of those guys will scoff it down  (Careful release please….they are our future!) There is still good snook action all along the  tidal waters on our coast and they are comfortable even as the summer wanes. There are MANY mongo snook on the waterway corners and edges …. please be careful on the release, Mangrove snapper have had a banner year on growth and it’s not unusual now to see a steady diet of 11-12’ mangroves working most all backwater mangrove havens holding structure and bait . Redfish are the active name of the game now with activity anywhere along the bait laden waterways working a shrimp on a simple rig of shrimp on a circle hook worked on a 4’ fluoro leader under a popper on a drift along a mangrove edge worked at the last part of an incoming tide.

OFFSHORE: Hurricane won’t make much difference here…..some impact deep as the counter-clockwise water churns back through the expense at the curvature of the Northern Gulf. Should not be an major impact here as we still work the rather stable water conditions on the nearshore and offshore reefs and wrecks. If anything, would think that the turmoil of the waters in DORIAN would have scads of fish head our way. Kings, cobia, sharks etc have continued to be very active as we travelled through this period of turmoil. Would think the fishing prospects here would be enhanced as the storm moves north ……all that hurricane action drives a difference in conditions which many times enhances the bite. Bottom line, if it all plays out we’re lucky here in SW Florida……Play your advantage this week.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 23rd 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

          AUGUST 23, 2019 TO AUGUST 29, 2019

 CONDITIONS: The Paradise Coast is continuing to have issues with a VERY WET late spring and summer. Seems like every day we see both morning rain and then a couple hour hiatus and then we get it again in the evening with lots of accompanying thunder bangers. That pattern has kept our weather on an unparalleled heat track. Our fishing has taken unusual turns this late spring and summer with all the unusual aberrations. The unusually warm and wet weather with dominant SW winds have kept the natives sweltering and changed the arrival and departure problem for most of our piscatorial residents. Of priority the snook which usually go dormant  inland vacate the premises in December and January never left and been actively feeding right through all the traditional off months……..the offset of course was the damage the algae / red tide did to their population. Otherwise, generally the fishing population has survived the weather anomaly and are more active as we reach the end of summer because of the influx of immense bait schools ……almost all species save sheepshead and trout have generally thrived during the heated sea water that reached a historic 92 degrees backwater in the sweltering backwater. Like most, we have no specific idea what this winter will deal for us weather wise but most early subtle suggestions is that it won’t change much. Fishing, generally, will be about the same with a late arrival and early departure for the sought after sheepshead. And to finish up on weather conditions this week…….it will be a week of morning and evening rain threats and morning warm air and water temperatures. Weather offset will be very light winds. The water temperature will cover the mid 80’s and the water quality in the backwaters will be stained with mangrove root runoff especially in the backwaters. The tides will be mid morning moderate outgoing and a tad weaker on the afternoon ebb.

BACKWATER: The true backwaters in amidst the mangroves will have clear but stained water to deal with. Which will “hide” some of the tackle parts and provide a little better take than when the water in gin clear. That should provide a benefit for general action back there and be a definite advantage for the primary targets back there i.e the snook and the redfish. So the tackle utilized can be “normal “ and snaps /swivels/ leaders are OK and will not spook the action. Both of those species are still super active with the snook finishing up with their spawn and moving back away from the Passes and coastal waters. And for those linesiders, the “feed”is still on the avalanche of bait that surged in here this summer. Just as a reminder, the snook season is open here with 28-33” slot. The redfish are in the process of putting their annual spawn together. You’ll find the larger bull males adjacent to the passes and in the close in reefs; the breeding females are all though the backwater cuts, and edges. Best rig for reds is a handpicked shrimp strung on a 4’ fluoro leader under a popper worked tight to the mangrove edges at last of the incoming tide.

OFFSHORE: The unusual occurrence of massive bait schools strung along the beaches from Romano to Gordon Pass will continue. Those schools are attracting feeders in the form of pompano, small permit, whiting, mangrove and lane snapper and even a fairly sizable numbers of sharks (bonnethead and blacktop) that are all fair game this coming week with a repeat of the light winds and favorable tides. A block of chum soaking on a current point will draw any and all of those species working a tipped jig about 30-50 yards off the beach and working the moving tide. Mid range the close in reefs at Five Mile and Walton and John Dee are all doing well on pelagics near the surface (mackerel, bluefish, jacks) early in the morning tides working tipped jigs under chum. And if you drop to the bottom you’ve got a good chance for land and mangrove snapper as well as a visiting shark and even a maurading Goliath. Deep you’ve got the continuing action on kings and cobia with some permit and barracuda on the wrecks and reefs and all going for live bait under chum.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 16th 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

          AUGUST 16, 2019 TO AUGUST 22, 2019

 CONDITIONS: If by chance, your familiar with the weather history of SW Florida in the heat of summer…….tell me if you’ve ever experienced a year when we’ve ever had a year without even a tropical storm warning come mid to late August. We’ve been here since 1988 and the answer is ZERO. Not that we cherish the absence but it draws the question as to what is going on ?????. Add to that deviation from normalcy that we never have experienced the tumulus morning storms added onto the Everglades normal summer evening thunder bangers. So what’s happening ??? Answer: something!……so stay tuned. Back to reality and the projected fishing conditions this coming week…….Still have the daily recitation of RAIN / TSTORMS any time from any direction morning, noon or night but you can add in some wind that has been absent most of the spring/summer. It will show up here on the afternoons post weekend in the form of low teen gusts…..won’t shut the fishing down but will add another element that can foul the water and angler dispositions as they get tossed around. The searing heat will continues with real feels by noon touching three digits and the water temps will hold in the 85-88 degree range. Best fishing will be early to mid morning. The tides are post full moon and moderate both ways so they can be worked normally.

BACKWATER: The inundation of rain will continue to add a coloration akin to the mangrove roots in the backwaters. So fishing for the hot species now such as mangrove snapper and infrequent action by nice size black drum will probably slow just a bit. Both those species are summer active working the current fed mangrove edges especially on an incoming tide working simple shrimp rigs tight toward the evidence of bait action and moving water. Snook are staying super active all along the current fed backwaters especially where there is a drop off from a fast current fed edge. Snook are mostly small but provide an aggressive fight. Please use circle hooks and release carefully. Redfish are moving into the spawning cycle. The nearshore waters will cradle the big males that are part of the annual reproduction process……..great fight but now restricted north of the Gordon River totally and to published limits of 27” south. The females are feeding all along the backwater high water edges and still in season south of the Gordon…..but good idea to release for stock building issues.

OFFSHORE: The slight wind this week will probably not change either the fishing quality offshore or the creature comfort level. Tight to the beaches stiill seeing enormous schools of active bait that draws consistent action from Kice Island all the way north on Gordon Pass on legions of “desirables”…….snapper, pompano, mackerel, whiting, small sharks, working the massive bait schools working the incredible late season conditions. Almost any bait worked in the first 75-100’ off the beach in 7-10’ of water will draw substantial action on the tantalizing incoming tide. Simple tipped jigs worked under a light chum will draw all sorts of action. Deep the marked reef action looks like it will be sustained in the feeding cycle with kingfish,cobia still super active in and amongst the hordes of evident baitfish working these spots. Kings, cobia, yellowtail snapper, are still leading this late season parade. Tune the waters on the reefs with good block chum efforts followed up with fresh cut or just harvested live bait. No question as to what you’ll draw with that combination. Lastly, for some exhilarating action, try super deep wrecks for amberjack action with live bait dropped verticall right into wreck structure and then on major rigs hang on with all you’ve got.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 9th 2019 Fishing Report

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

          AUGUST 9, 2019 TO AUGUST 15, 2019

 

CONDITIONS: Forecasts for this coming week show some improvement in the raucous summer weather we’ve experienced for the last two to three weeks. There are seven of the week’s half day periods that indicate rain and storms (dangerous lightening events) so as the saying goes “it ain’t over yet”. But on the positive side, all that energy in the atmosphere has a tendency to quell the wind…..and so that will be a plus as all the forecast winds for the week are single digit and emanating from the favorable easterly direction. So flat water should be the standard for the coming week both in the backwaters as well as offshore. The water temperature should be nudged up a degree or two caused by the absence of the cooling rains we’ve seen for the past two or three weeks……Look for 86 degrees in the backwater and hovering around 84 offshore.And finally the tides will be interesting with strong incoming tides all morning every day. Morning tides with a plus level of 3’ everyday…..afternoon outgoing will end up being a foot less. Water clarity should be a neutral factor with some rain and negligible wind. Recommend even if your backwater take a device running a weather app and keep an eye on those red blotches (strong storms) and their predicted motion.

BACKWATER: Best choice of time to be on the water back here is EARLY!. First light will cut in between 0630 and 0645 which is comfortable for the angler and the feeding fish. And as you know if you’ve fished here the last month or so….it gets steaming hot as it approaches noon. And for the fish they feed by that cycle chowing down early and as those sun’s direct rays begin to pierce and heat the water they pull off and take siesta. If you work most any of the backwaters, you’ll see that cycle clearly evident. For big game we are seeing snook action from the Pass entrances to the connecting inshore waterways. All three passes have the same pattern with snook moving to waterway edges where there is a drop off, good tidal waterflow and evidence of bait schools working the area. Snook bait of choice is pilchards worked on fluorocarbon leader and circle hooks post bait shower. Redfish are the other major species showing good action in and among mangrove edges with the reds favoring the last (high water) stages of the incoming tide. Most active however right now are nice size mangrove snapper (11-13”) all along most backwater edges and jumping on a shrimp bait….either tide as long as the water isn’t racing. Now, a word  of caution….all that stays true as long as the water clarity remains clean. So watch the wind velocity predictions and wind out of the west. Will change everything.

OFFSHORE: Still experiencing great action all along the beaches from KIce Island (Cape Romano) all the way to north of Naples Gordon Pass as bait has assembled here and feeding on wide spread bait schools and are “plums” for the picking. Work either live bait or tipped jigs under a light chum effort especially in the morning incoming tides and you may surprise yourself with a nice pompano or small permit as well as a a nice size bottom feeding mangrove snapper. There are even a number of small sharks and ladyfish in the mix to raise the excitement level. The popular nearshore reefs (i.e. Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass and Five Mile Reef 4 miles SW from the Walton) are holding top water mackerel action in the morning incoming this week. Simple set up for the macks: anchor upstream from structure on incoming tide; deploy a block of chum..give it 15 minutes to draw the action and then work small flashy tipped jigs up close to the surface on a swift retrieval. Can also see bluefish in the catch here. Deep water offshore is best on selecting a wreck that shows plenty of bait action on the fishfinder as you search the area. Again chum in the water and if your target is the kingfish…tether a live bait at a 15th depth under a float on major tackle. Other frequent visitor here is the cobia and they will present themselves on the surface and best having a rig with live pinfish ready to cast to these curiosity seekers. Again…..caution and keep an eye on the sky. …You can’t outrun the storms !!

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

August 2nd 2019 Fishing Report

 

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

            AUGUST 2, 2019 TO AUGUST 9, 2019

 CONDITIONS: Classic summer pattern now is well ensconced as we dive into August. So rather than repeat the weekly weather particulars…….let’s go “upstream” and talk about handing fishing in the sub-tropics in the summer. If there is precipitation in the morning it usually blows through as you ready for your outing and returns much later in the heat on a shattering downpour as the late afternoon creeps downhill toward nightfall…….what’s left in between is what the anglers have to play with. As an aside issue, don’t want to chance a trip where you and your gang is in the storms jeopardy ring so you make safe choices and stay aware of your weather surroundings full time. Mornings just after first light will probably give you a worthwhile chance of starting and moderately sustaining a good trip. The bait will be active on wake up; the winds will be almost dormant and the fish are hungry. Only variable with that early start is what the tide will be doing…..you’ll want a moderately moving tide going in either direction but not racing, as the fish will bottom out unable to catch with the swift rush of the tidal water. Angling qualities will begin to fade as the sun hits about a 45 degree angle and the spectrum of the rays  soak and superheat already hot water…..the fish will then ogo off the feed and retreat into the shadows. Bottom line: you’ve had the best of the day…….count your catch and give thanks for the beauty of the morning. Tomorrow’s another day………

BACKWATER: Water staying unusually hot. Ranging between 85 and 87 with rain cooling it down a degree or two and then it will edge back up when the rain takes a break. Looking at some of my past records in the same same areas that about 3 degrees higher than we’ve ever experienced here. BUT that “record’ temperature has drawn an unparalleled amount of bait hordes just about everywhere and that has turned on the bite. Best show is the excessive amount of 12-14” mangrove snapper flooding the backwater edges and overhang fauna. Also the warmth has held the sought after snook all through the current points as they are seriously on a sustained feed, For the snook look for a backwater deeper spot just adjacent to a sheer drop off and the action point with be just off the curve between deep and shallow. Pilchards are the bait of choice for the snook big and small. The other anomaly is the number of sharks ………blacktops, bonnet heads, sand, that are attracted by the dual treat of hot water and tons of bait. The sharks will go for a fresh cut hunk of any of those bait fish……..fun to catch but, other than the black tips, not much on the table.

 OFFSHORE: Close inshore chasing legions of bait the pompano, mackerel, lane snapper and small sharks are anywhere in first 75-100 feet of water off the shore. And that ranges all the way from the Keeywadin Flats to the Naples Pier and taking most any bait teased up with a light dose of block chum. Mid range in the 3-5 mile domain where the first artificial reefs are located, there is strong bottom action on snapper, a few keeper triggerfish and some wandering tripletail and small kingfish, Those spots are easy to work with chum worked into the structure and sets the stage for good bottom action on some medium size kingfish and off a the bottom some capture-able 3-5’ black tip sharks. Sharks go for a sizeable fresh cut bait on wire leader and a mega hook on stout equipment. Super deep the game is on sizable kingfish as well as some curious cobia that work live bait on sight cast up near the surface. Might even come across a mega Goliath Grouper out here as well as some life size sharks.

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.

Rose Marina Fishing Report - Marco Island, Fl

June 28st 2019 Fishing Report

 

           PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND

                CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS

               JUNE 28, 2019 TO JULY 4, 2019

 

CONDITIONS: The superheated conditions this last ten days has everything we do here on edge…….fishing certainly fits somewhere at the top of the list. We are seeing consistent afternoon heat that invokes special danger warnings for overheating and at the same time we are getting water temperature readings of 90-92 degrees (unprecented) in the backwaters and coastal waters. Consider, for a moment, that the superheated conditions effect all creatures but to an unknown degree for the multiple species of fish that we encounter here in the sub tropics. Here is a current excellent example of that: In the last two weeks many of the charter captains have expressed amazement at the sudden strength of the snook bite…..that’s right SNOOK. Here is a species that is categorized as “on the bite” at 70 degrees……so what’s going on at 90?. Lots of unknowns about our marine live. For you as an angler, that uptick in snook action lies out there for your fishing enjoyment this week….they are about everywhere / on either tide / at any time of the day or night. Just remember they are outside their capture season and must be returned to the briny unscathed. Good thing also to switch over to circle hooks to enhance a safe release. And finally the other factors this week….the tides will be influenced with a new moon just before the 4th and the resultant afternoon tides will be strong through the period. The morning incoming will be more moderate. Not much rain in the forecast and the wind looks like it will all be single digit and mainly southwest in direction.

BACKWATER: Certainly, if your out there this week and even if snook isn’t one of your regular targets, you might want to give them a shot. Their favorite hangout back here is where there is a good current flow adjacent to a drop off and the incoming tide is their favorite. Bait of choice is the pilchard, a small schooled bait……if you can handle a cast et, the pilchards are all along the mangrove edges……if not a whole sizable shrimp or an artificial (Zook Lure) could work. Treat the catch carefully and try not to remove the catch from the water as you gently release the circle hook impalement. Otherwise, in the backwaters you should see some pelagic species……mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle that early morning incoming in all three Passes. They go for small flashy tipped jigs worked under a tad of chum either at anchor or on a tidal drift. Along almost all backwater edges tangent to mangrove overhangs or downed trees, you’ll run into some nice take home snapper working a weighted jig to the bottom . Both mangrove and mutton snapper will show in good action and make very good table fare.

NEARSHORE: Evident that the action just off the beaches all along the Marco shore will continue as conditions remain hot and stable. Anywhere along the 7-12’ water depth off the beaches from Kice Island (Cape Romano) right up to the south end of Keywadin Island are target areas for schools of bait that quickly draw feeders i.e.pompano, snapper, triggerfish, jacks etc that will readily take a wel presented bait on a lindy rig or attached to a small colorful jig. Can deploy a little chum to get things started but consider the tidal movement to insure placement is right on for continuing results. Reefs from the barges off Capri Pass to the Walton Reef have surface bait action that is pinpointed by bird feeding action as well as surface eruptions…….all pinpointing pelagic presence. Get some block chum going as you anchor up current and watch for the pattern of pelagic feeding. Once action starts increase the volume of chum and use flashy surface tipped jigs to attract and get some nice mackerel, bluefish and even some bottom dwelling snapper for the table.

OFFSHORE: With winds light to moderate predicted, you should be considering an offshore run…….but keeping an eye on weather changes or on-line forecasts…..things happen quickly out here. The mid range to deeper wrecks and reefs have abundant bait swarms and continue to attract northbound pelagics even with the super hot conditions. Suggest making sure that your selected spot shows evident boat schools before you set up chum and get live bait tethered in the tidal flow. Good chance at most deep spots for kingfish action as primary but good chance of seeing cobia as well as sharks and barracuda steaming the surface especially if you do land a kingfish or larger mackerel. Results on most sought after grouper is evident but action is considered moderate to slow especially in the deeper spots……consider it still has something to do with oxygen depravation in some of the offshore spots.