October 4th 2019 Fishing Report
PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
October 4, 2019 TO October 10, 2019
CONDITIONS: Very evident that fall has taken hold of our weather. Wind has become a factor that is very influential in fishing conditions and the summer “lights out” afternoon storms are essentially gone. Both factors are a bit paled by the news this week that they have ascertained that the red tide has shown up just north of Marco circa Fort Myers / Sanibel and there is evidence now on the beaches of a fish kill. Nothing yet on evidence of the blue green algae infestation caused by releases of over fertilized waters by Big Sugar in Lake Okeechobee ……but that may well be in the offing. Be interesting to see how all of that plays out here in the weeks ahead. In the 2018-19 winter months, Marco was spared the severe conditions that were evident from Naples north. We had the milder conditions here like respiratory distress and occasional fish kill but nothing like north of us…..in fact we had an egress of fishing activity here by folks launching here and fairly good results in the waters associated with the start of the Ten Thousand Island area. Hopefully that will be a repeat as we near the 2020 season. You have access of a weekly report of evidence of red tide by accessing www.myfwc.com and selecting red tide report. Other routine weather this coming week looks like a continuation of wind with some brief afternoon rain interludes…..most wind out of the east that will not foul the water and the rain will be briefer and less violent than our summer storms. And lastly the tides will be moderate both ways.
BACKWATER: With the water temperature holding in the mid 80’s the “summer” fishing continues strong especially for “well fed” mangrove snapper that continue to show in the 12-13” range. One caution however, snapper have a tendency to school by size, so if you begin working a spot where all the snapper are small and under limit size…….make a move usually to a spot with a little deeper water and once to begin to land size, stay put and the size bonanza should continue. Redfish are moving into their peak fall activity……their spawn is completed and they are feeding for size as favorable conditions continue. Look for expanses of shallower water that favors sea grass growth and then work a shrimp worked on a 3-4’ fluoro leader under a popper on a drift. Then as the incoming tide crests move to the mangrove edges and work that same rig tight to the mangrove overhangs and in water usually shallower than two feet. Good chance you could run into some nice sea trout in the same venue.
OFFSHORE: Inshore / coastal, the quasi summer action continues as bait is holding and continuing to draw some pompano, sea trout and bottom dwellers (snapper, triggerfish, lane snapper and arriving sheepshead) all working bottom structure that has been triggered with a little spread of chum. On the inshore reefs we’re beginning to get reports of gag grouper showing in some of the deeper spots and going for live bait worked in the structure crevices. Best baits are pinfish and small blue runners. Deep and out on the wrecks and major reefs still seeing some southbound migratory heading to the Keys and feeding on the way. Kingfish are the main target and falling for small to medium size blue runners tethered out on wire with a chum draw. That action should continue as long as the water temperature holds and the bait hangs around……all of that should bode well for early winter action here……hoping that is not disturbed by intrusion of fouled water. Keep your fingers crossed.