September 20th 2019 Fishing Report
ROSE MARINA FISHING REPORT
PREPARED BY THE MARCO ISLAND
CHARTER FISHING CAPTAINS
CONDITIONS: Now easy to feel the transition in seasons as we work towards the end of September. Still have the threats of tropical waves emanating from the SE Atlantic waters that puts a damper on on feeling an end of summer but the weather turn still is very evident. The humidity that fostered the horrendous rain events is basically gone replaced by an upturn in wind conditions and a cooling of temperature. Think you can look for both a continuation of that trend and the advent of weather fronts that traditionally assail the fishing in the weeks ahead. Will stay reasonably warm in the month of October but, without doubt, the condition transition is underway. Worst effects of that transition on fishing is the deterioration in water quality (clarity and surface conditions) which will effect the beginning of the fall traditional beginning of the migration of pelagic species south and the influx of the cooler water species into our waters. Expect to see the exit of kingfish, cobia, sharks, tarpon etc and the arrival of sheepshead, black drum, trout, in the short term. This week look for a weak but defined drop in water temperature to high 70’s and a strengthening of tides which will just be the beginning of the season transition. Hopefully this will be a seasonal change without the reemergence of fouled water with red tide and algae intrusion.
BACKWATER: Would expect a continuance of the good mangrove snapper action we have enjoyed all summer. The “snaps” should hang here as long as the bait does and provide good action all along the mangrove edges and backwater cuts working simple shrimp rigs into current points. The redfish action should intensify as the water cools and the water, hopefully, stays clear. Look for the best action up along the ICW north of Rookery Bay and just to the east circa Johnson Bay working whole shrimp just off the bottom especially where there is evidence of sea grass patches. But, the key factor for “winter season” action here will be the inshore arrival of sheepshead, drum and trout. If a moderate weather transition those species will show gradually and intensify as the water temperature drops. They all jump on baits indigenous to a bottom feeding culture i.e. cut fiddler crabs, shrimp, tube worms and covet the places with rugged bottom structure. Sea trout action should also intensify all along the grass patches evident along the ICW where there is evidence of sea grass. So, as seasons change work the transition with a change in technique and keep an eye on backwater sea conditions.
OFFSHORE: This will be the domain with the greatest change factor as we enter fall and winter. As the water begins to chill down, you will notice a move of species moving south…….now some of that is a plus as you’ll see species that “summered” up around the Panhandle begin their move to the warmth of the Florida Keys and be working down our coast feeding on wrecks and reefs holding bait. Great opportunity for our anglers as the weeks roll on working when good conditions exist. For awhile you’ll experience an uptick in activity as kingfish, cobia, permit and tarpon work their way south and that transition has a good chance of beginning in the near term. Another “new” opportunity will occur as the stone crab fleet begins to place their traps along the Marco coast. That marks the transition to the arrival of tripletail who “home” on the surface waters surrounding the trap markers. So, enroute to the deep waters, good idea to set a lookout and if seeing an TT sunning next to the marker, cur speed / double back and work a small jig on the surface. One of the most desirable fish delights on the planet.