Our first cold front of the season has arrived, shutting the fishing and catching down for Southwest Florida anglers on most all of our fishing fronts as I prepare this article. With a little bit of luck, you may just might have the good life back by the time you read this report.
Here, in part, is what Marco angler Glenn Babst reports. “I haven’t done too much fishing, so decided to go with my friend, Steve Hennel, and his daughter, Cameron. We stopped near Indian Key around 9 a.m., cast net some nice green back minnows, then pecked around some of the islands for a good current at a point, found one and dropped the power pole and the action started, with nice-size jacks, ladyfish and reds, no pun intended, lost a big nook, about 30 inches, if I had to guess. The big event of the day was when Cameron caught a 26½-inch redfish. Overall, it was a fun day on the water and I think we now have a new female fisherman in our ranks.”
Glenn the Plumber. Thanks for the report and nice picture Glenn!
Phil Vinson, of Columbus, Ohio writes, “I’m coming down to Marco Island Oct. 20-26, and I hope I’m not reaching you too late. I’m planning on fishing the beach and the Jolly Bridge while I’m there. I remember seeing many redfish in the bay area of Tigertail Beach a few years back when I visited in the fall. Is that still a good spot? I’m one of those guys who loves to fish, isn’t good at it and can’t afford a charter. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.”
Thank you Phil for the e-mail. We have just gotten our first major cold front of the season. It will drop the water temperature and slow the bite down for snook, but many of the other species, including redfish, sheepshead, black drum, trout, jack and ladyfish should hold up. It is a good bet our midday hours will be a bit more productive.
The Jolly Bridge catwalk is not there anymore, as they tore it out. It may get replaced later when they begin to add some more new lanes. Don’t forget your fishing license. You can obtain one at Rose’s Marco River Marina. They also rent boats and have several charter captains that moor their boats there for offshore, nearshore or inland fishing. Maybe you could find two or three other anglers that could share the cost with you so you can expand the area you will be able to fish.
Don’t rule out walking the beaches, but be careful not to wade too far out or get too close to any of the passes, as the swift water can sweep you out to deeper water. Wearing a flotation device, and fishing with a buddy is also good advice. If we get a warm-up trend, the bait should bounce back, in turn attracting more of the other species.
Another reader asks, “You noted in your last e-mail, would it be best if I avoided the bridge? I thought it might still be good with all the underwater structure, or has that been removed too? Don’t rule out going to the bridge shoreline. You may be able to dig and find some blood worms at the mud flat on the Gulf side of the bridge at dead low tide. They are great for the sheepshead and black drum. I would fish it on a high incoming or high falling tide.”
Good luck, let us know how you make out and feel free to send us a picture or two of your catches. Don’t forget, don’t tie your fish stringer to your belt while fishing the shoreline, as it could attract larger predators.
Everything is looking good for the rest of October on most all our fishing fronts. Anglers stalking the snook at the lights may find them a little slow on the bite, depending on the water temperature.
I am getting some reports of Spanish mackerel working the bait from the outer shoreline out. One angler writes, in part, “I found a bunch of mackerel working the bait about one mile offshore, but kept being cut off. I thought my line was bad, when all of a sudden, I remembered one of the tips I caught in one of your articles and switched my leader to coffee-colored wire and started to catch them.”
Trolling deep-running lures on the way out or returning from your honey hole could put a nice-size grouper or kingfish in the box. Everything is looking good for all of our fishing fronts, be sure to deep updated on the weather. Catch you later!
Recreational closure for greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico
In 2008, NOAA Fisheries Service implemented a recreational quota of 1.368 million pounds for greater amberjack harvested in the Gulf of Mexico. Recreational landings data indicate the recreational quota has been met. Therefore, in accordance with the regulations, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Oct. 24, the recreational fishery for greater amberjack in federal waters is closed. The recreational harvest and possession of greater amberjack in or from federal waters will be prohibited through the end of the current fishing year, Dec. 31. A person aboard a vessel for which a federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued must also abide by this provision in state waters.
NOAA Fisheries Service has determined this action is necessary to prevent overfishing and to keep the recreational sector from exceeding its quota during the 2009 fishing year. If, despite the closure, recreational landings exceed the quota, NOAA Fisheries Service will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register at or near the beginning of the 2010 fishing year to reduce the length of the recreational fishing season for the 2010 fishing year by the amount necessary to recover the overage from the prior fishing year. This action is required by regulations implemented under the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico.
Do you have a fishing adventure to share? Upload your story and/or photos to yourmarco.com or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Red Stier is a biweekly contributor to the Marco Island Eagle. Questions or comments may be directed to email@example.com or 172 Trinidad St., Naples, Fla., 34113.