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BACKWATER

Variable conditions; moderate now, cold and wind post-weekend. Gusts will rile water clarity. Water temperature dipped to high 50’s; expect 61-63 this week. Tides to new moon. Strong morning incoming; moderate to weak p.m. outgoing. First signs of sheepshead spawn inshore cycle. Look for first action in good current spots deep water: Marco River, outside edges, coastal islands, with shrimp or cut crab. Good chance sizable black drum on same spots; same bait, be patient. Clean water at the moment holding pompano Hurricane Pass either tide, scattered with tipped white jig on best current points. Mangrove snapper numerous, but small.Best chance sheepshead and drum as water chills. 

NEARSHORE

Plan activity here prior to early week. Sheepshead will show here before backwater; work shrimp, cut crab on vertical soft lift technique tight to structure. Walton Reef and Five Mile NW corner best. Corollary action on triggerfish, flounder and sea trout all on same venue with shrimp and tipped jigs. 

OFFSHORE

Conditions permitting. Long range action very good on red grouper in 60-65’ depths due west hard bottom with live pinfish and cut ladyfish worked to bottom, tight to outcroppings on tidal drift. On journey, set a lookout and run close in to stone crab pot markers for tripletail sightings. Locate / double back quietly / work dark colored tipped jig tight to marker near surface.