Fishingcast: Conditions for Marco Island, Jan. 19-25

Capt. Bill Walsh


Unexpectedly good conditions this week. Warmer, no rain, winds acceptable. Tides moderate both ways. Creates brief respite for all fishing endeavors. Moderate cold snap last week failed to energize sheepshead spawn to any degree. Few lunkers show along coastal edge deeper holes but most still undersize. Typical sheepshead spots Marco River, Collier Creek report black drum action working sheepshead baits deep and slow. Sea trout early a.m. incoming ICW’s Calhoun Channel with shrimp under popper 4-6’ on drift circa seagrass patches. Scattered pompano Hurricane Pass first of incoming with tipped jig worked tight to bottom.

Fishing at sunset 40 miles off of Marco.



Great week for Gulf action. Reports of sheepshead spawners showing on Walton Reef (off Caxambas) tight to craggy bottom structure working shrimp, cut crab on vertical lift technique. Some lane snapper in mix with sheepshead plus triggerfish and whiting. All on weighted jig heads tipped with shrimp. Moderate chum helps.


Great week for long run. Red grouper stays hot item. Need 60-65’ water due west Capri Pass working live pinfish, cut ladyfish tight to bottom. Drag ratcheted down. Gags same venue 15-20 feet higher up on structure; will take same bait but more active fight. Mid-range wrecks with bait have yellowtail snapper. Work with heavy duty chum slick. Freeline tads of chum on small hooks right into slick.