Fishingcast: Conditions for Marco Island, Feb. 2-8

Capt. Bill Walsh


Sunset fishing in the Everglades.

Unseasonably warm week. Placid conditions. Air temps of 70+ hold water temps high 60’s. Light, non-gusty winds brings flat, clean water. Tides off full moon; strong a.m. incoming; more favorable p.m. ebb. Warm conditions hamper full bore sheepshead spawn; some action last and first hours a.m. incoming tide on shrimp and cut crab. Clean water; all passes should produce pompano action early and late in the tide cycle on tipped jig deep. Check deeper cuts in all passes and ICW for spec trout action with shrimp just off bottom under a popper.


Cooler water here will draw sheepshead action. Walton and Five Mile reef are prime spots. Work weighted lindy rig baited with tad shrimp and cut crab vertically. Capri Pass barges a.m. early incoming for pelagics working bait schools. Best with tipped top water jigs over chum with fast retrieve. Expect mackerel, bluefish and runners.


Near perfect conditions for long run. Multiple reports of 'good' to 'very good' catch-to-keep grouper action due west on hard bottom 30-35 miles (70+’) working live pinfish or cut ladyfish tight to structure on drift. Red grouper tight to bottom; gag grouper on structure 15-20’ above. Wrecks in 15-20 mile range that show bait for yellowtail snapper action working freelined chum bits into heavy slick.