Fishingcast: Conditions for Marco Island, Feb. 16-22

Capt. Bill Walsh


Goliath grouper

Early “summer” conditions. Air temperatures forecasted: 68 a.m., 80 p.m., driving water temperatures to be 75+ degrees all week. Will change species mix. Tides off new moon and moderately strong both ways. Winds mild with the exception of gusty p.m.’s. Evidence sheepshead moving to finish spawn in short term, then to exit warmth. Work edge structure on a.m. incoming with tad of shrimp or cut crab. Good chance in short term of numerous keepers. Super clean water drawing pompano action near Capri and Hurricane Passes during the first and last hours of tide with tipped white jigs worked to bottom.

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Unusual warmth will effect action. Good chance inshore sheepshead action on retreating spawners. All first reef spots plus Walton Reef for action a.m. incoming with vertical drop and soft lift technique. Good chance pelagics (mackerel and pompano) will show in super clean water with tipped jigs worked over good chum effort.


Picturebook conditions deep. Worth the try for super deep (70’ plus) for better chance of catch to keep ratio and red grouper working live pinfish deep hard bottom on tidal drift. Gag grouper also active with live bait worked 20-30’ above the structure with minimum weight. Great reports on tripletail action. On trip west set lookout and run tangent to stone crab pot markers; TT’s will be on surface sunning; cut power; double back; work tipped jig in top water.

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