Fishingcast: Conditions for Southwest Florida, Sept. 7-13

Bill Walsh

Persistent east winds and a drop in seawater temperature has fostered an lessening in the red tide strength along the Southwest Florida coast this past week. However, the recent tropical storm system has inundated the Lake Okeechobee domain with 4-6” of rain which will give cause to further releases of the algae infested water into the Caloosahatchee River thus exacerbating the fouled water dilemma.

John Brossard fishing with Capt Christian Sommer, catching his first 42 inch Snook on a top water plug.

Sadly, that will almost immediately impact the southern Lee County fishing domains. Elsewhere will have minimal effect and can expect a slow but general diminishment in the red tide strength. General conditions this coming week will see typically seasonal weather with afternoon thunderstorms clustered in and around the weekend.

Associated winds will be moderate and mainly southeast. The tides will kick up midweek with full moon scheduled for Monday. Look for a very strong p.m. outgoing through late week. The water temperatures will hover between 82-84 degrees dependent on water depth and locale.                                                                                    


Marco Island: Water will be generally clean from the Marco River well up into the backwaters this week; thus expect normal late summer conditions and action here. The “fall” species are beginning to show in fairly good numbers now. Black drum are active in the Addison Bay creeks and mangrove edges and taking small live baits worked super slowly across the bottom with the in tide. Redfish, true to their pattern of activity, are active along the Marco River edges and islands from Charity Island east to the Goodland Bridge. Still a goodly number of shorts but an increasing number of legals now in the mix. (Redfish legal 18-27” limit one). Snapper still the universal catch and of decent late summer size all along the mangrove edges on shrimp.

Naples: Snook action dominant circa Gordon Pass to Port Royal. Good early a.m. in-tide current and abundance of bait in river drawing good to excellent action. Go-to procedure is working pilchards on light fluorocarbon with pilchards on circle hooks; all post pilchard showers. Seatrout showing Rookery Bay flats on incoming working live shrimp or artificial touts morning strong incoming on drift 4-6’ depth. Pompano first and last hour either tide in Hurricane Pass with small white tipped jig to bottom on drift. Seatrout on incoming at north end Canon Island working shrimp on 4’ leader under popper on drift.

Bonita Springs: Conditions show slight improvement especially in the red tide saturation; not so much in the saturation of green water algae and this will probably go downhill when TS Gordon’s water is released from Lake O. Best action continues to be north up towards Charlotte Harbor. Reports of snook action on early AM flood tide east side Matlatcha on pilchards post shower. Redfish to some size reported circa east edges Charlotte working mangrove overhangs late AM incoming with shrimp under popper. Further south reports of clearing water Wiggins Pass with some action on redfish beginning with live bait worked tight to cut on incoming tide.


Marco Island: Good conditions nearshore holding. Near normal action inshore reefs, wrecks on excellent bottom action lane and mangrove snapper. Top action dependent on bait school proximity for mackerel, bluefish, jacks et al worked with tipped jigs under chum. Five Mile and Walton reefs for solid bottom action both tides on lane, mangrove snapper and few red grouper. Offshore wrecks with bait schools for kings. Towers for big permit with small crabs, chum.

Naples: Stable clean water conditions nearshore. Pelagic action Gordon to Doctors 20-25’ depth on mackerel, blues with tipped jigs under chum. Bottom action same venue lane snapper on tipped weighted jigs. Gordon Five top water action on mackerel, blues, jacks on same under chum. Deep water NW 60-70’ limited action on red grouper working live pinfish tight to bottom on drift.

Bonita Springs: Here nearshore, offshore “go-to” spots with lingering bad water inshore. Good “normal” action expected out here. Nearshore good mackerel action 20-30’ depth Gordon to Carlos and beyond working schooled bait locales, bottom action lane, mangrove snapper with weighted jigs under chum. Deep for kings working major reefs holding bait schools. Draw with chum and take on cut bait rigged at 15-20’ under chum.

More:On The Hook: Competitive, no; comparative sport fishing

Capt. Bill Walsh owns a charter fishing business and holds a U.S. Coast Guard license. Send comments to dawnpatrolmarco@cs.com.