Fishingcast: Conditions for Friday, August 23-29

Bill Walsh
File: Storm clouds roll in.

Weather conditions here on the Paradise Coast are stuck on wet with just about every hour of everyday the target. For many of the folks here that “hangout” for summers the #1 quandary dealt over cookouts and cold beer is the simple focused question that chants a simple question, “what has happened to the tropical storm warnings hereabouts this summer? For anyone who has lived through the countless warnings that wind down the alphabetic tropical storm litany every summer this is indeed a surprise!

Right after a mention of how thankful we are to have missed that mayhem, the follow up, and scary alternative is, “where did the raucous summer storms go?” Well, one of the quick observations by any casual weather aficionado might say, “well, we got the storms alright but they were all broken up in the daily thunder-bangers.” Could be true but our summer storm deluges emanated from local climes and the tropical storms birth place is along the superheated deserts in Eastern Africa. But we’ll leave that as the million dollar question and good opener for your Labor Day picnic discussion. So, as we near the end of August expect a continuation of the daily visits of our now legendary thunder-bangers. Forecasts point to their visits on four of the next seven days and occurring whenever they want.

The air temperatures are beginning to slide south a bit and you’ll see temperatures in the high 80s and heat index circa mid-90s. For our anglers the backwaters will end up stained by the mangrove runoff, nearshore and offshore should be cleaner. The winds will be light, so nice flat water. And lastly the tides will be kind with a little more aggressive morning outgoing flow and bit milder late afternoon incoming.


Marco Island: Thankfully Mother Nature’s plan for piscatorial reproduction lacks an input from the weather, so things that are going to happen as we move into September won’t be seriously impacted by our “monsoon summer.” Those “things” lead off with the redfish repopulation cycle. So, we should be seeing lots of redfish runts come spring. In the interim we should enjoy a redfish fall with hot action along the Marco River circa #R24. Add that to bait laden shorelines and waterways, so get ready for some good to excellent fall pompano action as well as a continuance of great snapper action along Hurricane Pass.

Naples: Naples backwater with it’s great labyrinth of connecting waterways will enjoy the same anticipate an uptick in fishing results as we ease into the new year. Redfish, who have a great presence from the Dollar Creek environments that spill over very effectively into Rookery Bay and the flats of Henderson Creek should look for a banner year on both redfish as well as the strong population of the snook population. So, by and large, as soon as the tumultuous summer weather the fall fishing for both reds and snook should be out of sight. Then add to that a bonanza of pompano from Gordon Pass south to Hurricane Pass. Good fishing ahead times ahead.

Bonita Springs: Conditions – water condition’s as reported by FWC is holding relatively clear through the river and the spillways. Water in Estero however is mangrove stained with the torrents of rain but marginally clear. Bait schools very active. Several reports good size redfish showing west edges Estero both sides Little Carlos Pass. Timing critical: work last 90 minutes of incoming with live shrimp tight to the mangrove overhangs. A little distant but indications of good redfish action and some snook northwest of Tarpon Bay, again top of incoming. Some nice Pompano east side of Big Hickory Channel between #G43 and #R50 on tipped jigs low water.


Marco: Warm water conditions continues to attract huge bait schools all along the Marco and Keewaydin shoreline. Works well with the numerous species and size of baits which attract pelagics of all sizes. Block chum and tipped jigs will do the trick. Multiple reports of mackerel showing just after a.m. first light on Capri barges and Walton Reef, chasing bait, on liquid, block chum to draw to tipped jigs on wire, deep published wrecks 15 to 25 miles work morning outgoing for kings showing in chum and taking suspended blue runners on wire leader; sharks deeper and going for large fresh cut bait. Stout gear to out tussle the Goliaths

Naples: Choice inshore for mackerel, mixed bluefish at Gordon Five east edges or Pier; both will have early action on stronger a.m. outgoing, shrimp, cut bait with jigs on wire. Shrimper Wreck good action both ways for good size snapper and porgies and a few keeper size triggers. Mid-range wrecks and reefs showing bait for good to very good yellowtail snapper action with a mix of lane snappers. Block chum working freelined bits of chum into slick, setting drag on first part of pull. Lane snapper just off the bottom with weighted jigs a foot or two off the structure.

Bonita Springs: Small tarpon (15-20#) still pounding the morning bait schools feeding at first light circa Carlos Point to New Pass. Primarily working thread herring post shower with outgoing favored. Careful release please. Seeing good mackerel action up top on the east edges of the MAY reef working tipped jigs on wire leader. Just off the bottom at the same venue for nice size mangrove and lane snapper and now keeper size triggerfish; all on cut shrimp or crabs. Deep for plenty of kings of size (20-25#) working deeper reefs with plenty of schooled bait showing on the finder. Live blue runners on wire for the kings with a few black tip sharks in mix.

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