Fishingcast: Conditions for Southwest Florida, March 13-19

Bill Walsh
Great day catching bull sharks and snooks with the gang from Sioux Falls.

Well, we finally catch a break. After all this raucous wind and tidal changes. Most welcome to say the least. Good conditions ahead for the Southwest Coast this coming week are predicted. First and foremost, all the predictions are for light winds all week hovering east, southeast all week with single digit velocities apart from Thursday where it reaches a velocity of just over 10 knots.

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After what we faced in the blustery velocities the last two weeks this should be angling panacea for all both backwater and offshore. And all that good news is wrapped up in a week with favorable tides with a moderate morning incoming and a light afternoon ebb. A byproduct of all that moderation should dive the water temperature well into the mid-70s; be a kick start to spring fishing here. I would think those conditions will long for at a couple more weeks looking at the national charts showing little to no evidence of major west to east weather systems. So, this is what you’ve been waiting for; so, go get ‘em!                                                              


Marco Island: Maybe not a fishing shooting gallery this week, but could come very close. Sheepshead will hand around as the water will not cool that fast. So, working your spots along the river and connecting waterways should hold great action on “late season, late spawners” who may have passed their eggs and be super hungry (an environmental plus). Cut shrimp or cut fiddler in the deeper holes and depressions will do the trick. With the warmth and clean water mangove snapper bile should be red hot on larger fish and certainly don’t forget the pompano and spring mackerel in the Passes that will be hot to bite

Naples: With the water clarity by Tuesday, Wednesday and a stable water temp this could well be a planner week for snook along the prime target area along the Gordon Pass to the junction. Incoming tide should be ripe for solid action on both the snook and redfish working the south edge bait schools. Don’t neglect the late season along those Keewaydin docks for post spawn sheepshead and the hangers on along the Keewaydin docks like snapper and seatrout. Last but certainly not least give the pompano, mackerel a try on first and last hour of tide in Hurricane Pass.

Bonita Springs: Weekly FWC, as always reported showing zero threats of red tide along river into Sanibel. General conditions are excellent for coastal species (mackerel, tunny, some pompano being taken is 15-20ft. – primarily incoming enhanced by clean water conditions. Circa Sanibel alive with bait and resulting action on everything from pelagics like mackerel and bluefish to major species like snook (release) to redfish and black drum. First inside tier of water depth holding redfish with many to major size, Reds all on hand picked shrimp worked tight to mangove overhands at high tide.


Marco Island: Conditions returning to “ideal.” Give it the weekend to settle out. Inside reefs should be hot through both tides with both turns as water clarity and tidal effect takes place. Good conditions should spread westward quickly. Capri barges recommended as good place to start comeback at unsettled conditions. Look for active resurgence of small likes and mega mackerel in reefs with bait in evidence and feeding. Deep should see some good action on the 10 mile definitive reefs that were summer hot spots on kings – feeling is will start again this year.

Naples: Edges of Keewaydin Island still hot spot for good action working the morning incoming tide. Set up with a chum effort working an array ledge on nice gags to 10-12 lbs., even better with clean water and light winds. Mid-range always make to swing be those pronounced and scales. Fish of some size and super strong. If on hook, tiring quicky keep a watch and release gently, Have couple weeks to finish up the very good tripletail season. If we added numbers probably the best for sizeable tripletail catches and tie homes.

Bonita Springs: Cleaner water will keep things hopping’ this coming week for everything between tarpon and snapper. Should be a bonanza week both inshore and outside over structure and ledges for gag grouper and on the reefs with returning bait holding snapper and sheepshead action mid to inshore. Anticipate that with these conditions could even see the redfish resurge in this which has bottom structure and bottom bait schools to get the red grouper here going again.

More:Fishingcast: Conditions for Southwest Florida, March 6-12

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