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Marco Island, Ft. Myers & Boca Grande

Capt. Scott Hughes
February 29, 2000
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Nows the Time to Learn to Flyfish!

This week produced plenty of action from Marco Island and the Ft Myers area. I fished the first half of the week out of Marco and the last half out of Punta Rassa. We found plenty of fish feeding but the catches were on the small side in both areas. In general the fish are still holding to a winter feeding pattern.

Pompano are hottest thing going in Marco and the 10,000 Islands. Capt. Greg bond brought in catches of up to 25 keeper pompano on half-day charters as well as a few mackerel and trout mixed in. The pompano are hitting shrimp tipped jigs worked slowly in the Marco River and Caxambas Passes south to Coon Key. Mackerel are all over the area hitting small baitfish. Slow troll spoons in the area passes or cast jigs. Mackerel provided my trips with some fun flyfishing this week. A yellow clouser minnow with some gold mixed in produced the best action. I suggest using some 40-50 LB shock leader so you donít loose to many flies. If you tie the flies yourself use synthetic materiel. It seems to hold up better to the sharp teeth. Trout fishing slowed this week with only about half the number we caught last week. However, the few trout we did boat we extremely large, ranging from 20-27 inches. Most of these fish were caught on live thread herring. The weather is getting better and large bait schools are starting to hold offshore and if the weather hold off this week Iím going to run out and see if we can hook up on some early season tarpon. So check back next week.

Trout and sheepshead are the best bet in the Ft Myers area. Punta Rassa and Redfish Pass are holding the most numbers of sheephead, although we caught some 4-5 LB fish casting jigs in the backcountry. Trout are on the flats with 4-5 feet of water. Look for flats near a sand bar with good clean water and some current flow. Jigs and flies caught the most with chartreuse clouser minnows working the best. Medium to small ladyfish also is thick on the flats for lots of action and fun. We caught more than we could count while trout fishing north of Redfish Pass. A few reds are on the flats with a few more under the bushes in the northern Pine Island Sound. We sighted a few small snook in the backcountry but they wouldnít hit. The neatest thing this week was the variety of fish taking flies in the same area. We caught trout, ladyfish, mackerel and jacks on flies on the flats north of Redfish Pass. You didnít know what was going to hit on any given cast.

The next few weeks should be even better than last. More mackerel will be coming north from the keys and providing some fantastic action on light flyrods . Trout fishing should remain steady with the largest fish taking live baitfish. Pompano will keep plenty of coolers full and the snook should start moving out of the backcountry any time.

Good Luck!

Capt. Scott Hughes

Blackwater Fishing Charters

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I specialize in light tackle saltwater, and fly fishing from the backcountry of the 10,000 Islands to flats of Pine Island Sound and the bay system of Charlotte Harbor. I have pick-up locations out of Ft Myers, Marco Island, Pine Island, Punta Gorda and Boca Grande. I like to target big fish. During warm months, tarpon, sharks, snook, redfish, cobia, king mackerel and big jacks are the main species sought after. Most of the winter months are devoted to redfish, trout, snook and grouper. Whether

Contact Info:

Blackwater Charters
12571 Burnt Store Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33955
Phone: 941-575-2389
Alt. Phone: 941-628-4247
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