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Marco Island, Ft. Myers & Boca Grande

Capt. Scott Hughes
March 20, 2000
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Snook and Big Jacks Provide Plenty Hard Fighting !

The one thing I can say about March is that the wind is always going to blow. The past two weeks have been typical of this pattern. However, the overall fishing has been pretty good in the Ft Myers area because the barrier islands tend to shelter Pine Island Sound. Even the fishing in Marco has been getting better. The Marco Island area is much more affected by wind because of the lack of barrier islands.

In Marco Island the Pompano are still providing some of the most constant action. Jigs tipped with shrimp worked very slowly are the best bet. The major passes are the best place to start and then try the outer points of the upper 10,000 Islands. Along with Pompano be ready to tangle with Trout, Jacks, Ladyfish, and Mackerel. Snook are starting to move out toward the beaches and some good catches with fish to about 32 inches are staring to appear in the channels leading to the outside. Most of these are being caught on live thread herring and scaled sardines. These are my favorite type of bait and can be caught in the passes and off the beach with a cast net or sabiki rigs. We have also been picking up a few choice redfish mixed in with the snook. There is no real pattern but you can pick one up here or there. Trout are still in about 4-5 feet of water over heavy grass from Cape Romano to Round Key. Large live baits have caught a few over 20 inches and jigs will produce the most small fish. There have a few reports of tarpon being hooked but I havenít come across any this far north yet. Iím hoping that they will show up any day now.

Big jacks are the story in the Ft Myers area at the moment. I have been running trips with the kids from spring break and they have been getting worn out with powerful jacks. Its not been uncommon to catch 10-20 jacks over 5 pounds with some pushing 15 pounds. Most of the big ones have been hitting live thread herring. We have found a few very small snook along the beach. The best bet for catching them is a small pinfish or sardines. The grouper are still hogging up most of my favorite snook holes and we have been catching a few keepers every now and then. Most of the time they will kick your butt and you will get tired of tying leaders. Mackerel, Pompano, Ladyfish, and Sheephead are very abundant in Redfish Pass and Captiva Pass. Jigs tipped with shrimp will provide enough action to keep you busy for a few hours at the start of each tide. Redfish reports have been scattered with most of the catches coming guides fishing the bushes with cut-bait from the east side of the sound. We have been getting a few trout from the outside of the causeway and the flats from the west side of the sound when the wind will allow. The only reports of Tarpon have been in the river. Also some singles have been seen around Chino Island and Buck Key.

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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