Report for Naples, Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands
Capt. Matt Hoover
February 10, 2000
Marco Island - Saltwater Fishing Report
Touch And Go
This past weeks’ fishing was touch and go at best. Let’s face it, some days were better than others were. We are feeling the crunch of winter. The water temperature is as low as it can get before everything with fins shuts down and goes into hibernation mode.
Trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a few pompano have been the real heroes. Folks are still catching sheepshead in the deeper channels around Marco and throughout the islands. Most of the trout have been caught on jigs or by using a popping corks and shrimps. They are over the grass beds when you can get there. I catch a lot of trout along the sides of islands in three to twelve feet of water. They like to be in a spot where the current is moving. We had fronts moving in and out of Florida this past week so you had to pick your days. The end of the week got downright cold and wet. That has made fishing tough.
We have been seeing a few fish in the shallow water while trying to flyfish. Most of the fish have been very uncooperative. I would definitely throw a pattern that imitates a crustacean. I did have a fine day on the water with Dr. John Mayo and his brother this past Saturday. They caught and released three redfish on the flyrod. The largest fish was nine pounds. They took a black Clouser Minnow. We also caught jacks and ladyfish. They released two very small snook. When the water temperature is in the low sixties, I’ll take anything.
This is the part of winter where you have to adapt if you are going to get out on the water. The fronts are moving in with more regularity. That means cold winds out of the north. If it gets cold and ugly, get up a creek or river and drop a shrimp into deeper water. You would be surprised at what you can catch. It might be a snapper, sheepshead, black drum, redfish, grouper or even a snook. Fish drop into deeper holes when it gets cold. They won’t go too far for a bait so it has to be in their face. During conditions like these, shrimp never fails.
It won’t be too long before the weather warms up. This week is supposed to do just that. In the meantime, dress warm and get up a creek. Plan your fishing in between the cold fronts. Thank God that you aren’t shoveling snow off of your driveway. I’ll see you on the water.
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