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Report for Naples, Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands

Capt. Matt Hoover
February 23, 2000
Marco Island - Saltwater Fishing Report

Winter Whiplash

This past week started out with promise. The air was warm and the water temperature was on the rise. As the week progressed, a front came through and left cold descending air in its wake. It was like my German shepherd Cody passing the coffee table. You know his tail is going to wipe out something. The mornings started out in the fifties and the water temperature took a downhill slide. The wind has been cranking hard. It is typical weather of February. We did see some better fish this past week. It is only going to get sweeter as winter looses its grip to the warm breezes of spring.

Warmer water temperatures at the beginning of the week were the main reason that folks were able to catch some small to keeper size snook on shiners. Captain Stacy Mullendore brought a few keeper snook to the dock early on in the week His clients caught the fish on shiners. They also caught a number of trout and larger jacks. I had a similar report from Captain Duane White. Duane has been fishing in the Marco area as well. I had two fair days with the snook too. We caught a half a dozen snook each day on shiners. Only one fish was a keeper. Although, most of the fish were caught on shiners, I have been having some luck with snook and large trout using Bass Assassins on quarter ounce jig heads.

When the cold air and wind came, it was back to shrimp and sheepshead. We have been catching large sheepshead in the deeper runs of the immediate Caxambas area of Marco. Some of the fish are what we refer to as “hubcaps”. They will put up a respectable fight. You will play tug with jacks and other denizens when you are deep dropping for sheepshead. It is not uncommon to catch keeper size gag grouper or black drum.

Most of us have been taking advantage of the pompano run that we can rely on now. I have been using small tube jigs for them. Most of the pompano that we have been catching have been in the deeper passes of Marco and the Ten Thousand Islands. The incoming tide seems to be yielding the most fish.

Trout fishing has been reliable this week. I have been catching most of my larger trout where one might expect to catch snook. Large trout like to be in two to four feet of water on a flat where there is an easy escape route to deeper water. The best flats will have some kind of grass patches on it. Quarter ounce jigs with grub tails on them have been my lure of choice. They like a shrimp or rootbeer color.

There was a strong run of mackerel and a spattering of large tarpon before the cold air and wind. The tarpon are ready to make their way into the islands to get fat for the spawn. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a mild March. We are overdue for one. There is never a wasted day on the water and I hope to see you out there soon.

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Light Tackle Spinfishing, live bait, artificial and flyfishing. I do it all. Fish for snook, redfish, trout and tarpon in the Marco Island, ten thousand islands and Everglades.

Contact Info:

Nightflight Fishing Charters
2130 Snook Drive
Naples, FL 34102
Phone: 239-732-6550
Alt. Phone: 239-775-5828
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