Report for Naples, Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands
Capt. Matt Hoover
March 8, 2000
Marco Island - Saltwater Fishing Report
The weather has been superb this past week. The bait is showing up by the bushel. Fishing is improving with every day. We are catching an unprecedented mixed bag. Yet I am still on the edge of my seat. It’s like all the clowns and front runner shows have done their bit and we are waiting for the main attraction to hit center ring.
Any day the fishing is going to go ballistic. Don’t get me wrong, we have been catching a few redfish and several great catches of snook have been reported. It just hasn’t gotten to that stage where everybody is having a career day and that time is any day now. There have been close encounters with large tarpon in the past week. Captain Al Keller reported that he had fly fishermen jump a few big ones this week. But the tarpon migration hasn’t really made the scene yet. The snook haven’t totally come out of the woodwork yet either. That’s what I am waiting for. It is the day when you have the tough decision of what premier gamefish you want to pursue.
We are catching plenty of bait. It is paying off too. Most of the captains are catching a half dozen snook or more in an outing. Some of them have been keeper size. My stepson Atom is home and we were able to catch a few snook. Atom was the star. He caught a twenty seven-inch snook and a twenty seven-inch redfish as well. I got my butt kicked by another large red to boot. There were some first class jacks involved in our day as well.
There seems to be a small influx of redfish happening. I have been getting reports that people are catching redfish on almost every outing. Most of them have been in the twenty to thirty inch range. I was beginning to wonder what they looked like. Most of the redfish that I have been catching have been gobbling shiners. They are taking bait like they haven’t eaten in months. There is a lot of truth to that.
Folks are still catching mackerel, trout and pompano. They seem to be the main target for now. They are plentiful and they are not hard to catch. We have been using quarter ounce jigs for all of those species. The trout and mackerel have been over the grass flats by Romano and in front of the islands. The pompano have been in the passes around Marco and in the islands as well.
This is a magic period. If you have the chance to spend your days on the water, you can feel the fishing atmosphere change. The evidence is all around us. I know that we are going to have a banner spring season. Get all of your guns ready because there will be different gangs assaulting you out there. You wouldn’t show up on the golf course with just one club. You need lots of rods. You can tell your significant other that Capt. Matt told you that. Then I hope to see you on the water trying out every one of them.
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