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Marco Island, Ft. Myers & Boca Grande

Capt. Scott Hughes
March 31, 2000
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Lots of Wind, Lots of Tarpon!

The wind has been really hammering us this week. March is usually very windy and I guess I was starting to get spoiled. The Ft Myers area wasn’t affected as much as Marco but the tarpon aren’t in the sound yet either, so I was a little disappointed.

Tarpon are still thick south of Marco Island and it will only get better as the weather improves. Even with all the wind we still managed a few good 100-pound tarpon. The technique was the same as last week. Find the fish feeding and drift live sardines through them until they hit. There are still a bunch of hammerheads and blacktip sharks feeding among the tarpon. The backcountry has been a little slow which made things difficult because most of the trips last week were in the backcountry because of the wind. A few bruiser jacks and some smaller snook were all that we could find. Capt. Steve Loyd Jr. did bring in a catch of a couple big snook and some reds on Wednesday. We haven’t been fishing for trout or pompano but I’m sure that if you find a grass flat and cast jigs you’ll find a few keepers. Spanish mackerel are a sure thing from Caxambas Pass south the Everglades City. There are literally acres of fish “footballing” on glass minnows. We caught some of them while tarpon fishing that were over 24”.

I have been directing most of my Ft Myers customers to Marco for Tarpon fishing so I haven’t been spending too much time in the sound. I was able to get one trip in because the wind was blowing to hard in Marco. We ended up with some choice 22-24 inch mackerel, bluefish, grouper, small trout and a flounder. Also, some big jacks crashed our sardines and provided some real fun with 12-pound tackle. I have heard of some tarpon catches offshore of Sanibel but I doubt anyone got out this week. Snook are starting to show up in the usual places on their way to the beach. Most of the fish are very small and unless you just have to catch a snook the jacks are bigger and much more fun. The trout are moving into shallower water and are becoming a little smaller. My theory on trout this time of year is to use big bait for big fish. I like to drift a very large herring or sardine across a grass flat. You won’t usually catch a whole lot of trout but the ones that hit are usually 4-5 pounds.

The outlook for the next few weeks is very good. Be prepared to change plans in case the wind decides to blow. Then you’ll have to move to the backcountry. Take your big gear because you never know when that big silver king is going to show up.

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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