Report for Naples, Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands
Capt. Matt Hoover
March 1, 2000
Marco Island - Saltwater Fishing Report
This past week was just what the doctor ordered. There was plenty of sunshine and the water temperature perked up quite nicely. The fish get real happy during a warming trend. Plenty of bait started showing up and we were able to get down to business. This is the time of year when you can catch one of everything. My friend Bill calls it zoo fishing. He is not that far from the truth. Most of what you catch is determined by the method or bait that you use.
The snook are starting to come out of the woodwork. Most of them are small to average size and are being caught with shiners. There have been a few fish that were quite large. I had clients release two fish over thirty inches this week. Flyfisher Greg Fay threw a fly to perhaps the largest snook that I have ever seen. The cast was perfect but the fish would have nothing to do with it. It shot by my boat like a Polaris missile. I can’t even guess how big the fish was. I just know huge when I see it. We took smaller snook on the fly this week as well.
Some redfish made their presence known this week. We caught several on shiners. Client Bob Ager caught one redfish that measured thirty inches this week on a fly. He caught another redfish that went twenty-four inches too.
Pompano are a no brainer in the major passes around Marco Island. I have been doing well with quarter ounce tube jigs on the incoming tide. There has been plenty of keeper trout to catch on the flats and in the deeper runs. Just use your favorite jig and you should catch your fair share.
There is lots of sheepshead to be caught too. Captain Stacy Mullendore did very well with them early on in the week. He also caught half a dozen black drum too. We almost always get trout as a bonus when we are catching sheepshead. If you throw in a few mangrove snapper, you can take home a fair mixed bag.
Get the big guns ready. Tarpon are on their way. I have seen a few around and the boys are stitching them down south. If the weather stays mellow, they will be showing up in significant numbers real soon. It will just be a matter of how you want to hook up with one. I will write about the various methods in a later report.
Aside from any freak weather, the fishing should get out of control. Bait will poor in by the barrel and the fish will go bonkers. We will be stuck with making that strenuous decision of what to fish for. Get excited and I will see you on the water.
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