Naples to Flamingo
Includes Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City and Chokoloskee
Man, raise your hands for this weather! Highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s, Florida I love ya this time of year! Friday, collier county is expecting south east winds 5 to 10-knots, with seas less than two feet. Saturday is similar, with winds from the south southeast at 5 to 10-knots, the change is expected to be Sunday with winds out of the west north west. Typical with the westerly winds are stubborn tides and possibly stubborn fish. I always like it when the wind and tides move together so Friday and Saturday are more of my style. Tide reports for the Marco River Friday are low 0.7ft 3:15am, high 2.6ft 9:46am, low 0.5ft 3:32pm and high 2.9ft 10:03pm. Don’t forget to add rougly 50 minutes to the tide for each day later and expect west winds to slow the outgoing tides. A friendly snook told me it’s time to seek warmer calm waters, shallow sunny areas and feeder creeks are a good bet. Reds and trout are loving this chill! Oyster bars are still producing good reds and the deeper troughs with moving water, along side the bars are holding trout. If you know where deeper grass beds are, thats a sure bet for trout. My suggestion is fish are still hungry but slowing that lure down in the water column will provide for more time in the strike zone, and more odds of getting a hit, just mind those pesky sailcats. Gulp! and Zman DieZel MinnowZ paddle tails in white color have been great for getting quality hits with less catfish. “If it ain’t chartreuse, it ain’t no use” on the jig heads. 1/8-ounce is great for higher speed feisty reds and snook in shallower water. 1/4-ounce for the deeper water. Fish it slower as the trout and reds are sitting in the holes.
Offshore guys, cobia are staring to show, along with other pelagic action nearshore, out to as far as you prefer. The grouper bite is holding consistently on the 80 to 100-foot depth range. Large, live pinfish are stellar baits for grouper right now, but whole squid will do. On a side note, a favorite indulgence of mine this time of year to jump start that cold body, and stay moving all day, brew a pot of tea of your choice, sweeten with local honey and soften with half and half or whole milk. It makes for a great boost and keeps the colds and sniffles at a healthy distance! Stay warm and catch them up ladies and gentlemen!
Captain Matt Sturdivent