Big fi sh, tough fi ghting fi sh and great edible fi sh.... Marco Island has it all and is quite possibly one of THE best places to fi nd varied fi shing all year round. Being the northern-most of the 10,000 Islands, surrounded by natural preserves and bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Marco is ideally situated to offer many different kinds of world class fi shing. It may be hotter in the summer, but there are fewer people around and the fi shing is at its best.Although we do have many species of fi sh that stay around all year like snapper, snook and redfi sh, the warmer summer months also bring some different varieties and attracts others nearer to shore. If you want to fi sh from the land it can be productive from Sand Dollar Spit and the Lagoon at Tigertail Beach and the rocks on South Beach or try your hand in the canal at the back of your rental home. If, on the other hand, you have access to a boat or would like to fi sh with one of our great charter captains there are three alternatives...BackwatersThe great advantage to backwater fi shing is it is close to the dock and in many cases you can be fi shing within ten minutes of setting out. The waters are calm and whatever the wind direction, a sheltered mangrove island is never far away - after all there are 10,000 of them out there! The other plus is that just because you are in rela-tively shallow water, the fi sh do not have to be small - you'll fi nd sizeable snook, redfi sh and shark that will put a real bend in your rod. Good size mangrove snapper and trout should also still be in evidence, with always the cha nce of a tarpon. Another big plus is the scenery back in the 10,000 islands is tremendous. Nearshore and PassesThere are a number of artifi cial reefs up to fi ve miles offshore of Marco, that will provide a different fi shing experience from backwater. It does take slightly longer to get to the nearshore reefs but you will defi nitely get plenty of fi shing in a half day charter. Not only will there be mangrove snapper but also regular grouper, giant goliath grouper and shark. It is quite different bringing in a fi sh from 20 to 25ft below compared to in the mangroves! OffshoreIf you have teenage kids then a day offshore fi shing will undoubtedly make some lasting memories. The fi shing is defi nitely tougher and the fi sh are bigger, with goliath grouper up to 100lbs common, and up to 500lbs a distinct possibility. Permit, barracuda, larger sharks, snapper, grouper and big amberjack in water up to 60ft deep will challenge even the biggest macho man in your party.
Summer 2011 www.marcoreview.com Page 81ON THE WATER