Home Ten Thousand Islands General Fishing & The Outdoors

New to Marco Island kayak fishing

Hello all,

I live on the east coast of FL, but my family got together to buy a house out on Marco Island, right off winterberry drive. My main fishing experience has been freshwater fishing here in Ft. Lauderdale, and I have fished a lot off of my kayak here as well in lakes and such.

Any advice for someone new to the salt water game especially for Marco? Especially for what artificial baits to use? I know just using pilchards or shrimp will buy me a bite, but in terms of artificials from my research so far, many people recommend various DOA shrimps and CAL baits, terror eyes, (what colors??) as well as Mirrolures for Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, and Trout. These are the fish I aim to catch.

Now for the kayak, any spots you guys recommend to launch from? I've seen a lot of people recommend tiger tail beach for fishing, but is it good for the kayak as well?

Where would I launch from to fish the flats? Definitely excited for this specifically

Also, would you all recommend an anchor or a stake out pole if I want to anchor for the fishing I am doing?

Sorry for the loads of questions, but just trying to learn from you all who are very experienced with it before I go out for my first trip to fish. Looking forward to learning as much as I can from this forum!

Replies

  • dtobiasdtobias Posts: 733 Officer
    First off, I would recommend getting a local chart and familiarize yourself with the areas you want to target. I would then check in with a couple of your local tackle shops, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to share some info with you, esp. kayak launch sites and the like. As far as the plastic baits, I like usually go with a glow/white color or something more natural in the brown/greenish color spectrum. That being said, trout love anything chartreuse. There is no hard and fast rule. For hard baits, a zara spook in white for topwater is good as well as a mirrodine in a natural greenback color scheme which works a slightly deeper part of the water column. You definitely want to have some sort of anchor or stakeout pin....I would lean toward the pin since most of the water you'll be fishing will be on the shallow side. Good luck and have fun out there. Welcome to the forum and let us know how you make out.
  • MegalopsAtlanticusMegalopsAtlanticus Port of the Islands, FLPosts: 91 Greenhorn
    If the house is right off Winterberry, you have plenty of very good kayak fishing options. Really no need for a guide, since you likely won't be venturing all that far from the Island (nor will you need to, really).

    Winterberry puts you right in Roberts Bay, and easy access to Caxambas Pass. Roberts and Barfield Bays are LOADED with Ladyfish right now, so finding good big baits will be as easy as casting out small white Pompano Jigs, or slender Crankbaits, or any smallish swimbaits worked quickly through the bay centers (or the island and flat in the center of Roberts Bay).

    Caxambas Pass (and the accompanying Caxambas Park- replete with bait shop and boat ramp) holds a lot of fish right now. Everything from slot Snook to really decent Snapper to gigantic Goliaths and suprisingly big Gag Grouper. A buddy of mine had a 23" Gag swallowed up by a 250-300lb Goliath last week right from the docks at Caxambas Park. Insanity really, since the water is about 6-10ft deep there.

    That beast came out of nowhere and gobbled up the Gag as soon as it was brought to the surface.

    Excellent flats options right across (south side) of Caxambas Pass as well. Can't miss 'em, just look for the exposed bars and standing dead timber at lower tides, and fish anywhere within 200yds of 'em.

    If you are on a canal off Winterberry, you are best served by simply launching the kayak in the backyard and procuring your baits right Roberts Bay. If you want to be lazy for ladyfish, you could just slow-troll a Yozuri Pins Minnow or similar crankbait and likely catch all the Ladyfish and Snapper you wish. I did that two weeks ago, and never left the Bay.

    Night fishing from the canal seawall (with Ladyfish chunks) will get you some Snook and probably quite a few Nurse and Blacktip Sharks.

    Shark fishing has been bonkers on Marco for a solid month now, even with the sub-par Tarpon run this Spring. There are still a few Tarpon around, but nothing like the numbers I am used to for a typical summer. Isle of Capri and Capri Pass are your best bet if you want a shot at some, but the rental boat traffic there on weekends is brutal for a guy in a kayak.

    Good luck and have fun. Once you get a feel for the local waters on the south side of Marco, you can start venturing down to **** Key Pass for Pomano and Snook- or launch at Collier-Seminole State Park and paddle the Blackwater to its mouth. Always some willing Redfish and Black Drum around the bars and islands at the mouth of the Blackwater.

    My advice? Stay close to home for awhile, you will catch plenty of fish. Take the 10,000 Islands in small chunks and learn the nearby waters in the kayak before planning any grand paddling adventures. Much of the best fishing could be right in your backyard.
    "Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right"
  • Mr. BattleArmorMr. BattleArmor Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    dtobias wrote: »
    First off, I would recommend getting a local chart and familiarize yourself with the areas you want to target. I would then check in with a couple of your local tackle shops, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to share some info with you, esp. kayak launch sites and the like. As far as the plastic baits, I like usually go with a glow/white color or something more natural in the brown/greenish color spectrum. That being said, trout love anything chartreuse. There is no hard and fast rule. For hard baits, a zara spook in white for topwater is good as well as a mirrodine in a natural greenback color scheme which works a slightly deeper part of the water column. You definitely want to have some sort of anchor or stakeout pin....I would lean toward the pin since most of the water you'll be fishing will be on the shallow side. Good luck and have fun out there. Welcome to the forum and let us know how you make out.

    Cool, your advice follows in line with what I have heard in regards to the colors... thanks! I am going to be making a trip there specifically to fish next weekend.

    If the house is right off Winterberry, you have plenty of very good kayak fishing options. Really no need for a guide, since you likely won't be venturing all that far from the Island (nor will you need to, really).

    Winterberry puts you right in Roberts Bay, and easy access to Caxambas Pass. Roberts and Barfield Bays are LOADED with Ladyfish right now, so finding good big baits will be as easy as casting out small white Pompano Jigs, or slender Crankbaits, or any smallish swimbaits worked quickly through the bay centers (or the island and flat in the center of Roberts Bay).

    Caxambas Pass (and the accompanying Caxambas Park- replete with bait shop and boat ramp) holds a lot of fish right now. Everything from slot Snook to really decent Snapper to gigantic Goliaths and suprisingly big Gag Grouper. A buddy of mine had a 23" Gag swallowed up by a 250-300lb Goliath last week right from the docks at Caxambas Park. Insanity really, since the water is about 6-10ft deep there.

    That beast came out of nowhere and gobbled up the Gag as soon as it was brought to the surface.

    Excellent flats options right across (south side) of Caxambas Pass as well. Can't miss 'em, just look for the exposed bars and standing dead timber at lower tides, and fish anywhere within 200yds of 'em.

    If you are on a canal off Winterberry, you are best served by simply launching the kayak in the backyard and procuring your baits right Roberts Bay. If you want to be lazy for ladyfish, you could just slow-troll a Yozuri Pins Minnow or similar crankbait and likely catch all the Ladyfish and Snapper you wish. I did that two weeks ago, and never left the Bay.

    Night fishing from the canal seawall (with Ladyfish chunks) will get you some Snook and probably quite a few Nurse and Blacktip Sharks.

    Shark fishing has been bonkers on Marco for a solid month now, even with the sub-par Tarpon run this Spring. There are still a few Tarpon around, but nothing like the numbers I am used to for a typical summer. Isle of Capri and Capri Pass are your best bet if you want a shot at some, but the rental boat traffic there on weekends is brutal for a guy in a kayak.

    Good luck and have fun. Once you get a feel for the local waters on the south side of Marco, you can start venturing down to **** Key Pass for Pomano and Snook- or launch at Collier-Seminole State Park and paddle the Blackwater to its mouth. Always some willing Redfish and Black Drum around the bars and islands at the mouth of the Blackwater.

    My advice? Stay close to home for awhile, you will catch plenty of fish. Take the 10,000 Islands in small chunks and learn the nearby waters in the kayak before planning any grand paddling adventures. Much of the best fishing could be right in your backyard.

    Yup, we are right on a canal. And I have seen a lot of people fishing out in Caxambas Park on that dock, I'll go check it out too. I probably will do what you said and just launch in the backyard, maybe then go out and check Roberts Bay. Are there really only Ladyfish and Snapper out on that bay? Or can trout and reds be found there too?

    Thanks so much for the advice!
  • BottomDwellerBottomDweller Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    Nice Job, MegalopsAtlanticus! Great info to get someone going in the right direction. You are a good person. :thumbsup
    If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. - Doug Larson
  • MegalopsAtlanticusMegalopsAtlanticus Port of the Islands, FLPosts: 91 Greenhorn
    Are there really only Ladyfish and Snapper out on that bay? Or can trout and reds be found there too?

    I am sure you can scrounge up a Redfish or three around that island in Roberts Bay, especially at higher tides. Not really sure about the Trout to be honest, I am not positive how much grass is in that area. But here in the 10,000 Islands, trout tend to be pretty much EVERYWHERE, so finding some is usually pretty easy.

    Best bet for more reliable Trout action would be the wider portions of Caxambas Pass, just out from the park and boat ramp. Depths (by local standards) are pretty deep so you can fish the shallower grass flats early in the AM and then shift over to the 10-12ft areas midday and likely find some willing fish. As mentioned, a Top Spot chart or the equivilant will help you identify grassy areas and approx. depths. Being in a kayak likely means you don't have any electronics to let you know how much water is beneath you.

    The 10,000 Islands are a lot trickier than the Keys, etc. due to less-than-clear water. Often times it can be tough to know if you are floating over 3ft of water or 23ft... But its still one heck of a place to do some fishing.

    If there is one thing I have learned in my 16 years of fishing the 10k several days a week, its that most people visiting really overthink it. Don't underestimate how many good fish are in the residential areas :) I lived in Everglades City for many years, and it always amazed me how many people would insist on running all the way south to the Shark River or Lostmans in search of Snook. Only to come home empty-handed while locals were hammering big brutes right at the boat ramps on the Barron River in town, haha.
    "Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right"
  • Lead slingerLead slinger Posts: 449 Officer
    I am sure you can scrounge up a Redfish or three around that island in Roberts Bay, especially at higher tides. Not really sure about the Trout to be honest, I am not positive how much grass is in that area. But here in the 10,000 Islands, trout tend to be pretty much EVERYWHERE, so finding some is usually pretty easy.

    Best bet for more reliable Trout action would be the wider portions of Caxambas Pass, just out from the park and boat ramp. Depths (by local standards) are pretty deep so you can fish the shallower grass flats early in the AM and then shift over to the 10-12ft areas midday and likely find some willing fish. As mentioned, a Top Spot chart or the equivilant will help you identify grassy areas and approx. depths. Being in a kayak likely means you don't have any electronics to let you know how much water is beneath you.

    The 10,000 Islands are a lot trickier than the Keys, etc. due to less-than-clear water. Often times it can be tough to know if you are floating over 3ft of water or 23ft... But its still one heck of a place to do some fishing.

    If there is one thing I have learned in my 16 years of fishing the 10k several days a week, its that most people visiting really overthink it. Don't underestimate how many good fish are in the residential areas :) I lived in Everglades City for many years, and it always amazed me how many people would insist on running all the way south to the Shark River or Lostmans in search of Snook. Only to come home empty-handed while locals were hammering big brutes right at the boat ramps on the Barron River in town, haha.


    This! DL the navionics app and it'll help you figure out where you are and mark spots.
  • MegalopsAtlanticusMegalopsAtlanticus Port of the Islands, FLPosts: 91 Greenhorn
    Nice Job, MegalopsAtlanticus! Great info to get someone going in the right direction. You are a good person. :thumbsup

    Well jeesh, thanks BD! While it's suicide (and downright silly) to spot-burn favorite honey-holes on a public forum, I think it's never a bad thing to give newcomers to such an awesome area a little boost and head-start to make sure they get into some fish while they are in the area. Especially when confined to shore fishing or a paddle craft, you know?

    That said, I will be spending my weekend in creeks and bays that don't even have names and will surely be a few miles from the nearest neighboring fishing boat, haha. Marco Island holds some great fish, and is soooooo kayak friendly. Seems to me that most residents have sweet boats and never spend any time fishing their own backyards. Funny how that happens, huh?
    "Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right"
  • Mr. BattleArmorMr. BattleArmor Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    I am sure you can scrounge up a Redfish or three around that island in Roberts Bay, especially at higher tides. Not really sure about the Trout to be honest, I am not positive how much grass is in that area. But here in the 10,000 Islands, trout tend to be pretty much EVERYWHERE, so finding some is usually pretty easy.

    Best bet for more reliable Trout action would be the wider portions of Caxambas Pass, just out from the park and boat ramp. Depths (by local standards) are pretty deep so you can fish the shallower grass flats early in the AM and then shift over to the 10-12ft areas midday and likely find some willing fish. As mentioned, a Top Spot chart or the equivilant will help you identify grassy areas and approx. depths. Being in a kayak likely means you don't have any electronics to let you know how much water is beneath you.

    The 10,000 Islands are a lot trickier than the Keys, etc. due to less-than-clear water. Often times it can be tough to know if you are floating over 3ft of water or 23ft... But its still one heck of a place to do some fishing.

    If there is one thing I have learned in my 16 years of fishing the 10k several days a week, its that most people visiting really overthink it. Don't underestimate how many good fish are in the residential areas :) I lived in Everglades City for many years, and it always amazed me how many people would insist on running all the way south to the Shark River or Lostmans in search of Snook. Only to come home empty-handed while locals were hammering big brutes right at the boat ramps on the Barron River in town, haha.

    Nice, yeah I actually picked up a Top Spot a few days ago, so I am just going to take a really good look at that before venturing out. I also will take your advice at sticking close to home for bit, probably will try through the canals on my kayak for my first time out. Thanks again!
  • dtobiasdtobias Posts: 733 Officer
    forgot to mention that Google Earth can be a really great tool to explore some new or unfamiliar areas...good luck out there
  • FLTXhunterFLTXhunter Posts: 516 Officer
    I'll PM you a few good kayak spots. I lived off winterberry for years.
  • Mr. BattleArmorMr. BattleArmor Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    FLTXhunter wrote: »
    I'll PM you a few good kayak spots. I lived off winterberry for years.

    That would be awesome! Thanks!
  • Mr. BattleArmorMr. BattleArmor Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    Hello all,

    So in preparation for this trip, there was one other question I had. Being new to saltwater inshore fishing, one aspect that I am trying to understand is the effect on tide and current on the fishing. From what I have so far, high tide brings more fish up onto the flats to feed, where as low tide has them going down into deeper water, is this correct? How does this effect fishing near the mangroves? And what tide phase have you had success in for this inshore fish, redfish trout and snook?

    Also, for the tide, how does that effect fishing near sea walls?

    In addition, from what I have read for current, it seems that fish tend to be facing into the current, waiting for food to come to them, which would mean it would be beneficial to cast against the current, or cross current, and then let my bait drift would be going with the current? Is this the general philosophy to follow?

    Thanks again for the help
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