I was talking with someone the other day and we got to discussing fishing around the Cape Romano are and how it didn't seem to be as good as it was back in the 90's and early 2000's. I'll be honest I haven't fished the area as much as I used to back around 2001 to 2004 or 05 when I had my bay boat stored down in Goodland but I did notice when I fished the area back in October and November of this year that the grass almost seems to be gone in many areas. I used to almost always be able to count on the Cape Romano area to produce some decent size trout on the grass flats but nothing the last couple trips. Anyone know what many have caused the grass to go away?
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Might be with the same scientists that are talking about that global warming causing the record cold temps and problems in Boston.
Hurricane Wilma's landfall was dead-center on Cape Romano, and the shifting substrates and storm surge cleared out most of the long-established vegetation. A lot of the area changed literally overnight. A massive amount of shallow water grass flats got cleared out from Cape Romano to Pavillion Key. Pretty much every major bight had enough surge to uproot even the most mature grasses.
Kingston Key's sandbridge vanished and is now open water passable by boat, sections of Panther Key just plain disappeared, and that previously open cut behind Hog Key was altered enough that (over time) after the hurricane, the re-directed tides quickly closed off the cut. It's nothing but dead mangroves now- as they are no longer even in the water. I was living in Everglades City at the time (on a houseboat, no less) and it was like old nautical charts became obsolete immediately in some places within the 10,000 Islands, haha.
"Local Knowledge" started back at zero for a lot of us, took a few years to figure out what was now deep, and what was now dry land.
Second, and this is important anywhere that "beach renourishment" is being considered, almost none of the sand pumped onto any beach stays where it was put. In every case wind, tides, and currents will all work together to remove it --and that sand has to go somewhere.... We've been fighting (and losing) that battle for years over here on the Miami side... Natural beaches ebb and flow, move and re-occur constantly. Every time anyone tries to "improve" that process - bad stuff happens. Hope y'all have better luck than we've had over the years...