Marco Island/10,000 Islands Spring Break- logistical info

I will be taking my 3rd trip to Marco Island - first week of April 2018. I live in South Carolina.
This will be the first trip I bring my boat- a Pathfinder 15T flats boat with a 25hp outboard.
I will be leaving it at Calusa Island Marina on trailer. Is this a good choice? I may actually launch at Caxambus park some of the time.
I have always fished off of beach at Marco- so my plan is to use my boat to fish around the jetties etc. Also plan to venture into the 10,000 islands.
I wanted to ask for input on what to bring tackle wise? Additionally, I have a bait well- what would you suggest for live bait?
Any other tips/precautionary info that can be provided - I would appreciate.
This will be a new area to me - and I am mostly concerned about bringing adequate/appropriate tackle and being safe in a small boat in new waters.
Thanks
jpscott1

Replies

  • MangroovinMangroovin Naples, FLPosts: 116 Deckhand

    I haven't been out to Caxambas since Irma hit but there is still a lot of debris in the water between Goodland and Cax pass Im told. Ive seen it around Goodland where I usually launch from the county run ramp just past Calusa and down the street from Stans.

    Been south of Goodland and you do need to watch out as you get into the shallower areas for downed branches and trees. Seeing it at low tide is helpful. By April most fish should be back toward the outside. Snook should be on the beaches and outer bays.

    We're warm, touching 90 this week possibly so it may happen sooner than usual. Should be some pilchards on the beach in April if the winds stay out of the east and keep the Gulf calm. If you can get em, that's the bait of choice. Pilchards are like crack for fish around here. If not probably the usual Gulp shrimp and other artificials will get it done. As long as the winds stay down you should be good. April is a great month in this area.

    Good luck!

  • Caxambas KidCaxambas Kid Posts: 176 Deckhand

    I launch from Caxambas Pass every other week (for the most part). A few tips/hints: 20 pound power pro, 30lb leader. The beaches are great with an east wind. Try the cuts/passes south of Caxambas for pretty much anything that swims. Topwaters, jerkbaits, Gulp. I don't fish shiners that much as I don't like to spend fishing time looking/chumming them. If they show me themselves, the net comes out. Otherwise, it's artificials. Cut ladyfish is a great bait past 10am with moving water. Snook, redfish, small sharks and a the obligatory catfish will be available. Was out 4+ times after Irma. A few trees are still maybe hazardous but low water will expose them. Channels near mangroves are your friend. Anchor, fish 15+minutes. No fish, move. April and Oct are my favorite time of year at The Pass (basically south). Points, cuts, beach, rivers (Morgan), etc. Watch the sandbar out of Caxambas at dead low tide. You might want to go around to Marco Point to get out. With any luck/skill, you will get your line stretched! Good luck, be safe!

    Polar 1900 Yamaha 115
  • jpscott1jpscott1 Posts: 26 Greenhorn

    This is great info. I appreciate it.

  • jpscott1jpscott1 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    How is the boat ride from Calusa Island to Caxambas Pass?  
    Would it be easier to trailer boat and launch at Caxambas Park as opposed to boating from Calusa to Caxambas pass.
    My boat can run very shallow but top speed is 20 mph.  Looking at maps- it does not appear to be a straight shot from Calusa to Caxambas pass- making me think I just just launch at Caxambas Park.  Thoughts?
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 1,059 Officer
    I fish out of calusa pretty much 3 times a month. Live shrimp can be bought on premisis and they have washing stations for your boat when the day is done.
    Most of the objects in the water are visible on both sides of the tide but not all. I actually hit something 200 yards off shore last weekend.
    Just keep your eyes open and be careful. I think everyone else pretty much covered it. I dont fish around Marco much...I prefer Goodland south, i always felt the fish were less pressured further south and for sure less boat traffic,

    Good luck
    Jason :USA
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 1,059 Officer
    jpscott1 said:
    How is the boat ride from Calusa Island to Caxambas Pass?  
    Would it be easier to trailer boat and launch at Caxambas Park as opposed to boating from Calusa to Caxambas pass.
    My boat can run very shallow but top speed is 20 mph.  Looking at maps- it does not appear to be a straight shot from Calusa to Caxambas pass- making me think I just just launch at Caxambas Park.  Thoughts?
    If you come straight out of calusa there is a cut that will take you straight to the pass that leads too caxambas. There is alot of fishable water between the 2 so try it 1 day..
    Jason :USA
  • jpscott1jpscott1 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    For those of you that launch at Caxambus Boat park/ramp- do they sell live shrimp or any other live baits?

  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 1,109 Officer
    Yes
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,403 Admiral
    Keep your boat at Calusa and forget about Caxambas.
    You have a small shallow water rig..stay shallow.
    I fish a 14 Grizzly with a 25 and I'm all about small Bays , Creeks and some outside Points and bays. Goodland to Marco is kinda Big Water.
    23 ' Pathfinders blowing by at 50 mph...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • jpscott1jpscott1 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Turner- thanks for the info.  Thought I would try both - hitting Caxambus on a less crowded week day if the weather allowed.   Lots of good shallow water fishing opportunities around Calusa to take advantage of.  
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,403 Admiral
    Why even think about Caxambus...**** Key Pass is deeper and wider  if that's what your looking for. Go around **** key to the mouth of Sugar Bay on a good tide and it's 13 to 15 ft' deep with a lot less boat traffic. 
    Tie off to the Mangrove bank on a tree and put out tons of Chum. If you pick your spot right you can even get a little shade from the trees.
    You'll do real good with all kinds of stuff.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,403 Admiral
    That was Ra'''coo'n Key pass ..stupid censor
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,403 Admiral
    Bring Big Rods/ 30 lb. main .# 50 leader..lot's of hooks and 2 oz. pyramid sinkers.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Golfn1Golfn1 Posts: 41 Greenhorn
    How far south of raccoon key pass is sugar bay ?   I’m interested in trying it next month. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,403 Admiral
    Ah..Right next to it..just around the point.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
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