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Marco and the Ten Thousand Islands are legendary for backcountry fishing. All year round species like Snapper, Seatrout, Tripletail, Black drum and even numerous species of sharks can be caught. Though the rock stars of our shallow flats and mangrove shorelines will always be the powerful and acrobatic Tarpon, the tackle destroying, hard hitting Snook and last but certainly not least, those ultra shallow bronze gladiators, the Redfish. Whether we are working topwater plugs over mirror like condition, cast netting and tossing live baits under mangrove overhangs or stalking spooky, laid up fish on fly. I know we will have a blast tangling with some great fish in a beautiful setting. Lets try to break some gear and make some memories!
Lets talk about the BIG 3....
These ruffians patrol the nearshore Gulf waters all the way back into the freshwater lakes and rivers changing colors dramatically between the transition. Snook eat a wide variety of baits and never disappoint when hooked. They have a knack for running straight into the heaviest cover within a mile in any direction. Our Snook fishery is strong and we catch them from 20" all the way up over 20lbs! No matter what the size, after catching a few of these leaping, running, head shaking, linesiders I guarantee you'll be hooked.
In my opinion Redfish are the perfect backwater gamefish. Available all year long. They will eat in some of the worst conditions we see. From 30' deep holes to 3" shallow flats. Spin or fly. Live baits to big plugs. Redfish ROCK! Hard fighting with the words "give up" completely removed from their vocabulary. These blue-tailed, yellow-eyed, bronze-backed beauties will give you a run for your money (and occasionally leave you penniless). Once you have made a sight cast at an over slot Redfish in less than a foot of water and feel his very real attempts at breaking your rod... you will never be quite the same.
Enough said.... If there was ever a fish that needed to come with an instruction manual its this guy. From leading the fish with your bait or fly to dropping the rod when they jump. This is a very intense angling experience. Large Tarpon have the ability to make you beg for mercy. 100+lb fish are common and demand respect. Tarpon will eat a dead bait off the bottom and slurp a fly off the surface. Laid up fish in the backcountry look more like logs than fish in the muddy waters they love so much. Believe me though... when one jumps on your well placed bait you will think you have just awakened Godzilla! Tackle destroying, high flying and pure prehistoric muscle is what you're up against with an armor plated, triple digit behemoth. When you jump one these bad boys in shallow water you'll be booking your flight for next year before that fish hits the water again!