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Fishing on Marco's Island and The Everglades

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On: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 9:23AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Marco Island has been described as Magical, Mystical, and Alluring. The attraction is tropical sun-washed white beaches and a casual easy paced lifestyle. Sunshine, frolicking dolphins, and all of the water and sun sports that go with the beaches are available for your pleasure. Known to have a variety of great game fish, huge fish, fighting fish, and great eating fish, Marco Island is said to be one of the best places for a large variety of world-class fishing year round.

Marco Island is the northernmost of The 10,000 Islands and is surrounded by protected natural preserves, miles of pristine mangrove-covered islands, bays, creeks, and the Gulf of Mexico. To the north is the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and I Briggs Memorial Nature Center. To the south lies The 10,000 Islands with over 70 coastal miles of fly fishing heaven, inhabited only by the tiny fishing villages of Goodland, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, and Flamingo. Included in the southerlyarea is Collier-Seminole State Park, The 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, Big Cypress National Preserve, and the 5000 square mile Everglades National Park.

If you are new to southwest Florida fishing or you're looking for some family fun, then the nearshore or backwater area is a good choice for a fishing spot.Depending on the season you will find snapper, grouper, tarpon, trout, blackdrum, pompano, snook, and tripletail, and when the water warms up you will also find a variety of shark species to add to the mix, including bull shark, hammerhead, and blacktip. You can realize plenty of fish in just a half day trip, whether you decide to fish nearshore or backwater.

For the more experienced angler, you will want to be sure to spend a day in the amazing backwater of Florida’s Everglades National Park where you can use a fly or spinning rod depending on your level of expertise. You’ll find a variety of fish such as snook, redfish, snapper, and the most exciting local gamefish, the tarpon. Tarpon commonly reside in the backwaters or along the beaches and can range in size from 3 to 6 feet, and although they are not known for hitting the bait hard, once they start the run and make the first huge jump out of the water, you will know you are fishing with the big boys now! You could also catch a shark, grouper, jack, or ladyfish—but whatever you end up catching, it will be a great experience fishing in the isolated mangroves and landing that massive snook, tarpon, or shark (the fish are surprisingly enormous considering the skinny waters).

Marco’s is a great place to fish whether you’re a novice or hard core fisherman/woman. Be sure to check to ensure that the fish you’ve caught are legal sized and in season before you keep them and that you have a valid fishing license - you can pick up information at most local marinas. Also many of the local restaurants will actually be happy tocook your fresh catch for you, as long as you have cleaned it first!

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