We were able to take the holiday weekend off, and got the invite from Mom to join her at their great place in Marco Island. We loaded up the family, the dog, boat and way too much other stuff for a 2 day trip Sunday morning. We got to the ramp at 951 at the bright and early hour of 10 am or so and weren't surprised by the nice long line. We were surprised to see an attendant though, and things actually moved along rather quickly. With the boat splashed, we invaded Marco by sea and by land and were greeted with a big smile by Nana. Since it was the middle of the day and hot, I figured a trip to Key Waydan Island was in order. It was packed to the point that it was difficult to find a spot to beach the boat. We were able to slide in, a boat or 2 inside the point and proceeded to have a great time on the beautiful sunny afternoon.

I was hoping to find some bait to gather with the cast net during our venture to Key Waydan, but didn’t see what I was looking for. So we headed back up the Marco River anyhow, and found a nice little area, very close to the house, to wet a line even though we didn’t have any bait. I got lures tied on for the 3 of us that were fishing and we immediately started catching a few. Within a few minutes we all had a snooklet or 2 in the boat along with a few snapper and ladyfish. When the bite tapered off in the small cove we were fishing, we moved along with the trolling motor looking for more action. It slowed down some, but we added a few small ladyfish to the livewell for later, and I caught a nice redfish to add to them, before we headed to the house for a nice cool down in the pool.

After dinner my better half and I ventured out looking for a sunset tarpon bite.

We didn’t go far, just to the Marco Bridge and set up with the ladyfish, and the carcasses from the days catch, along with a few shrimp I picked up. The scenery was absolutely incredible, with a perfectly overcast sky to enjoy the magnificent sunset.

The catfish bite was on with any small bait that hit the bottom. I had a few very strange bites on the ladyfish but no solid hookups before the sun went down and the bugs chased us in.

The plan for Monday morning was to get an early start, which we accomplished with the 3 of us idling out around 7 am to a nice humid morning. We went ahead and made the run south past Goodland to the base of the 10,000 Islands. We looked around briefly for bait to catch again, but the wind was up and there was a good chop with the water all stirred up, so we had no luck and went straight to fishing with the live shrimp and lures we had rigged. The first likely looking spot had good current but very milky green churned up water and we only spent a little time in there without a bite. The next spot was a protected lagoon with birds lined along the shoreline and a little bit clearer water. And sure enough the fish were there.

There were ladyfish and snook boiling on schools of tiny baitfish all over.

The bite was great on mostly the live shrimp with everybody getting to catch a few.

Then my better half gets a nice bite and she masterfully maneuvers a nice big redfish out of the pocket she was fishing. Great fish, and we learned why not to keep the camera in the cooler with this picture.

Although Dawn got the big fish, my boy was showing us how it’s done with one fish after another.

The sun came up hot and we were due back for brunch, so with a bunch of fish and some new memories filed away it was time to return after only a few hours. The ride back was a pleasure as we found a frisky duo of dolphins that played in our wake for quite a while, sending us home with even bigger smiles on our faces.