22 Aug Marco Island Fishing: Past, Present & Future
Marco Island located in southwest Florida has always been regarded as a great fishing destination. Located at the north end of the Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island boasts as being the largest barrier island within the Ten Thousand Islands area. Although now overtaken by high-rise condominiums, it was once home to the mysterious Paleo-Indian tribe, the Calusas. Little is known of this tribe, but you can best believe that they made good use of Marco Island and the treasures that surrounded it.
The history surrounding Marco Island can be traced as far back as to 500 A.D., well before the Spanish settlers arrived. Although the name Marco Island was given by the Spanish explorers, it was the Calusa Indian tribe that first called Marco Island home. This tribe was a group of skilled fishermen and artisans that inhabited the island for a time period of possibly a thousand years. Much like us today, the Calusas were drawn to Marco Island for its tropical climate and excellent fishing grounds.
Development of Marco Island was started in the early 1800s where clam digging became a major industry. Shortly thereafter a ferry service was started and the island’s population began to grow. Then came railroads and the first vehicle bridge was erected in 1938. Significant development took place in the 1960s that catapulted Marco Island into the tourist destination that it is known as of today.
Today, Marco Island brings in anglers from all over the world to fish the pristine waters that encompass the landmass. Inshore species of redfish, snook, seatrout, flounder and more can be found swimming in and out of the mazes of mangrove islands, oyster bars and many inlet creeks and bays. Marco Island is also a world-class tarpon fishery when they make their migratory run through the area. The waters that surround the island make it the ideal place for fly fishermen and sight-casting anglers looking for their trophy catch.
With all the fishing pressure and human impact on the environment today, it is important to take necessary steps to ensure that this unique ecosystem is conserved for generations to come. Practicing ethical angling techniques along with proper catch and release methods is a great way to keep the fishery in the area alive and well. Organizations such as the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and Coastal Conservation Association are excellent programs that put an emphasis on conserving and protecting our precious fishery. If everyone does their part, then our ecosystems and fishery will continue to thrive for decades to come.
If you’re looking to experience the beautiful and magical Marco Island area, then contact Capt. Paul Nocifora here at Glades Fly Fishing for your chance to experience the Real Florida and to check a box off on your bucket list!