Smokehouse Bay is the newest addition to our Western Florida Anchorage Directory. This body of water is all but landlocked amidst the northern reaches of Marco Island, and, consequently, the bay is very well sheltered.
We queried our “man on the scene” in Marco Island, Captain Herman Diebler, about depths on the Smokehouse Bay approach channel. having heard that the waters could be a bit thin along this passage at MLW. Herman replied:
I read your listing of Smokehouse Bay. And I was happy to see it. This is the best anchorage on the west coast of Florida. The chart you have bears no resemblance to reality. I don’t know if there is a more recent one, I am going to have to look around, if you are interested. There are all new markers which were put in when the marina was built. The channel is very well marked. Coming in from the Marco River it typically 8+ feet. The only shallow spot is by the first turn to starboard which is 5+ or so feet at dead low tide. The water is the deepest hugging the pilings and seawall. After that spot there is 8+ feet by following the markers into Smokehouse Bay. Smokehouse Bay is deep 10+ feet. There is only one shallow spot which is behind the first green marker on the way into the bay. Even with that there is deep water between the marker and the seawall. The problem is just that relatively small spot of about 4+ feet. The bottom is mud, so make sure your anchor is caught.
I e-mailed Captain Herman back, and asked if the “small spot of 4+ foot water” was part of the entrance channel, and, if so, where it would be encountered. As you will see, this one shallow spot is NOT part of the entry cut, and is easily avoided!
The area in question is not in a channel but rather a small area in the west end of the anchorage and can be easily avoided.