Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
Hello everyone! Couldn’t ask for better weather last weekend and first part of the week in the Florida Keys backcountry. Really calm conditions made it tuff for some and really good for others, depending what you where targeting. We had some fantastic days of patch reef fishing, probably releasing over 25 big groupers! Also ran in to one of the best hogfish bites of the year with daily limits caught of fish up to 6 pounds, also caught mackerel, snappers, porgies and pompano until our arms couldn’t take it any longer. The warmer calm afternoon conditions spiked up a big tarpon push throughout our area with both the fly guys and bait fisherman reporting multiple catches. Redfish, snook, tarpon, trout and many more are all available through out the Everglades National Park. Mostly every island and their adjacent flats will have some redfish lurking on them. The trick has been to get them to eat; many guides have been reporting plenty of shots and lots of refusals. Look for the potholes, moats and deeper shorelines to be holding some snook as well. Cast jerkbaits and skimmer jigs for the best action. The bays and basins east of Flamingo all the way to Key Largo are providing great action with trout, ladyfish, jacks and a few bluefish. Look for mullet muds or cloudy water, cast scented soft plastics like Berkley Gulp! under a popping cork and let the action begin. Move around if your not getting the bites, you will know pretty quickly when you are on the right mud. Don’t be surprise if your cork goes down and a big tarpon starts jumping out of the water, it’s been happening lately. The deeper channels around Flamingo are holding some tarpon and sharks. Dead bait on the bottom is a great way to hook up with one of this big fish. Redfish, snook and trout can be found in the runoffs on the lower stages of the outgoing tide. Shrimp and pilchards have been getting the job done very well.
The deeper channels from oyster keys to first national bank are starting to hold tarpon and big sharks, live or dead baits on the bottom will get the bites. Trout and many other rod benders are also available in the same area.
The creeks and shorelines from Cape Sable north are holding redfish, snook and tarpon. Shrimp, pinfish, pilchards or artificial will make for great catches. Cobia, permit, tarpon and many more can show up at anytime while fishing your favorite wreck out in the Gulf. Keep an eye on the many trap buoys for a laid up tripletail on your way to and back from your destination especially west of Sandy Key.
Tarpon season is here and many boats are coming back with great success stories. Look for laid up fish on the incoming tides around the many banks bayside of Islamorada. It’s a great time of the year to catch a tarpon on Fly. Make sure that when you are coming or going to the backcountry you don’t get to close to the local banks cause most likely you will be running over the fish especially if you see a skiff poling around the area. Get your cast nets ready and catch some live mullet for some great tarpon fishing around the local bridges and channels from Islamorada south. Dead mullet on the bottom will also get some action. There have also been some big Jacks terrorizing the mullet schools in the same areas and also eating the live mullet while tarpon fishing. The bonefish and permit fishing keeps getting better; look for bonefish to be tailing around Oceanside flats on the lower stages of the tides. Fish will be mudding and pushing wakes on the incoming tides. A live shrimp will not be refuse. Get a small crab ready and work the deeper edges of Oceanside flats and bayside banks for cruising permit, as these fish are looking to fatten up for their spring spawning. The winds are forecasted to come down a bit for the weekend but it seems that we are entering in to a windier springtime pattern soon. So whether it’s a trophy fish you are looking for or just lots of fun fishing action the Florida Keys backcountry is the place to be.
Hey everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! Looks like we got some weather coming in through Saturday, but then should slowly start coming down. The good news is that it is a positive force to get these Sails moving! Hoping to see a few show up this weekend. The offshore report got a little exciting this week as some nice dolphin started to show up. Looked like everyone who ventured out to find them found a nice batch, but I think that will be over until the end of next week with this front coming through. Some decent fish up to 40 pounds have been caught, so it is promising for the spring season ahead of us. The swordfish bite picked up a little offshore as well with one fish I heard of hitting the dock at 240 pounds, and a few smaller ones. There are still some tuna showing up on the hump, but I think we got another couple weeks before this gets really good. A little closer in the sailfish bite still remains on the slow side, but let’s see what happens after this front. It just may surprise us all. The reefs and wrecks remain fairly consistent with kings, a few wahoo, snappers, and such. Keep fishing everyone! It is still great fishing, but sometimes we have to work a little harder to put it all together! Sure makes for a nice box of fish at the end of the day with all the variety. Oh, I almost forgot, the deep drop fishing has been phenomenal. Great catches of tiles and groupers all week, with some nice queen snappers and even a few golden tiles! The weather is going to get really nice again next week, so be patient if you are in a smaller boat, or give me a call and we will get you out on the water!
That about sums it up this week folks! Remember, give me a call at 305-803-1321 and check out my website at www.catchalottafish.com where you too can come out for the day with us and do just what the name say…Catch-a-lot-of-fish!
There has been lots of action everywhere but with the constant changing of the weather conditions, making the right decision on where and when to fish is everything.
Kingfish continue to feed well on the wrecks and reef piles in the Gulf of Mexico; live pilchards are still the bait of choice. Trolling boats are also producing some very nice catches.
On the flats, the permit bite is on fire! Many of my fellow captains have been posting pictures of monster permit they have caught this past week.
Capt. Brandon Cyr has been also getting in to lots of tarpon to the east of Key West.
I been hooking a few tarpon by using live baits in Key West Harbor, action is not red hot but it is certainly picking up.
Winds will begin to blow out of north tomorrow and will probably kill the tarpon bite, but fortunately the sailfish bite will pick up. Usually this time of year we tend to have a northeast breeze, which creates a color change. Many of you know a color change is a great for targeting sails.
Gotta’ love the Florida Keys! We can always target something, regardless of the weather conditions.