Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
Hello everyone! The great summer time fishing continues to be spectacular in the Florida Keys backcountry. On recent ½-day trips we found Redfish from really close to home all the way to the mainland. Sight fishing the local banks, island and mainland shorelines on the bay boat with the trolling motor gave us plenty of shots at redfish, snook and many more. Captain Lain Goodwin in Key Largo reports a great bite of snook, redfish and big trout while working the shorelines with live baits and scented soft plastics. The redfish action in the Everglades National Park has been really good lately and it will continue to be for the time being. Mostly every shallow shoreline, grass flat and moat has redfish lurking on it. Most shallow water anglers are reporting great numbers of snook and tarpon while stalking the shallow areas. Look for the action around Flamingo to be on fire as well with snook, redfish, trout and tarpon. Fish the runoffs, moats and channel edges casting Berkley Gulp! New Penny Shrimp on a ¼-ounce jig and you will have plenty of action but live baits will be best. Anglers fishing the shallow areas have been very successful casting gold spoons and jerk baits rigged weedless. If you venture out towards the Cape Sable area expect to find a great bite as well. Fish the shorelines casting scented soft plastics or use live bait such as pinfish or pilchards.
The wrecks in Gulf waters are a good place to be right now. Cobia, permit, goliath grouper and big sharks to name a few can all be there for an action packed day of fishing. Bucktail jigs, crabs and a live well full of pinfish are all you need. You can use the jacks and ladyfish for bait on the heavier tackle for the sharks and groupers. If a big trout is what you are after look no further than the park boundaries from Sandy Key towards Sprigger Bank. Drifting while bouncing white pompano jigs will get you hooked up with that nice trout or snapper plus many other rod benders.
Local tarpon can be seen rolling around local bridges and adjacent channels. A live well full of pilchards for some live chumming or a dead mullet or ladyfish on the bottom are your best chances for a hook up during the daylight hours. Drifting a medium size crab at nighttime on the outgoing tide is still your best bet for a guaranty hook up. Anglers stalking the deeper edges of banks and flats looking for permit are also getting shots at some tarpon. Look for the bonefishing to be more active in the early and later parts of the day when the water temperatures are the lowest. Both Oceanside and bayside flats have been providing shots at tailing fish on the lower tide stages and pushing or mudding fish on the higher stages of the tides. So get out on the water and take advantage of the great fishing going on right now in the Florida Keys backcountry.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! The dolphin fishing is nothing short of incredible these past couple days, as more, larger dolphin have been caught than we have seen the entire year! Lots of really nice fish with several over 40 pounds! It has definitely been slammer time here in the upper keys. There are lots of fish to go along with them, ranging from shakers to gaffers, but pretty much all you want. The birds and debris have been doing their jobs giving away the fish, as the run n’ gun method has been working the best. The depths have been mostly from 750 to 1100 feet of water, but live bait has been a real advantage, as the super moon has allowed them to eat all night. Look for this to get a little easier as we move toward the weekend, and the moon is going to be out less during the night time hours. The swordfish report has been a little slow the past few days, with only a couple caught that I have heard of, mostly smaller fish. This probably won’t get much better as we get away from the moon.
The humps have been good, with good numbers of smaller blackfin tuna on them, with a handful of nicer fish. Swimming below these guys are plenty of sharks, so if you can manage to get enough bait to chum the larger fish up, then you can plan on losing a few to these predators. Same goes for the jacks, as the sharks aren’t being very lenient these days. There have been a few blue marlin around these local humps as well as around the outside schools of blackfin tuna and skipjack tuna this week, so be prepared if opportunity presents itself. A little closer in the deep dropping has been pretty much impossible as the current has been rushing around 4 knots, so this makes it very hard to hold bottom. Look for this to weaken a bit as we move away from the moon as well.
On the wrecks, the same story is still going on. The mutton snappers are still cooperating pretty well, with all of the usual critters making an appearance from time to time. There are plenty of bonito and jacks, more than enough to keep the rod bent. The reef is still going strong with the current being so good. The light winds and strong current have made anchoring with the chum right behind the boat perfect, so the yellowtail have been happy. The mangrove snapper are in full spawn right now as well, so you will get a great variety while being on the hook.
Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to give me a call at 305-803-1321 or contact me through my website at www.catchalottafish.com. You can also stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. If you are new to the sport and have checked out the magazine and forum, you can also check out www.Islamoradafishingsource.com for some in depth information on what charter boats we have in our area, and what kind of fishing we all do. It is becoming a great resource and directory for people looking to fish in our area! I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!
The gray or mangrove snapper continue to attract the attention of most anglers this week. The bite is going on along many different locations through out the reef. The best bite has been in about 55 feet of water. The size of the fish range from 2 to 5 pounds. Live pinfish are by far the best bait.
The tarpon have moved to the back of the Key West Harbor, most fish are in the medium to large size averaging 100 pounds. Also, the flats guides are seeing them in the flats in good numbers.
Offshore, the mahi-mahi bite continues to be a bit spotty with lots of peanut dolphin.