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. 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. 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 good as well with Snook, Redfish, Trout and Tarpon. Fish the runoffs, moats and channel edges casting Berkley Gulp New Penny Shrimp on a 1/4 oz 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 DOA 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 is 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. Buck-tail Jigs, crabs and a live well full of Pinfish is 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 Pompano jigs or DOA 4inch jerk baits 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 night time 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 Bone fishing 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! Another great week here in the Florida Keys, even with the moon being full this past weekend. The Mahi fishing stayed decent through the moon, but did slow a bit. Nothing that we weren’t expecting really, but as the week has progressed so has the fishing. The offshore scene is full of all sorts of critters right now from Mahi, Tuna, and Billfish on the top to Swords, Tiles, Groupers and Snappers on the bottom. The Sword bite this week was slow, but there were a few fish caught. I would have thought coming off the moon would have been a little better, but I did see one fish approaching 300 pounds and a handful of fish under 100 pounds so it could be worse I suppose. The Mahi fishing was sporadic for keeper sized fish with a lot of “shakers” in the mix. Although, those who were persistent found the bounty as they were definitely out there, you just had to be patient. Most everyone ended up the week with more than anyone ever needs, so nothing to complain about I suppose, as you have to appreciate this fishery thriving well enough to make this many juvenile fish. The humps were solid producing nicer Blackfins this week, especially on the live chum. Not monsters, but some decent fish up to 15 pounds. They are definitely getting bigger, so luckily the bait has been pretty good and we are going to do a little more live chumming the end of the week. Same song and dance in these areas too, as the AJ’s, Almaco Jacks, and Sharks are pretty solid on all of the humps. Pick your poison on how you want to catch these guys as all methods seem to be working.
The deep dropping this week has been a bit challenging in depths over 650’ as the current has been ripping to the East, but inside of this depth the Tiles and Snowy Grouper fishing has been pretty good. Some really nice Blueline Tiles up to 12 pounds, and a few Snowy Groupers in the mid 20’s! The wreck fishing since the moon has passed is picking up, but still no real current inside of 300’. If we could get some current inside I really think it would be game on. These fish have been doing a lot of moving around, and seem to really be holding nicely now on the structure. Not as much in the live bottom, but the structure that is in the live bottom in a lot of our areas are loaded up and ready for the switch to get flicked on if you catch my drift. I just hope it happens before this moon gets weak, but we will have to wait and see. Anchoring in these areas has been the best, but drifting will work plenty good enough to get the dinner plates full. Just inside on the reef, the Yellowtail Snappers are chewing even in the clean water and slow current. A lot of big Bull Sharks out there, so be prepared for that, as it has made doubling up with the Groupers and Big Mangrove Snappers a little challenging. It is doable, but it is tough to donate these quality fish to the tax man to only get a few. The inside patches continue to load up nicely with Mangs and Yellowtails, and the sharks seem to be much less aggressive, so this is definitely an option. Plenty of fun to be had wherever you decide to roam! It has been a great summer, so let’s keep it rollin’! Well, that is it for this week! Stop by and say hello! Enjoyed meeting a few of you this week, as I always enjoy the conversation!
Hey Everyone, hopefully you made it out on the water last weekend. The weather was great and the fishing has been great as well. The weather for this weekend looks awesome too, but they are calling for some showers, which is normal this time of year. There are still a lot of mahi mahi offshore. The bigger ones seem to be harder to find as we get deeper into summer, but they are still out there. There have also been a few billfish out there and we are still close to the full moon, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some caught this weekend. The deeper wrecks are holding a lot of Amberjacks and Bonitas, but if you can get through them, there are mutton snappers, grouper and african pompano.
The backcountry report is similar to last week. We did have some heavy cloud coverage this week and there may be some this weekend as well, so that can make sight casting more difficult. We found some small tarpon in the bait schools this week, both on the atlantic side and in the backcountry. The small tarpon are a lot of fun in lighter gear and they usually like to eat. They also tend to hang around for the whole summer so if you find the bait schools, look closely to see if the tarpon are near by. There have also been a good amount of permit around in the backcountry. Targeting them with light leaders and small blue crabs can usually get them to bite.
Capt. Jamie Connell