Recent inshore fishing reports from the Florida Keys.


Key Largo Patch Reef Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: CaptainHeiko

“I think I need to be in 50-60 feet water to find the bigger yellowtails. I caught a ton of small ones, some keeper snapper and a short grouper among other things.” Forum member CaptainHeiko lured them in with two bags of chum. It seemed the yellowtail were fired up for the frozen glass minnows he presented, while the mangrove snapper preferred fresh cut ballyhoo. He used a 1/16oz snapper jighead attached with a loop knot on a spinning rod. The short grouper that were caught went after a whole ballyhoo that had a 6/O circle hook through its tail. Some small grunts also went after the ballyhoo. He ended up going home with a few mangrove snapper to fry up.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 


Key West Inshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: kayakerinkeywest

The water is still a murky, dusty green, with that sort of rotting plant smell to it coming off the islands. It took a bit, but I was able to locate the big schools of pilchards I saw before the storm. They were not spread out along the flats, but huge schools were in the deep cuts along the channels. Both days only took one throw of my 6′ net, which produced overflowing two buckets worth. I used these for chummers to get things started and freelined them back for lots of rod bending action. The first day was all jacks, and the second was all juvenile tarpon.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 


Reef Fishing Lower Keys

Florida Sportsman member: latitudeajustment

I headed southwest into some sloppy seas on a solo trip, hoping once again for the elusive mahi. There were no takers on the deep troll except for bonito. I headed back in to the reef and it was non-stop action. I was using a variety of cut bait, but once the bull sharks arrived, it was all over I lost a ton of fish and multiple rigs, but just great action every drop kind of day, with some very quality table fare.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 


Fishing Trip in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: Soda Popinski

The water was still dead calm, so rather than waste a moment, we grabbed a box of chum and headed back out around 8:30 for a night raid on the reef. We started drifting in 60′ with the chum bag out and cut pinfish as bait hoping for yellowtails and maybe mangos. We were using 1 1/2oz knocker rigs with 10’of 12 pound flouro. I’m reeling in grunts and my son is missing the bite for whatever reason, so I sabiki up some live bait in the chum slick and throw it out on a freeline with a circle hook and a wire leader. About 20 minutes in, sure enough the reel starts screaming and he’s on. We get the gaff, get him in and get our first king on ice.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 


Big Pine Key Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Viking

Big Pine Key

On a recent trip to Bahia Honda State Park, I was able to find plenty of areas to catch tarpon, bonefish and plenty of other varieties of fish. This video covers how to identify productive areas and the baits used to catch fish.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 
 
 
 


Lower Keys Tarpon Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: kayakerinkeywest

Tarpon Fishing

I had been smacking the tarpon pretty good before this wind started today. Hopefully this last week will be a great start to the tarpon season.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 
 
 
 
 


Key West Backcountry Meat Hunt

Florida Sportsman member: kayakerinkeywest

Key West Backcountry

Had a couple of buddies who needed some eater fish for the weekend. We went out on Friday with Jose to the Gulf side backcountry for some cero’s and snapper.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 
 
 
 


Big Pine Key Mackerel

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Big Pine Key Mackerel

There are some cero mackerel pushing ten+ pounds right now. Unfortunately, there’s also lots of sharks out as well.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Keys Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: kmagnuss

Keys Tarpon

In three nights of fishing we jumped 37 tarpon, 14 were landed. Out of the 37, all but two were over 50 pounds. I would estimate that at least 25 of them were over 80 pounds.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 
 
 
 
 


Big Pine Key Mackerel

Florida Sportsman member: latitudeajustment

Big Pine Key Spanish Mackerel

Mrs. LA and I made a crack of noon start today and headed out back to see what we could find. Thankfully, the macks came to play.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 
 
 
 
 


Lobster in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: latitudeajustment

Lobster

I made a late run yesterday and thankfully scored two for my wife’s birthday. We got out today and found a few more. Great times and great eats!

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Keys Backcountry Mackerel and Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Keys Backcountry Mackerel

Get some macks, lite off the smoker, it’s fish dip season! And tax time, too, but the tax man came to the boat this time. It was a 10′ bull who was very bitey. Snapping and biting at boat, fingers, etc.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Keys Backcountry Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Senior forum member piner_wahoo and some friends have had two consecutive successful days out in the Florida Keys backcountry. They left with some nice lobster, trout, snapper and grouper- but not without a lot of work.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Cudjoe Key Permit

Florida Sportsman member: Bonecracker

After three solid days of poling her around all over the Keys from Marathon to Cudjoe all we had to show for our efforts but a sunburn and some empty beer bottles. Well all the stars lined up on Wednesday and we finally had a permit actually eat a live crab! The fish fought hard for 15 to 20 minutes and finally it turned over on its side near the boat and finally gave up!

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Lower Keys Bonefish

Florida Sportsman member: torchkey

The flats were active with sharks, barracuda, and bonefish. Had some good shots at bones and ended up with a couple of nice fish. Ended the day catching some trout for the dinner table. It was a good day to be on the water!

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


August in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

Though my best days this week we landed 9 out of 12 tarpon in two trips, most in the 30 to 60 pound range. I’ve been fishing mostly fresh mullet that we catching first thing in the morning still in the backcountry. In the bays the trout and snapper fishing has been best out closer to the gulf. Here the water is cooler and also alive with various baitfish such as ballyhoo, pilchards, pinfish, mullet, and more.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 


Tarpon Time in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

I’ve been fishing tarpon since the first week of February and we’ve had pretty good early season fishing but now the real big schools are showing up. Just a few days ago we had a 5 fish day with most fish in the 60-100 pound range.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Upper Keys Bonefish

Florida Sportsman member: Tailinreds05

We caught the last two hours of the falling tide and that’s when I picked up this chubby tailer with a well placed live shrimp. Had two other shots on the falling tide but couldn’t get them to eat. After the mid morning slack wore off and the tide started pushing in, the fish started showing themselves again.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 
 


Fall Fishing in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

If you put your time in you can usually produce a bite or two, though not a guaranteed thing. Mullet is still the go-to bait, you just have to find them usually early in the morning. We’ve also been having some luck with big goliath groupers in the gulf plus plenty of big sharks such as bulls and lemons […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Bahia Honda Slam

Florida Sportsman member: DogDoc

After a late night trip yesterday, we thought the best way to catch the midday outgoing tide while the winds allowed was to run up to Bahia Honda again. David and I bucked the east wind to reach the protection of the bridge, but found little relief from the wind and waves when we got there. The wind direction quartered the current, augmenting the waves and making it hard to keep baits where they needed to be. Weeds were also a bigger problem than last week.

We had several hits and drag pulls before the first hookup, but that ended up being a nice 75-pound tarpon. A few minutes later another hit but no hookup, then a bait down deep was taken. The fish ran long but stayed deep, and when we caught up with it we were pleasantly surprised that it was a 40-pound permit.

Click here to see the full forum report.


Biscayne Bonefish

Florida Sportsman member: Tailinreds05

Decided to take a break from the back country out of islamorada and fish Biscayne with a buddy of mine. We left islamorada at 6 and drove up to card sound to get the skiff wet. We cruised the 25 miles or so out to the flats of Biscayne and I finally connected to the infamous grey ghosts. All it took was a trip out of Florida bay and the flats that I have come to love since moving to the keys over a year ago. We were throwing fly most of the day but this guy took a live shrimp. The fight was awesome 150 yards of line taken in 10 seconds.

Click here to see the full forum report.


Lower Keys Permit

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

Had a very short window of opportunity today due to time constraints, but definitely not due to weather. It was absolutely gorgeous. Flat calm and clear water, which is perfect for sight fishing Permit on the reef line. We took 3 crabs with us for 3 people. It took us about 5 minutes to start seeing a few small wads here and there and then we started seeing bigger packs. Once we found the larger groups it was game on and we traded in those crabs for 3 Permit.

Click here to see the full forum report.


Lower Keys Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

Today I had some time off and decided to go into the backcountry and hide from the wind. We were fishing one of my favorite summertime grouper spots in about 7 feet of water when the man in the brown suit decided to start inhaling the chum. I quickly plopped a pinfish in his face and after a good fight he was in the boat. We played around for a little while longer with some more mackerel and snapper then picked up and headed in. Tight lines.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Islamorada Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: action88

This cool weather is stirring things up a bit and the bite has been good-excellent, we had a few days in a row where we were catching 40 to 80 redfish in a day with some small snook and black drum mixed in. The permit showed up yesterday in a spot and we hooked 8 landing. We fought one for an hour and lost her right next to the boat. I estimate it at around 55-pounds, but we will never really know ( but makes a good story). Mixed in with the permit in the area were gag grouper, jewfish, and cobia.

Click here to see the full forum report.
 


Life is Good in Flamingo

Florida Sportsman member: scottbrown

With weather finally cooling off slightly in The Everglades, fishing patterns are going through a transition period which has been resulting in some unbelievable action some days and other days are leaving anglers wondering what happened. Game fish like redfish, snook and trout have yet to take their winter refuge in the deeper canals and channels of Florida bay but are still very aggressive during higher tidal stages around mangrove shorelines and points north of the cape […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Windy Days in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: action88

Well the wind is blowing and the weekend fishing report was SLOW for us, we managed a few fish for the “Casting for Cats” tournament on Saturday, but did manage the largest catfish award (winch my wife is extremely proud of). Sunday we managed 12 snook and that was it. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week was a different story, on Wednesday we fished skinny in the HPX and caught 20 or so so reds to 27 inches and some BIG snook all on jerkbaits close to home in Islamorada […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Islamorada Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

Well we had a gentle breeze out of the north this morning on 10/16/12, which had swung out shoreside of the cape area. Tides were extremely low back there this morning, lots of bird life including tons of roseattes showing up for the winter time. October fishing in Islamorada is great! We ran back to the cape today and hit some snook spots early on the low water, however not much action on the pinfish did catch a couple and miss a couple but the fish were funny […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 


Solid Inshore Bite In Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: action88

Well, I have definitly not been fishing as much, but the days we are going out the bite has been good to excellent. The flats of Florida Bay and the Flamingo area are holding lots of redfish to 33 inches, they are taking jerkbaits and flies, having a 30-plus fish day is not uncommon if you can get the bait to them. The snook are biting good, some days catching 20-plus fish with some big ones mixed in […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


October Fishing in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

October fishing in Islamorada is upon us! We’ve had some very low tides as of late, almost spring-like tides very unusual! Took my dad, Richard Stanczyk Sr., girlfriend Elizabeth Baxter, and one of the new main men at Bud n’ Mary’s Steven Byrd out for a day of fun fishing. Left early again out at 6:00 AM and made the run partially in the dark to the cape for some everglades snook fishing, deep into the everglades up around the bend of the mainland! […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Key West Flats Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

I’ve been lucky enough to spend two long weekends in Key West over the last month and even luckier to spend them on the bow of Capt. Mike Bartlett’s skiff. Mike is the kind of guide who will pull up to a flat and say “We should start seeing some bones here in about 15 minutes,” and 20 minutes later we’ll be landing our first fish […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Islamorada Catch Report

Florida Sportsman member: action88

Hey y’all, well most of my days still are being spent in ENP chasing snook and reds and the fishing has been HOT, literally! The snook bite has tapered down some but we had some days catching 50 plus fish to 20 pounds. The redfishing is as good as it gets with most days catching 20 plus slot sized fish, with the rare exception of that 22 pounder we caught in a creek […

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Islamorada Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Lostmen Dan

Went down on Tuesday early to beat the mini season traffic. Turned out to be a good call. Launched at the public ramp on the Indian Key Spoil and ran a few miles into the back. First stop to check out tide and wind direction and we spot a group of 6 to 8 sheepshead working in 6 inches of water […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Long Key Bay Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Tipbone

I headed down to Long key for the annual grownups vacation. We fished in the bay all week. The weather was good, but a bit windy. There were lots of weed lines everywhere, which would have been good had we been off shore and not in 4’ of water. This made the top water bite too difficult and made running out there tricky with the engine weeding up on both boats […]

Click here to see the full forum report.


Last Cast in Paradise

Florida Sportsman member: DogDoc

We’re finishing up our annual family trip to the Keys, and it’s time to head back home. We’ve enjoyed seeing some dear friends and making friends with a few each of over 30 species of fish during the trip. Several previous posts have shared the difficult fishing this year, from the almost non-existand dolphin bite to the spread-out tarpon season.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Bahia Honda Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: DogDoc

We’ve had three shark encounters there this week, two at the boat at the end of the fight, and one early on. The line was immediately cut on the first, and we didn’t have time to do anything on the second. I blame myself for yesterday: we had seen a shark earlier, but he had disappeared for 10-15 minutes, and I was wrong to assume he had left […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


May So Far

Florida Sportsman member: action88

Well, May has been busy, I think everyone in Islamorada has been fishing hard and the fishing has been good. On the offshore side of things, I haven’t been doing to much due to the weather, but on the days we have gone out the dolphin have been good, no big fish yet for us, but lots of lifters, the gulf wrecks have been good with lots of 8 to 12 pound cobia, big trout, Jewish, and the usual gulf suspects […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Team Teke Permit

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

Well…my wife as usual showed me who was boss on the boat today. Tania caught a super-duper permit while I caught a little one. It was a grand fight for her. I hooked up first but that fish I think was eaten by a goliath as the leader was ripped to shreds. I’m sure that this fish would have been bigger than her’s […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Islamorada Backcountry Report

Florida Sportsman member: action88

Well guys, spring is officially here, the weather has calmed down some and the fishing is EXCELLENT, most of my trips have been in the Triton Bay boat (new 24′ coming soon), with everyone from beginners to experienced anglers, the redfishing has been HOT, we are catching 40-100 per trip in the 22-33″ range all on pinfish, the snook have bit good when the tide and the water color have been matched perfectly, with most fish being slot sized and some little guys mixed in […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Flamingo Snook and Redfish…and Permit!

Florida Sportsman member: scottbrown

Flamingo’s snook population has been on the rebound since the freeze a few years back and it is becoming evident that the snook are making a strong comeback. In the last few weeks I have consistently caught and released over 15 juvenile snooklets and they are very feeding aggressive. You need some extra knowledge of where they snook are holding up but once you find them its on. The juvenile fish are mixed in with respectable 24-28 inchers they have been deep in sweet water creeks and have been feeding aggressively on the higher stages of the tide along mangrove gulf shorelines. I have had a lot of success using Gulp and DOA jerkbaits.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Cudjoe Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: sparse grey

Was able to get out again today. Middle of outgoing 10-12 NE moderate chop, good drift across current near Kemp channel. Bunches of different kinds of fish. Many trout all upper slot, decent mangroves, lanes & yellow tail snappers. The YT have been a little scarce in the back lately. Also one of the largest porgies I have seen around here. Reminded me of the Party Boats in Wildwood Crest in the 50s & 60s. Best part was we didn’t need any fish so all were released in good condition. Bert with a couple before releasing.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 


Shark Fly Tourney/Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: action88

Well guys, the Keys are hopping with people and the wind has been strong (maybe the windiest March I’ve ever seen), with the average being 20 MPH and a week of 25-30.. well we had to do some comprimising and trailer over the flamingo to fish in WW bay because of the wind, its been a few years since i fished that part of the glades, but some of the ol bushes still held some reds and snook , nothing big but still good fishing for 30 outta the east […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


March Merkin’

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Mike Bartlett

Day 3 of the 2012 March Merkin yielded no permit on fly. The day started out with rain showers, lots of clouds and wind. We did get a few hours of sun on the oceanside to the west of Key West, unfortunately it was filled with acres and acres of nothing. We saw/scared a total of four permit on day 3, three of which three were together and not a shot. We also watched an airboat come from Key West burned down the flats, with very little water from the tower flats to Boca Grande Key and back. I heard the guy went between a few flats skiffs poling. This has got to stop […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 


Back-country Fishing in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

Fishing this month in Islamorada, Florida Keys has been fantastic. The mild winter has kept our waters very warm and as far as the fish are concerned, spring is here. Tarpon have started to show up pretty good back in the cape area, all around flamingo and the everglades, and even in the bays in the local fly fishing holes on flat calm days. We had some good nights bridge fishing, catching several fish in the 80-100 lb range fishing early in the morning.

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Key West Flats in February

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Mike Bartlett

February brought us some unbelievable weather this year in the Keys. Plenty of warm days made for great days on the flats around Key West and the Marquesas. A few of the highlights include a three permit day, redfish on fly, tarpon at night and on the flats and plenty of barracudas, sharks and jacks […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 


Winter Wonderland

Florida Sportsman member: scottbrown

The recent fishing adventures I have experienced in the past two months in Flamingo have been absolutely amazing to say the least. The fishing has been excellent with countless inshore slams and the beautiful cool mornings and warm afternoons have been an added bonus to the action […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Key West Flats Permit and Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Mike Bartlett

With mostly exceptional weather last week and a new moon, we had some great days on the flats of Key West last week. Tarpon made an appearance in some of the channels and I found some laid up tarpon in shallow water about mid week. Permit fishing was really good, though the catching part was a little tricky. We got one on a crab, but I witnessed and heard from other guides of permit not eating live crabs. It does happen every great once in a while […]

Click here to see the full forum report.

Load Comments ( )

Don’t forget to sign up!

Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week