Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
Hello everyone! The recent arctic blast we experienced recently in the Florida Keys backcountry dropped the water temperatures in to the low 50’s. This pretty much put a halt to the fishery. Anglers that ventured out and fished the Cape Sable area reported slow pickings of snook, blackdrum and redfish. Bite remained tough for most through out the week. A few good reports came from the shallow water anglers that found some fish later in the week with the warming trend. Out on the Gulf tuff fishing prevailed do to the low water temperatures.
Bonefishing has been best in the middle parts of the day when the water is a bit warmer. Look for the fish mudding in the deeper edges of flats and banks. Keep a small crab ready for a cruising permit while working the edges of the banks.
Bite will improve a bit by the first half of the weekend with the warmer temperatures but forecast calls for another front to pass through come Saturday. Let’s hope the cold temperatures don’t last to long so the fishery can get back to normal. But when it comes down to it its weather you want to go fishing or weather you don’t. The good thing is that no matter the conditions there is always something to catch in the Florida Keys backcountry.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! There are a lot of changes going on this week in the Florida Keys with the weather as the hardest cold front of the year is coming through. Temperatures are forecast to reach into the high 40’s, and that might as well be 20 below for us down here in the keys. I know a lot of you are laughing, but believe me it is true! The good news with these hard fronts is that it is the recipe for success with sailfish and other pelagic. These hard cold fronts put these fish on the move and can create some epic fishing. The fishing here this week has been pretty good with the sails, kings, and a few wahoo and blackfin tunas. The reef bite has been pretty good, but the sharks have been really good too. This is mostly with the yellowtail snappers, but they have been on the wrecks as well as the muttons and groupers have been biting well. Groupers are closed now for those of you wanting to catch these guys, and they won’t open up until May first. This includes blacks, gags, and reds, so these guys are a no go for the fishbox. We have managed to get more than our share past them, but nevertheless it has been a battle. The swordfish bite has continued to be solid with several boats heading out to the deep ledge before this front made its way in here. Some nice ones too, well into the high 100’s have met the steel and ended up on some dinner plates here in town for sure.
The weather this winter has given us a lot of calm days so this fishery has been able to be picked on a bit, whereas in other years it has been generally too rough to get out to the grounds. No cobia this week to speak of in the shallows, but a few on the reef. Plenty of cero and spanish macks around in the shallow patches and deep reef. Plenty to catch, and a lot of fun to be had down here this time of year. This front should only make the fishing better once it passes, so we are excited to see what it brings. I hope all of you had a great holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Well after a long spell of some seriously cold and windy weather, we were finally able to get out and do some fishing this week. Unfortunately, it looks like were going to get another front hitting the lower keys sometime around Saturday afternoon. If you want to get out on the water, try to go early Saturday, Sunday’s wind forecast is 20-25mph straight north and the temperature will be around 60 degrees. The offshore fishing has been decent the past few days, with some tunas, a couple dolphin and the occasional sailfish or wahoo. Fishing for tunas with live pilchards around the wrecks has been very productive and as long as the wind stays to the north, I think that bite should stay good. Also, there have been a lot of mutton snappers on the wrecks, dropping a live pilchard or ballyhoo to the bottom will work best for them, but a strip of bonita or a dead squid can work too.
Fishing in the backcountry was absolutely horrible earlier this week, but it has been getting better as the temperature has been on the rise. It got really cold here during that last front and the water in the backcountry was in the high 50’s, we do not see water temperatures like that often around Key West. The barracuda bite has got back on track the past couple days and there have been some permit around too. There has also been a lot of life in the basins now that the temperature is warming up. There have been a few trout in the mud slicks, along with ladyfish, jacks, snappers and sharks.
Capt. Jamie Connell