Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
Hello everyone! Been very busy here in the Florida Keys backcountry. Happy anglers have been the norm for us thanks to all the fishing opportunities. We have been doing really good with the snook bite in the park, as well as redfish, trout, tarpon and many more. It’s all been about the tides and wind direction. Find the clean water and the fish won’t be far behind. We have been doing really good fishing live baits in the Flamingo area as well as the Cape. Work the points with pilchards, shrimp or D.O.A. artificials. Move around to be more productive and find more fish. The areas east of Flamingo are holding plenty of nice trout. A popping cork and soft plastic will get the bites while you drift. The Gulf has been pretty dirty due to the mostly windy conditions so you will probably have to go far west to find cleaner water and fish. Look for the western areas of the park around Blue Bank to be holding some trout, snapper and sharks.
The tarpon fishing around the local bridges and channels has been good with both live and dead mullet. Anglers that put the time and work the tides have been getting multiple bites. Drift some live crabs at night with an outgoing tide and you’re guaranteed a hook up. The fly guys are in full hunting mode, so when you see them stalking the banks and points give them some room so they can get their job done. Great fishing ahead of us, get down to the Florida Keys backcountry and see all the great fishing opportunities we have available.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! A great week of fishing here in the upper Florida Keys as the sailfishing was going off early in the week. It slowed down a bit on Thursday, but hopefully the current will pick back up and they will start tailing again. The offshore bite continues to show promise with more mahi moving in each day. The moon is Friday, so I will bet that soon after she passes it will be game on. The football sized tunas have been getting thicker on the humps too, and there are plenty of AJ’s around there as well. The sharks have even been quite nice so far, but we will see how that ends up. Not much from the sword ledge this week as it has been a bit rough, but once the winds subside, I am sure there will be more reports. The wreck fishing has picked up nicely this week as the mutton snappers have been chewing pretty good. It has helped that the current has been decent all week for sure, but this moon is the beginning to get them getting fired up to spawn. Going to be a lot of nice “pinky’s” caught over the next few moons. There are plenty of kings and groupers around as well on the deeper structures, but remember that you can’t keep any groupers until next month. Grouper season opens May 1st, so you can bet there will be some really nice ones caught. The permit have been pretty solid on all of the usual wrecks as well, but the winds have made it tough this week. The reef remains as good as it gets with yellowtail snappers, as they continue to spawn, and some whoppers at that. Some really nice mangrove snappers have been showing up as well, although it is a bit early for their spawn, they are already seeming to gather on the shallow reefs. Plenty to catch out there if you have the vessel to brave the seas safely. The winds are gonna be 15 to 30 over the weekend, so be safe. Let’s hope the fish bite!
Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast. We have had a warm breezy week here, but it looks like a small cold front will be hitting this weekend. The forecast is calling for wind out of the North and Northwest, around 15-mph. The sailfish started to show up this week and a cold front could make the sailfishing even better. I’ve heard of a few caught trolling, but kite fishing with live baits has been the most effective. Depending on the day, the color change has been just past reef and as deep as 240-feet, that will be the best place to start looking for the sailfish. There have also been some big blackfin tunas, bonito and mahi around the color change as well.
The fishing in the backcountry has been okay; there are some tarpon around, but the bite has been hit or miss so far this year. If we find a nice school of fish one day, they seem to be moving quickly and they are gone by the next day. The cold front arriving late Friday night will most likely not help the tarpon fishing, but the bonefish shouldn’t mind the mild cold fronts. We have had plenty of bonefish cruising the flats and they are usually less effected by the cold fronts. It’s also supposed to be sunny, so that will help when it comes to spotting those grey ghosts zipping around the shallows.
Capt. Jamie Connell