Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon

May 17-19

Hello everyone! Great fishing going on in the Florida Keys backcountry. Look for the redfish, snook and trout bite to continue in the Key Largo area while fishing the shorelines with live pilchards. If you don’t have the pilchards work the shorelines with scented artificials like Berkley Gulp! Alive or cover some ground casting spoons and skimmer jigs tipped with shrimp. Captain Lain Goodwin has also been finding some good numbers of juvenile tarpon in the area. With the calmer conditions look for the sight fishing action to improve through out the park. The shallow areas East of Flamingo will be holding some snook and a few redfish with some tarpon mixed in as well. Work the mullet muds and grassy areas for some rod bending action with trout, ladyfish and jacks plus the occasional shark or tarpon. The Flamingo area has been hit or miss but if you put the time and work the tides it can pay off. The deeper channels will get your rods bent with trout, ladyfish and jacks plus a bait on the bottom will most likely get picked up by a shark or tarpon.

Working the mainland shoreline from Flamingo to East Cape will get you in to some snook and redfish. A live well full of pilchards is key but pinfish and ladyfish chunks will get the job done. Further west towards the Cape Sable area look for thesSnook and redfish bite to be good. Fish the mainland shorelines from East Cape canal all the way up to middle Cape and beyond. Pinfish and pilchards are the best baits but Berkley scented soft plastics and DOA’s will help you find the fish faster allowing you to cover more ground if you don’t know where they are. Look for tripletail to be free floating in the same area, a shrimp casted in front of them will not be refused. Tarpon can be seen rolling just off the shorelines.

The areas adjacent to the Everglades National Park boundaries like Schooner and Springer banks are full of action. Trout, snappers, ladyfish, jacks, bluefish and sharks are all there ready to keep your rods bent. Drift while casting artificials, a white bucktail jig bounced close to the bottom will be deadly. Drifting a half ladyfish or jack behind the boat will get you hooked up with a nice shark to add up to the excitement.
Tarpon season is in full swing. We have been very successful drifting crabs at night around the local bridge channels getting multiple hook ups with even a couple of double headers. Anglers targeting bonefish and permit are reporting multiple shots while working the tides both oceanside and bayside. Looking forward to great fishing, so take advantage of it and make sure to get out on the water! {305-297-0438}

Upper Keys

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! Offshore fishing this week has picked up a little, but the mahi bite remains slow. Picking up a little, but I’m sure after this moon we will be on track. The tuna bite is pretty good in the humps though with some smaller football sized fish, and the deep dropping is good so plenty to do out there. The deep reefs and wrecks have been on fire with the mutton snappers spawning, with good numbers of fish and a few groupers mixed in. The kings and larger blackfins have been decent in the deep as well, so don’t forget to keep a flat line or two out there. Permit fishing is solid on all the big wrecks and the yellowtail bite on the shallow reefs has slowed, but should be picking up with the vilified tides this weekend. Plenty to catch out there so go get it done! Be safe, and we will be back next week with a new report! (305)803-1321



Lower Keys

Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast, the forecast is looking a little wet for the weekend. It is calling for relatively mild winds, but a high chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. The fishing has been good offshore if you can make it out there this weekend. There has been a lot of current and there has been plenty of sargassum weeds, so the dolphin have been around. The weeds have been super thick on the surface, almost to the point where keeping your trolled baits clean has been difficult. There have been some skipjack tunas out in the deep water as well. The like eating small trolled lures way back in your spread. I usually find them under schools of little black birds.

The backcountry fishing has been excellent, there seem to be a decent amount of tarpon around right now and they have been eating well. Starting early for them has been the best bet, especially with the light winds we have been having. We have been doing our best on flies and soft plastic baits. The bonefishing has been excellent, both on the Atlantic and the Gulf side. We have been seeing large schools of fish, sometime more than 30 fish to a school. If the tarpon bite slows up mid day, we have been changing it up and going bonefishing.

Capt. Jamie Connell
(908) 303-9873

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