Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon

July 19-21

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. The redfish action in the Everglades National Park has been really good lately and it will continue to be for the time being. Mostly every shallow shoreline, grass flat and moat has redfish lurking on it. 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 on fire 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-ounce jig and you will have plenty of action but live baits will be best. Anglers fishing the shallow areas have been very successful casting skimmer jigs and jerkbaits 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. 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 white pompano jigs 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 livewell 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 guaranteed hook up. Anglers stalking the deeper edges of banks and flats looking for permit are also getting shots at some tarpon. Look for the bonefishing 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. {305-297-0438}

Upper Keys

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this weeks report! It’s been a bit rough offshore this week, and there’s been a fair amount of storms and rain, but that hasn’t kept the fish from biting. The offshore bite on the mahi scene has been red hot, and good numbers of slammers and gaffers in the area too! The fish remain concentrated in small areas, but good numbers when you find them. The humps are producing well too, with the numbers of fish increasing daily in these areas. All methods have been working, and the fish are happy. This fishery will only get better as summer turns toward fall, and the fish will get bigger. Live bait is still the best way to catch the larger fish, but trolling and jigs work very well on the football sized fish. A little more toward home, the wreck fishing this week remains good. Good numbers of king mackerel, jacks, bonito, and sharks. A few nice mutton snapper and groupers have been caught, but both of these are still on the slow side. The high point on the wrecks this week was from the elusive african pompano. Some really nice fish in the 25 to 30-pound range have moved in and have made for some great fishing. Live bait is the key to success on the wrecks, so fill that livewell up and hold on. The reef bite for the mangrove snappers is still insane with the spawn happening, but the yellowtails were a bit tougher. They have been biting, but the bull sharks are so dialed in on them it has been tough. This part of summer comes and goes, so hopefully next week will have a better outcome where these guys are concerned. If not, most everything else is pretty solid, so plenty to do elsewhere! That’s it for this week everyone, so be safe out there and have fun! Until next week! (305)803-1321



Lower Keys

Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Fishing Forecast, the weather’s been nice recently and the forecast looks decent for the weekend. The wind is going to be around 10-15mph and there’s a chance of thunderstorms, which is normal this time of year. The mahi fishing has been awesome offshore this past week and it should remain good as we come off the full moon. We found fish from 200-feet of water, to all the way out to the Wall. There was plenty of weed lines and birds and the action was non stop. There were also a few wahoo caught this week. If you’re out there trolling, make sure to keep a ballyhoo on a wire rig, below the surface with a down rigger. Wahoo love to eat those sub surface baits.

The backcountry fishing remains excellent down here. The Del Drown Permit tournament took place this past week and there were a lot of permit caught this year. Those guys were using fly rods in the tournament, but a small blue crab on a light fluorocarbon leader will work great on those fish. Permit are the most finicky fish on the flats, so make sure you’re paying attention and staying really quiet. The bonefishing has been good too. There’s a lot of big schools of bonefish in the two-pound range, but we have seen some bigger bonefish cruising in the shallows as well.

Capt. Jamie Connell
(908) 303-9873

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