Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
Hello everyone! Last weekend was full of great fishing in the Florida Keys backcountry. Looks like it’s going to be a windy weekend here in the Florida Keys according to the forecast. But no worries because the Everglades National Park has plenty of opportunities to catch fish on a windy day. Plan your routes to and from your destination, staying on the lee side of the many flats and banks throughout the park can make a big difference on comfort. The area you pick to fish in relation of the wind direction can also make a huge difference.
The redfish bite remains outstanding and even on a windy day can be productive. Fish the lee side of island moats, flats and channels where you will find some protection from the wind. The Flamingo area continues to produce great catches of snook, redfish and a few tarpon. The area from Cape Sable to Middle Cape and lake Ingram has been very consistent with snook, redfish, tarpon and many others. With the northeasterly winds, it should be pretty protected if you don’t mind the long ride. Fish the creek mouths, beach and shorelines with live baits or scented soft plastics like Berkley Gulp! for great action.
The tarpon bite around the local channels and bridges might be a little tough with the windy conditions. Your best approach to getting the bites is fishing dead baits on the bottom. Live pilchards will work best on areas that are protected from the wind and where the water is not too stirred up. Find a local lee side shoreline where you know the tarpon like to congregate, stage up current and throw some freebies to get the fish fired up. The bonefish bite remains great. It might be hard to sightfish for them with the windy conditions, but it doesn’t means you can’t catch them. Get plenty of live shrimp and anchor up or stake out on an area where you know they cruise by. Set up a couple of rods with a shrimp spread out behind the boat and put them in the rod holder and make sure to check your baits often. The heavy scent trail will bring the attention of any passing bonefish straight to your bait. Don’t let the wind keep you home, be safe and go fishing.
Hey guys and gals, Capt. James here back with another report! It’s been another crazy weather week here, as the tropical activity continues. The weather gods have kept it windy this week, with a weak cool front having rolled through later in the week, and unfavorable Northeast winds for this time of year. Is it the start of Fall/Winter? Who knows with the way the weather is, but the good news is that we keep pushing and the fish are still biting! Mahi action continues this week, but no telling how much longer it will last. With the late start to the season, they just keep showing up, and they have been happy. Tunas on the humps and broken bottom in the rios have been holding fish, as well as the deeper wrecks, so the tuna fishing has been great to say the least. A few sails around too, so could we get an early push? We sure hope so! The wrecks and reef have been getting more active each day, and with finally having some good current on the edge, things are looking up! Not sure what the weekend is going to bring as the forecast keeps changing, but it’s looking to be pretty windy. Let’s just hope the thunderstorms and rain stay way offshore! Good luck everyone, and be safe!
Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast, the breeze has started picking up down here and the forecast is not looking favorable for the weekend. The wind looks like it will be around 25mph and there is a good chance of rain. If you can make it offshore, the fishing has been hit or miss. There are still a few mahi around and some tunas are beginning to show up. There are still a lot of small tunas, but there’s some bigger ones mixed in, too. With the weather this weekend, you may want to fish on some of the shallower reefs. Some red grouper and mutton snapper have started to make their way back into shallower water, along with yellowtails, mangrove snappers and other fish.
The backcountry is loaded with bait right now, you can find schools of pilchards, mullet and ballyhoo throughout the Lower Keys. With the baitfish being thick, some predator fish are beginning to move back into the shallows too, like jacks and barracudas. The juvenile tarpon like the bait schools as well, you find them chasing baits close to the mangroves. If it’s too breezy to get up on the flats and push around, you can set up in some channels and protected areas and chum for sharks. The sharks don’t mind the wind and you can anchor and bring the sharks to you with a block of chum or a cut up bonita.
Capt. Jamie Connell