Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
Hello everyone! It’s October and the Fall weather patterns are starting to take effect. The water temperature is starting to drop a bit and with less humidity in the air it makes for some very comfortable conditions. Look for the redfish and snook bite to be on fire throughout the park. Work the mainland shorelines with both live baits and scented soft plastics for a great bite. The shallow bights east of Flamingo is a good place to be for some great sightfishing action. Look for mullet muds on the deeper bays and basins for some nice rout mixed in with other rod benders. Drifting through these muds with a popping cork and Berkley Gulp! Shrimp combination is a guarantee for finding the fish. Sharks and the occasional tarpon can be found lurking around the deeper channels in the Flamingo area. Redfish and snook can be found while working the runoffs and Island moats in the Flamingo area as well. Pilchards have been easily available and a livewell full of them will be deadly while fishing the backcountry. Out towards the Cape area, look for a great snook and redfish bite. Keep your eyes open for some floating tripletail as well.
The fishing on the Gulf is starting to fire up and it’s only going to get better as the Fall and Winter patterns settle in. Stone crab season has open and that means lots of trap buoys for tripletail to lay next to so keep your eyes open when running towards your favorite Gulf fishing grounds. Look for more Spanish mackerel to continue to show up in our area, with more Cobia showing up as well. Overall great action can be expected while fishing out in the Gulf.
Back around town, look for the great bonefishing to continue. Anglers working the shallow flats and banks both bayside and ocean side have been reporting multiple shots at schools of bonefish. They have been casting flies and live shrimp with great success. Most anglers have been reporting some amazing permit fishing on the deeper edges of flats and banks both bayside and ocean side. Captain Randy Stalling of Key Largo reported having multiple shots at permit last weekend while fishing the Islamorada area. A small crab casted perfectly in their path will get you a hook up. The live bait fishing around the local bridge channels continues to be excellent with lots of groupers, snappers, tarpon and snook, as well. There is a lot of bait around and the big jacks are swarming around the bridges and channels, great fishery meant for screaming drags and sore arms. Pretty exciting time of the year to be fishing in the Florida Keys, so get out on the water and take advantage of it!
Hello everyone, and welcome back to this weeks report! A great week here for our anglers with the usual ups and downs with the weather for this time of year. The fishing remains solid as the variety of fish around right now is incredible! The offshore report remains solid from the swordfish ledge with the bite being solid around the moon. A few nice fish 200 pounds and up were caught, plus several others smaller. A few mahi still scattered around too, but the best bite offshore has been the tunas! The humps are loaded with nice blackfin tunas, and the live bait yields the largest fish, so spend the time and have at it. You can catch these guys on the troll, and vertical jigs or poppers, but live chumming gets the bigger fish to the surface in a frenzy! Give it a shot, you will be surprised how close you can get them to the boat. On the reef and wrecks, the transition of seasons is coming along nicely with sails, wahoo, kings, tunas, and even a blue marlin caught off Key Largo this week in 180-feet of water on the kite! The fish was caught on a goggle eye off the kite on 20-pound test, and weighed an estimated 150-pounds. This is a great catch on light tackle, no doubt! The wreck fishing continues to heat up with the mutton snappers starting to move around, and a few groupers too. Plenty of bonito, kings, and the wahoo starting to show up in good numbers, so if you are bottom fishing be sure to put out some wire on a free lined bait. You will be amazed at what you will catch if you stay persistent with this technique. The shallower reefs and wrecks continue to produce some really nice yellowtails, and the live bait here works the same as for the tunas. Pilchards are the bait of choice, but the smaller cigar minnows will work well on the bottom or free lined in the slick for the jumbo-sized fish. There’s a lot going on right now, and it’s not going to get better! Good luck out there, and give us a call if you would like to charter one of our awesome boats! Be safe!
Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast, weather has been decent this week and fishing has been better. The forecast is calling for some heavy wind on Saturday, but lighter wind on Sunday. However, both days have a 50% chance of rain. If you can get offshore, the wahoo have started to show up around this last full moon. Some tuna and dolphin have been scattered around as well. The blue water has pushed in over the reef and the visibility has been amazing, but the fishing on the reef has been slow. The good visibility and lack of current has made it difficult fishing for snappers around the reef.
The backcountry fishing continues to be good, with a lot of variety out there right now. The water is right around 80 degrees and there is a lot of bait around. The king tides have made bonefishing tricky at times, you really have to try to get in as shallow as you can. It is hard to see the grey ghost in three feet of water. The king tides should also be lessening as we head into the weekend. The barracudas are starting to show up on the flats as well. We had some big fish chasing after lures this week.
Capt. Jamie Connell