Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
Hello everyone! Fishing has been great in the Florida Keys backcountry. We finally got some more comfortable temperatures and with them came some great fishing. Captain Lain Goodwin in Key Largo reported a great bite of snook and redfish while live baiting the mainland shorelines. The Bights East of Flamingo have some redfish and snook patrolling the shallow shorelines giving anglers some great sight fishing action. We fished the Flamingo area with great success this week. The last two hours of the outgoing tide and first two hours of the incoming made for non-stop action catching both snook and redfish with a couple of trout mixed in. The shallow flats in the same area have been getting anglers in to some great sight fishing for redfish with a few snook as well. Farther West, in the Cape Sable area, the fishing has been nothing but spectacular with great catches of snook, redfish, black drum and many more. Live baits and artificial while fished around the shorelines will get you in the action. The Gulf is firing up lately with great catches of big Spanish mackerel, snappers, cobia and many more. The farther west you go, the better. There has been some funky water around the park boundaries lately. There is fish on it but finding the cleaner water will get you in to a better bite. We also found a great trout and snapper bite around the Oxfoot and Schooner bank area while fishing both D.O.A. plastics and live baits. The channels and island moats inside the park are also providing a good bite of nice snappers and other rod benders as wells. Live baits have been best. Look for the bite around the local bridges and channels to keep being productive. Snappers, grouper, tarpon, big jacks and others are readily eating live baits. The first and last of the change of tide has been best. Lots of pilchards is the key to get the fish fired up. Looking forwards to great fishing as we get more in to our winter fishing pattern. Come on down to see all the fishing opportunities the Florida keys backcountry has to offer.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to this weeks fishing report for the Middle and Upper Florida Keys! Another great week of fishing in paradise as the sailfish continue to migrate through our back yard! It’s a pretty solid bite going on right now, and good numbers of fish schooled up, creating the ever exciting multiple bite! Pretty much everything has been cooperative this week where the swordfish ledge produced good numbers of swords, not many big ones, but good numbers of fish in the 40 to 80 pound range. Still a few mahi running around out there too, so as I figured they would be gone, I was wrong….go figure! Just ask my wife and she will tell you I’m wrong a lot! Anyway, the offshore bite remains solid with these guys, plus the blackfin tunas are still very happy on the humps. They are starting to show up better on the deep reef now, but still plenty offshore on the humps and in open water with the birds on them. The wahoo bite picked up this week with several boats putting together a nice catch. High speed trolling and the kites seemed to be the best of it. The wreck fishing is slowly picking up, but I really think this next front is going to do it. I sure hope so, we will see. The late grouper spawn has been productive too, so you can definitely put together some meat for the freezer. Kings, jacks, bonito, and the entire supporting cast is hanging around this deep structure, so don’t be afraid to put out the arsenal. The yellowtail snapper bite on the reef bounced back quickly after the last cool front, but I’m gonna bet the patches will be much better this weekend than the deeper reef. Bottom fishing in the shallows should really pick up too with this cooler weather on the way. This is it, the real beginning of winter, and it’s happening this weekend! Here we go! Stay safe everyone, and check back with us next week!
Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast, it looks like it is going to be a cooler weekend down here. Our first real cold front is supposed to hit late Friday night and there will be a strong north wind all weekend. The temperature could be dropping to as low as 70 degrees on Sunday. This front could have a positive affect on the offshore fishing, which has been a little slower this past week. Sailfish and blackfin tunas like a north or northeast wind, so they may turn on soon. If you can’t make it offshore, you can try to fish the shallower patch reefs and rock piles on the south side. Now that the water is cooling down, those areas can be productive and you can stay protected from the heavy winds.
This cold front will have big impact on the backcountry fishing too. We were still catching bonefish and a few small tarpon on the flats this week, but the sudden change in pressure and the drop in temperature, we will most likely see fewer of those fish over the weekend. The barracudas may get fired up on the flats though, they like the cooler weather. There have been schools of nice size jack crevalle in the backcountry this week and they should stay around with the cold weather. Look for for the birds diving, if you can find the birds, the jacks have been right under them.
Capt. Jamie Connell