Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon

February 21-23


Hello everyone! Cold front forecasted to pass around South Florida this Friday. It looks like Friday will be the day to get out on the water since winds are forecasted to blow pretty hard come Saturday and Sunday. The good news is that the fishing in the Florida Keys backcountry has something to offer for every type of angler No matter what the weather throws at you. If shallow water fishing is your thing the redfish and snook bite around island flats and shorelines remains good through out the park. Pole the mainland shorelines East of Flamingo for some great snook and redfish action. Out on the deeper channels, moats and runoffs in the Flamingo area a good bite of redfish, black drum, trout and snook remains. The trick has been to move around and finding the fish. One boat can be crushing the fish in one runoff while the boat a hundred yards away is not. Shrimp and jig combination worked slowly on the bottom will get the bites. The Cape Sable area continues to have a great bite of reds, snook and black drum. Fish the ditches, creeks and mainland shorelines with a shrimp and jig combination for the best action. Head out west in to Gulf waters for some Spanish mackerel with some big kingfish mixed in with them. Lots of nice kings where being caught jigging a shrimp and jig combination with a couple of inches of wire in the chum slick. A live blue runner rigged with some wire is a great way to get that big smoker king at the end of your line. Some cobia are showing up on the Gulf wrecks with the occasional school of permit showing up, as well. Closer to banks like Springer, Schooner and Oxfoot look for a good trout bite with snappers, mackerel, bluefish and many more, a white or chartreuse bucktail jig will get the bites plus it lets you work a bigger area faster therefor finding more fish.

The bonefishing was fairly decent this past week around ocean side and bay side flats and banks throughout the Keys. Look for tailing fish on the lower stages of the tides and mudding fish on the higher stages. Live shrimp is the bait of choice. Keep a rod ready to go with a silver dollar size crab in case the elusive permit shows up on the deeper edge of the flat. The tarpon bite fired up this past week with the warmer temperatures. The coming cold front is forecast to bring some cooler temperatures to south Florida but it should warm right back up come midweek and a good tarpon bite should follow. So get out on the water and take advantage of all the great fishing opportunities the Florida Keys has to offer. {305-297-0438}

Upper Keys

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this weeks report! Another great week here in the upper Florida Keys, filled with great weather and fishing. The offshore report begins this week on the swordfish ledge. It started off on the slow side, but ended up with a bang with two fish over 200 pounds and one over 300! A few more smaller fish were caught and released, but some true quality toward the end of the week. The humps produced some decent football sized blackfin tunas, amberjacks, and all the sharks you could ask for. Even a few mahi spread out from 300 to 700-feet, so there’s some action in the deep! The deep reef and wrecks were active this week as well with some nice mutton snappers, groupers, African pompano, big blackfins, and about all the king macks you wanted. A few nice cobia were caught on the down rods too! The reef and patch reefs stayed steady this week with lots of action as the yellowtails were biting, as well as some big cero mackerel and kings. The sails have been biting pretty good too, with most getting at least a few shots each day. Nothing to be upset about as things were pretty solid all week. Now for the “not so good” news. Doesn’t look like the weekend is going to be very good as this cold front is coming through on Friday and is pretty much going to make the weekend a mess. Hoping that something changes and allows us to make it out Sunday, but only time will tell. The forecast for next week is a mix of everything, so hopefully the weather allows us to get out. That’s it for this week, so check back next week for a new report! Have a great weekend everyone, and we will see you next week! (305)803-1321



Lower Keys

Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast, unfortunately it looks like a cold windy weekend ahead. The temperature is going to be in the upper 60’s and the wind is going to be coming hard out of the north and swinging to northeast by Sunday. The offshore fishing has been tough recently, the tuna bite has been decent on the wrecks, but not much else has been happening out there. If its too rough to get offshore, the inshore patch reefs on the south side have been really good, with red grouper (which have to be released), big mutton snappers and kingfish. Live ballyhoo have been the preferred bait for some of the bigger fish and I like to add a stinger treble hook, on wire, for the kingfish.

Fishing in the backcountry has been great this week, but most likely this hard north wind will change the fishing significantly for the weekend. Permit have been active on the flats, which is typical this time of year as they get ready to head offshore and spawn. They also happen to be one fish that is not as affected by a north wind so if you can find some protected areas, you may still get some shots at permit. They’re has been a lot of bait in Jewfish and Waltz Key Basin recently. On windy days like we’re going to have this weekend, you can fish in the mud slicks in those basins, there could be trout, jacks, snappers and all kinds of other fish.

Capt. Jamie Connell
(908) 303-9873

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