Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon
January 22 – 24
Hello everyone! The recent cold snap paired with a strong westerly wind slowed things down a bit in the Florida Keys backcountry. The good news is that lots of fish were caught and lots of great memories were made on the water. Better reports came from the Cape Sable area where big black drum along with snook and reds made for some decent fishing. Anglers targeting snook and redfish on the shallow flats around Flamingo reported some good action, especially on the warmer parts of the day. The water warmed up a bit by the end of the week and we put together some great catches of snook, redfish and trout with others mixed in. The trout fishing throughout the park has been solid and some DOA soft plastics have been putting some big fish boat-side.
The Spanish mackerel bite keeps going strong in Gulf waters. Along with the Spanish mackerel there has been some cobia and big redfish showing up on chum slicks. Back around the bay, the island moats have a decent snapper bite along with a few snook and others. The areas along the park boundaries have been keeping anglers busy with some speckled seatrout, snappers and other rod-benders.
Some great reports have come in from anglers fishing around the many Islamorada bridges and channels. Grouper, snappers, mackerel, sharks and others have been regularly caught. A few snook are around the bridges and if you take your time working the tides you might be rewarded with some nice fish. So if you don’t feel like going on a long ride in to the Florida Keys backcountry, the bridges are close by and can make for a great day on the water.
Hello everyone and welcome back to this week’s report! This week the fishing in Islamorada seems to have picked up a bit late in the week, with increasing numbers of sailfish moving into our area. The water remains on the cooler side from the fronts, but it is warming up slowly. I would imagine the yellowtail snapper bite will pick up over the weekend as this happens. The wrecks have been flourishing with king mackerel all week, and some size large ones at that. Even a few wahoo have been mixed in with them. The bottom bite for the groupers has been insane- but since they are closed, no dice on them. The swordfish ledge has been producing all week with some really nice fish too, so with the weekend weather forecasted to be calm, this will be a good option as well. That is it for this week, so be safe out there everyone, and we will catch you next week!
Capt. James Chappell
Welcome back to the Lower Keys fishing forecast. The weather for the weekend is looking great. The temperature is going to be a little chilly, probably in the low 70’s, but the sun will be out and the wind is down. The bite offshore was not good this week. There wasn’t much current and the water was dirty. The blackfin tuna had been the most consistent offshore fish, but even finding tuna has been difficult this week. If the bluewater moves in and the current picks up, the fishing will improve. Snapper fishing on the reef and inshore patch reefs has been great. The mutton snappers have been eating well and the cobia have moved in to some the wrecks and areas around the reef.
As far as finding action in the backcountry, there is plenty of that with jacks, snappers and sharks. Look for areas that are holding bait, like mullet, ballyhoo or pilchards and the predators are usually near by. The pelicans have been very active finding bait, so really you can just look for them. The water temp is still in the mid to upper 60’s so fishing on the flats has been slow. If the sun comes out and the water warms into the 70’s, we may definitely see some bonefish and permit on the flats this weekend.
Capt. Jamie Connell