Skip to main content Skip to main content

Florida Keys Forecast

Florida Keys Forecast
Florida Keys Forecast

Key Largo to Key West

Captains Juan Garcia, James Chappell and Jamie Connell tackle backcountry, inshore and offshore fishing from Key Largo to Key West, including Islamorada and Marathon.

January 21 - 23



Hello everyone! Last week turned out to be a cold one in the Florida Keys backcountry. The conditions didn't stopped most guides from getting the job done. Some stayed close and fished the oceanside inshore reefs with great success. The few that braved the long ride to the Cape Sable area got rewarded with some great winter backcountry fishing. Look for this winter pattern to continue and adjust your fishing plan accordingly. The Cape Sable area has been the go-to place lately. Fish the channels, beaches, creeks and deeper shorelines with a shrimp on the bottom. A bit of patience will get you hooked up with a snook, redfish, black drum, sheepshead or trout, and of course, plenty of catfish.

The bite out in the Gulf has been good lately with some nice schools of Spanish mackerel showing up. When the wind blows stay within park boundaries for a mixed bag of mackerel, snappers, bluefish and more. Good current and a block of chum should bring the action to you. The tripletail fishing has been decent. If the weather is right head out west and run some trap lines. A shrimp well-casted won't be refused once you find one.

Bonefishing has been spotty with the weather conditions. But when the weather gets right everyone is reporting good numbers of fish. Look for fish to be concentrating in the deeper edges, look for mudding fish and cast a good size shrimp in their pass and they should eat it. A few permit are swimming around the same edges, so be ready. It should warm up a bit for the weekend so prepare for some great Florida Keys backcountry fishing.

Till next week,

Capt. Juan Garcia
(305) 297-0438

Upper Keys

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  A lot going on here in our little slice of paradise, so let’s get to it!

Offshore on the sword ledge a few swords have been biting this week. Not much of a report from down the road, but out front of Islamorada there have been a few nicer fish caught off to the east. Nothing crazy, but better-sized fish from what we have heard. Still some tuna on the humps as well as some AJ’s and plenty of sharks. I am not sure why anyone would be out there tuna fishing though, when most of the better size tunas are in closer to the deep edge of the reef. This fishery has been ON FIRE for 3 weeks now and seems to slow when the low pressure gets close.  But as soon as it comes back around, there they are again!  It has been epic!  Lot’s of kings, wahoo, tuna, and big jacks. Just action…and I mean action! The bottom fishing out here has been solid as well with the mutton snapper bite getting better all the time. Sails have been showering all over the place and a few have been caught on the kites and slow troll too.

Fishing is just about as good as it gets right now.  We got another front coming through this weekend (Sunday), so this low pressure will definitely mess things up a little, but there will still be a few things to catch I am sure. Kings and yellowtails you can generally get to eat, as well as a sail or two, and maybe even a tuna or two. We will see! Be safe out there and we will see ya next week!

Tight Lines,

Capt. James Chappell
(305) 803-1321

Lower Keys

Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast. We have had a chilly week down here and it looks like it will be more of the same for the weekend.  It will be a little warmer and lighter winds on Saturday, but Sunday the wind picks up and the temperature will be in the mid 60’s.  All around the fishing has been decent. The wind has been heavy this week so a lot of guides were fishing the shallower reefs and reef rock piles.  They have been catching nice mutton snappers, red groupers, kingfish and a variety of other species.  Fishing the shallow reefs in the in winter offers you great action, excellent table fare and it provides you and your crew protection from the big seas.

The backcountry fishing has been pretty slow overall the last few days.  The water temperature has been in the mid 60’s and the fish seem sluggish.  I would think the barracudas get fired up when the temperature stabilizes a little more.  When it’s cold and windy I like to fish around the mullet muds in the backcountry basins, that is usually where you can find the best action.  Casting bucktail jigs works great and you can catch all kinds of fish, like snappers, jacks, trout, ladyfish and you can even get some sharks to show up in the mud slicks too.

Capt. Jamie Connell
(908) 303-9873

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now