March 01, 2024
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.
Hello everyone! The weather hasn't been perfect lately but that's typical for this time of the year. Anglers who fished throughout last week were rewarded with great all-around catches. Captain Lain Goodwin reported a spotty bite in Key Largo with snook, redfish, trout, sheepshead and pompano. Fish the Snake Bight Channel in Flamingo and adjacent deeper moats and runoff for a mixed bag of redfish, snook, sheepshead, trout and black drum. A shrimp and 1/4 oz chartreuse jig head crawled slowly on the deeper edge of the bank and runoffs will get the action. Fish the deeper channels and runoffs in the morning with the falling tide and work the shallow flats with the rising tide in the afternoon. Farther west towards the East Cape Canal and Lake Ingram area fish the mainland shorelines, channels and creek mouths for snook, redfish, sheepshead and black drum. The water levels have been really low so be careful not to get stuck.
The strong winds have kept us out of Gulf waters but when it's not blowing there's some great fishing to have. The cobia have been showing up well on all the farther deeper wrecks. Bring plenty of chum, shrimp and pinfish and you will be all set for some fun fishing. Tripletail are becoming more abundant so keep your eyes on the trap buoys for some good-eating fish. The areas from Sandy towards Sprigger Bank have been best on the warmer days. We had been staying close to park boundaries catching some trout, snappers, mackerel and sharks. Anchor up and deploy your chum bag, rig some 1/2 oz white, chartreuse or yellow pompano jigs with a couple of inches of light wire. Tip your jigs with shrimp and cast towards the chum slick for non-stop action. Always good to have the shark rod out since you never know what can show up. It's a great fishery for any type of angler.
The bonefishing has been spotty with the strong winds and cloudy conditions. Fish the oceanside and bayside flats with an incoming tide, look for pushing fish on the lowest tide and mudding fish as the water rises. The weather conditions have made it tough for sight fishing but most of the anglers that put their time and effort on it got rewarded. Captain Andy Putetti has been on top of the bonefish in Islamorada putting his anglers into some big schools of fish. Couple of permit have been seen cruising the deeper edges of flats and banks both oceanside and bayside. Lots of patience and dedication have provided anglers with some great shots and catches. Don't miss out on the great fishing going on right now in the Florida Keys backcountry!
Capt. Juan Garcia
Upper Keys-Updated 3/1
Hello everyone and welcome back to this week’s report! Some nice weather so far this week, and the weekend looks like it’s going to be incredible. These warmer temperatures have really helped out the fishing this past week, as the water is finally starting to get where it should be. Some sails, kings, wahoo, and blackfin tunas have been playing much nicer this week, and hopefully will continue as spring is upon us. The snapper fishing this week was beginning to show signs of things getting back to normal as well, so the deep wrecks, reef, and patches are going in the right direction. Bait has been really good this week too, so thankful for better fishing all around. Looking forward to some great weather this weekend, and some even better fishing! Be safe out there and give us a call if you need a trip.
Capt. James Chappell
Lower Keys-Updated 1/19
Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Forecast. It looks like the wind is picking up as we move into the weekend and the temperature is going to be dropping again. We’ve had a windy and cool winter down here and unfortunately, it looks like more of the same for this weekend. Saturday is probably your best shot at getting out on the water. The wind is going to start around 15mph but it’s building to over 20 mph by the end of the day. Sunday is going to be 25-30 mph and the temperature looks like it will be in the low 60’s all day.
If you have a smaller boat and you still want to fish this weekend, you can fish in basins in the backcountry and look for the mud slicks. The fishery can be better when the weather is nasty and it’s been productive recently. I just use a variety of bucktail jigs, but all kinds of artificial lures can work. We’ve been catching a variety of fish like speckled trout, pompano, snappers, ladyfish, jacks and other things. If the water does start to warm up, you can see some tarpon rolling in the mud slicks as well.
Capt. Jamie Connell