Well it’s almost Valentines day and that is the start of busy season here in the Florida Keys! The calendar is starting to fill up especially for the spring tarpon migration. I still have some days open though if you are wanting to get out. I’m also offering evening trips starting early so if you want to do a sunset trip for the silver king, we can do that it’s a great time to be on the water and often gets better the closer to sunset you get. Lately it’s still been on the chilly side for tarpon but there have been a few around. And the weather is going to be getting more favorable now as the cold fronts seem to be slowing down. I had my mom out the other afternoon and we got into some nice snook after finding a bunch of pilchards we caught for live bait. Half day fishing for snappers and snook is a good bet for now, though of course as mentioned we’ll soon be chasing the silver king.
Got out for a full day today and it was a prefrontal condition with a nicer warm day today and looking like the temps will start dropping tonight and tomorrow night. We had some good tarpon action early, didn’t button up any but we jumped 3 and saw quite a few in several areas. Later on we found some permit and floated a big old crab to one… had an epic battle a good 45 miuntes or so to boat this beast! What a catch permit are very tough fish and one of the most prized to catch here in the florida keys. After that we headed offshore and caught a keeper mutton which was requested by the customers so cool to make that happen, along with a bunch of nice lane snappers. Never know what you are going to come across here fishing in Islamorada especially before these cold fronts. It looks like after the front comes through it’s going to get calm again but stay on the cooler side. Should be an excellent week here for fishing late January in Islamorada.
January is rollin’ by and we’ve been getting out a bit catching some fish! It’s not been super busy which often is the case… we always have a busy christmas week then sometimes a few days after New Years, and then season really starts rocking again in mid February. But i’ve been getting out a few days a week and been having some fun. I had my buddy Kyle out the other day. Weather was a little iffy we’ve had some rain in between the cold fronts which is unusual for January but nothing surprises you with the weather these days. Though not enough to keep us from having a good time most days. The reef fishing was really good lots of snappers including keeper mutton snapper which is my favorite to eat! We had some cero mackerels mixed in on the patch reefs which are always a winter time favorite on the atlantic side. Got a nice goliath under one of the bridges which was fun, been catching those fairly consistently for anyone who wants to try there hand at it. The mangrove snappers were nice and large too for us we had plenty for dinner. And can’t forget about the nice blacktip shark for something bigger to pull on to! Tarpon fishing has been a little slower but that is to be expected in January, but the sharks are a good alternative for something large. You can expect tarpon fishing to get better in February but anytime it gets warmer in the 80s they’ll start biting more. Hope to get you out there soon give me a shout and let’s go fishing!
Got out for fun with my family to do a little patch reef fishing in Islamorada on the atlantic ocean side. We had a really fun trip we ended up taking a deck boat out there not my usual 20 ft seacraft. But it was fairly calm and nice. We got into a ton of yellow jacks which was lots of fun and they are really great eating. Especially if you like sashimi the meat is very nice uncooked. On the bigger bottom rods the grouper bite was pretty good too we caught several even a couple keeper size ones, however grouper season is now closed so we had to throw them all back. Grouper are fun to fight though and definitely give you a tussle trying to get them out of the rocks. Patch reef fishing in Islamorada should remain a good option for the next few months especially when we have more northerly/northeasterly winds and my seacraft can get out there a lot of days you can’t make it with a smaller skiff. Let’s get out fishing soon!
Got on to a good bite of goliath groupers fishing the bridges in Islamorada this morning. We had our heavier tackle out that we normally use for tarpon but we were fishing near the bridge pilings. Sure enough we got picked up and had some good tussles with goliath groupers! A few got us rocked up but we landed some nice ones as well. Great fight and such a cool fish… hard to believe they’ll grow to 800 lbs! They are all catch and release so we handled them gently and did so. We also were able to put together a small cooler full of mangrove snappers and some other various patch reef fish for a good lunch for the crew afterwards. Christmas Week is here and it’s looking like it’ll be really nice. We had some recent cold weather and its been slowly warming up the last few days but temperatures have been great and should stay that way for the holiday week coming up. Tarpon may be a possibility too with water temperatures getting into the bottom range they start to like. Let’s get something booked before it gets slammed here after Christmas, give me a shout!
Well after almost a week of not seeing the sun from some crazy late season tropical system that hit us we finally had a nice day again! Over the weekend we had torrential rain and wind at a steady 30 knots gusting to 50, and some rainy days for several days before that too. Just crazy weather this year as we had another similar system a little over a month ago too. Normally the winter is dry season but not this year though hopefully that is the last of it. We did have another cold front push in that switched things up once the last rain bands went through last night the winds swung northeast and temps dropped to 65… not freezing cold but definitely a difference. We weren’t sure what we’d find with the fishing as waters were very muddy in the bay and all that wind, weather, and rain surely switched things up. But it was good we had pretty good fishing on the patch reefs with various snappers, groupers, and more. Patch reefs are a good bet when the water gets stirred up as that is where you often have clean Atlantic water and when the dirty bay water mixes in, it brings lots of shrimp, crabs, and other things for fish to eat. We also got some nice local Islamorada snook which was really cool too. I’ve got some openings this week and some still for Christmas week so lets get something on the calendar!
Got out on the patches for a trip today. The patches are sets of coral heads, sea fans, and lively hard bottom that are on the atlantic side of the Florida Keys. So not exactly the same as the ‘backcountry’ gulf side, but it’s still fairly shallow 15-30 foot of water. The seacraft boat is great for fishing out here because of it’s high gunwales and bow, so you can get out on these bits of reef even when the wind is blowing a little bit. Moreso than you could on a skiff anyways. And the fishing tends to be really good in the fall, winter, and spring when the water is cooler out here. It’s a great option on half days you can get good table fare, and pull on a big variety of fish. We had action with barracudas which was fun on light tackle. Also some various groupers on the bottom including a juvenile goliath. A huge nurse shark gave us a good battle as well look how big that sucker is! Hogfish were on the scene too which unfortunately we can’t really keep much any longer due to regulations, but they are fun to catch and beautiful to see. And of course a variety of snappers out there too that we were able to get a bucket of for a meal. The phones starting to ring for christmas week and season next year, and we still have some openings around Thanksgiving. If you want to get out on the water book a trip today call 305-664-2461 and ask for Capt. Trent, or you can use the link on the website to book now!
Got out for a half day today with a father and young 6 year old son. Fishing was pretty good to us we caught our live pilchards to start the day. Bait has been pretty consistent lately. One of the nice things about the fall. We did have that crazy storm a few days ago that had winds clocked up to 80 mph out at alligator lighthouse though. That did make the bait and fishing a little tougher for a couple days though things had balanced out now thankfully. We stuck around some of the mangrove islands in the Bay and had good action with juvenile tarpon! Hooked several and landed a couple – what a catch for a 6 year old too! These small tarpon put on a show but you don’t have to pull on them for an hour like the big boys. We also had some nice mangrove snappers for tablefare later on. Drifting pilchards against the bush lines did the trick there. They had such a good time we ended up extending our day a bit longer too. I have plenty of days open this coming week and until Christmas week really. Let’s get out fishing we currently are offering discounted rates too!
Had another awesome half day trip today! We caught pilchards early to start the day, plenty of ’em around as mentioned last report. We hit some shallow water patch reefs on the ocean side with the calmer weather. These are small clusters of coral heads and sea fans on the atlantic side, usually in anywhere from 15 to 30 ft of water. The seacraft I’m running now can get out there even on the slightly rougher days and it is often great fishing this time of year. We had all kinds of action with various snappers, groupers, jacks, and more! We had a few nice jumbo mangrove snappers, and even got a large mutton snapper which was awesome! He got us in the rocks for a few minutes and we let him be, and then maneuvered the boat around and managed to get him loose! We also had quite a few yellow jacks which make for great table fare too.
Well it’s slowed down slightly with business now, we’ll hopefully have a busy weekend around Thanksgiving and of course after Christmas. But other than that its a great time to come to the Keys to get the place to yourself. I’ve still been getting out a couple days a week and fun fishing on my own some. Last couple trips we did half days and the snapper fishing was excellent! Big pilchards (baitfish) are around all over the place with the fall weather arriving. So bait is easy to get most of the time and that is often half the battle of a good fishing trip. With those on hand we’ve been finding very good size mangrove snappers which make for excellent tablefare! Also with the pilchards you always have a shot of catching a nice snook, tarpon, jack, grouper, etc… around the bridges or in some of the local honey holes nearby. If you are wanting to get out and fish let’s do it I’ve got plenty of availability and we’d love to get you out there!