It's that time of year again. The weather is getting nice and the Tarpon are showing up in droves. We have already landed our first handful of full size Migratory Tarpon this season. Come try your hand at taming the Silver King. Live baiting with Mullet or Pilchards seems to be the key now, but crabs and large shrimp will come in to play soon. Call me up for the few days I have left in May -June for your chance to boat the beast!
Snook Season is back open here in the Florida Keys. Although we target Snook all year this gives you the opportunity to keep a Snook if so desired. The regulations are tight and the limits are low to protect these amazing fish. Along side Snook you will find Redfish, Sea Trout and the ever tasty Mangrove Snapper. The best way to target this drag screaming species is with a live bait along shorelines. Although they may be fished with artificial in channels or on the flats. Give me a call if you want to get out and try your hand at these beauties!
Spring Break is just around the corner and spots are filling up fast. The fishing is hot and the weather is warm. Catches of double digit numbers of Snook have been more often than not. The Spanish and King Macs are still here and hungry. Triple tail has been a little spotty, but the ones we have caught have been over the minimum and have made some great dinners. Had a couple of buddies from Jersey out that had a banner day with a large triple tail and a MONSTER Redfish. Call me up and get your trip on the books!
In October you don't really here me talking about Snook and Tarpon that much, but that's exactly what I'm going to do now. The past two weeks we have had some amazing Snook and Tarpon fishing in the Everglades National Park around the Islands and Flamingo. Days of double digit snook days have been the norm mixed in with some big mangrove snapper. Fishing live pilchards around the mangrove islands has been the ticket. With the cooler water temps shrimp are starting to be bigger and more plentiful as well making for a delicious bait. Keep your eyes open for Tarpon rolling and busting on small baits. When you see them lay a bait in front of them with a natural presentation and they most likely can't resist. The crab traps have gone out and that means early season triple tail. I haven't had that much of an opportunity to chase them with the wind the past week or so, but the first calm day you better believe I'm going. I've said it before and I will say it again. October and November are two of the best months to come to the Florida Keys. Offseason prices at hotels, less crowds, and cooler days. Not to mention the phenomenal fishing.
With the heat of summer upon us it's easy to think. "Oh its just to hot to fish". To avoid the heat I always suggest two things. The first is leave earlier when the sun is still coming up and the temps have yet to rise. The water temps are cooler and the fish are more active. This is especially true for species such as Tarpon. Although Tarpon season is over we still have opportunities for the silver king. We also have what i like to lovingly call the silver prince or baby tarpon. The Juvenile fish that haven't grown large enough for the annual migration. I like to target these little acrobats with artificial baits such as D.O.A. Cal or D.O.A Shrimp.
My other suggestion for the not so early risers would be a late afternoon/evening trip. This trip would leave four or so hours before sunset and be heading back to the dock in the glow of sunset. Jack Crevalle and Sharks would be likely suspects in this endeavor. Hard fighting under appreciated fish that can be as aggressive as anything out there.
As the holidays approach us and we begin to make plans some of us think about winter and snow and the traditional things, while others plan vacations to get away from those things. The holiday break is a very busy time for charter fishing and guides here in Islamorada. We do a lot of fishing with families and beginners during this time as well as seasoned anglers. It is not uncommon to see me with a Mom, Dad, and a couple of kids with rods bent and smiles on their faces. I enjoy greatly fishing with these families and teaching and helping these kids to learn something new. I even sometimes offer a 2 hour charter for the younger children to dip their toe in the fishing pool. Typical catches for these types of charters this time of year is Snappers, jack, and small barracuda and sharks or sea trout. We tend to focus on catching fish rather than the size and species. I've found that it is better to keep them busy and laughing and smiling than chasing the big fish. If you are or aren't a fisherman or woman and are going to be in the area I highly recommend giving it a try. I think you will be surprised by the fun you will have.
Sometimes you really just want to get away from it all. You want to feel the quiet tranquility and be one with nature. (While still fishing of course) I have a charter to accommodate just that. While feeling completely disconnected from the world and satisfying that exploratory urge we get from time to time. We travel deep in to the everglade where access is limited to boats only. NO Roads, No Cars, and NO PHONES! Just you, your rod, and the fish. You will see very few boats (if any) so you can relax and enjoy the serenity. This charter is a minimum of 8 hours and you should be prepared for a longer than normal boat ride, but you will have opportunities to cast at fish that get very little pressure. On my last excursion deep in to the depths of the Everglades. We caught over 30 Redfish and just as many Snook if not more along with Tarpon, Ladyfish, Trout, Jack Crevalle, Sharks and more. As well as seeing Bald Eagles, American Crocodiles, Alligators, Raccoons, and so much more. You will feel like Lewis and Clark exploring all new lands and enjoy being off the grid.
Well, I don't know if I could have a much more awesome start to November as we did on our charter yesterday. The day started off a little rocky as we had a bit of trouble finding the live bait. After looking for about an hour in a little windy conditions. We made the decision to go ahead and head out with what we already had which was a solid mixture of big shrimp, Crabs and a few pinfish. As we were making our run to the fishing destination the wind started to subside and the conditions improved. We used our MotorGuide Xi5 trolling motor with GPS anchoring system to hold us on the spot. On the first cast out we hooked a nice Jack Crevalle. This proceeded for at least an hour literally catching Jacks, Trout, and Snappers on every cast. While this was going on I hooked up a Jack to the big rod and BOOM! Bull Shark on and running. It was spooling line of the Quantum 30 like it was nothing. As we were fighting him we see another shark swimming right through and cut the line. We didn't land the fish but it was a super cool thing to see the fish that fired up. The next cast with the Cabo 40 was made and immediately the line went tight and the No. 8 tackle rod doubled over. We had a big one on! We couldn't see the fish it was all speculation from here. One minute we think huge jack, then Shark, then Cobia. The fight lasted 30 minutes and included wrapping around crab traps, and other obstacles at least 3 times. Finally we get away from everything and we see silver flashes. PERMIT!!!!! and a big one at that it measured out at 35 inches. On an adrenaline high we head back to the spot after we had been pulled all around the area. We make another cast and the rod doubles over again. I think it can't be another Permit and I was right. It was a 36 in 20 pound Bull Red which is a large mature Redfish ready to spawn. We caught one more after just a little smaller than the first and decided to leave to try and complete the backcountry slam. We ran around for a while before locating them and it was getting late in the trip. We power poled down in the predetermined last spot of the day and landed a decent Snook on the second cast. That was a happy and memorable ride home for my clients and one full of stories and recaps of the days action. If you want a chance at a day like this call me to book PEAK FALL AND WINTER TIMES ARE BOOKING UP FAST!!!!
Catching, catching , and catching thats the story here. This week we crushed them. Drifting in the grass flats was the key. It didn't matter what bait you put out you were getting a bite. We caught on popping corks with bait and artificial, jigs and live bait hooks. You never knew what you were going to catch. The variety was endless, Snapper, Trout, Ladyfish, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel all mixed in together. Even Sharks got in on the action. This was a fun and exciting experience for my Anglers from Illinois that only get to catch blue gill and the occasional bass in their home lakes. In my opinion fast and furious action is the key to creating new anglers whether that be children or adults just starting to understand the allure of our wonderful sport!
Check back frequently for new inshore Islamorada fishing reports!