1/22/17 Islamorada Half Day fishing in January

Whew today it was a windy one blowing 20-25 out of the southwest!  We were able to get out though and do some fishing.  The ride out wasn’t terrible we were able to scoot across shallow water for a good part of it without getting too beat up or wet, and eventually tacked down sea out into the near gulf.  Once anchored it wasn’t really bad and we had pretty good fishing.  We caught about 2 dozen mackerels, and a handful of blue runners, yellowtails, and a red grouper.  Definitely worth the run out there!  Going home it was a bit more difficult as we had a bad angle with the wind, so we had to zig and zag a lot and took a bit more spray than I like but at least it wasn’t cold!  Once we got to shallow water again it wasn’t bad the rest of the way, but that’s the price of admission on days like today.  The nice thing about fishing in the Florida Keys backcountry is you can just about always get out no matter what the weather is doing and get it done.  Taking tomorrow off and then tuesday I am open, it is suppose to get nicer tuesday and I hope we are gonna have a great end of the week with the weather cooling off monday and tuesday night.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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1/21/17 Florida Keys Fishing in January

Today the wind kicked up a little bit again it wasn’t flat calm like yesterday.  But not too bad a light southerly breeze most of the day that did kick up a little more to 10 -15 mph by the end of the day.  We hit the gulf again and had good fishing.  The first stop we didn’t find the cobias on the wreck where they were yesterday, but we had plenty of action with jacks, snappers, and a couple mackerel.  We ran to another spot after about 45 minutes to try and the mackerel were swarming there we probably caught 20 or so in about an hour.  After that we ran another 10 miles out into the gulf to try a deeper wreck.  We didn’t see many triple tail on the way out, none as a matter of fact.  The wreck had some big goliaths on it, we caught 3 up to 150 lbs which was cool!  But not much else for other fish there either.  We ran back towards the mainland and did catch one triple tail on the way in, a little guy off of a crab pot buoy.  We tried a piece of structure for more cobia on the way but no luck there.  Finally the last stop of the day the water looked pretty and green and we hooked some big critters right away but we had a couple break us off twice in a row.  I threw a pinfish out and we hooked up instantly to a cobia!  After that we ended up catching another one, and had a third one on for a while that was a nice fish (keeper size) but unfortunately when we got him to the landing net on the leader, he broke off before we could get him in the net!  Anyways it was a fun fight and a technical release since we had the leader, though that doesn’t make people feel much better that are wanting to throw him in the ice box!  Anyways after that we were out of pinfish but we caught some big sharks, a couple big bull sharks one of 150 lbs, and the other likely 250 lbs a real monster!  It was a great way to finish up another fabulous fishing day in Islamorada, Florida.  Looks like the winds are gonna kick up to 20-25 mph tomorrow, and then swing around west to north as another cold front hits us on Monday.  I have a half day in the morning hopefully we can get it done and then not much until mid-week which is just as well I think Monday and possibly Tuesday may not be great for fishing… But you never know sometimes the forecasters are wrong!   Gimme a shout if you are looking to get out I’ll shoot you straight.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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1/20/17 January Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico out of the Florida Keys

Got out with good friends Frank and Helen Cone today on a backcountry fishing charter in Islamorada.  It was flat calm again so we ventured out into the gulf to do some fishing out there.  The first wreck we hit was loaded with fish and we caught tons of jacks, snappers, and some spanish mackerel.  Eventually the cobias showed up too and joined the party.  We landed 4 of them, with one of them being a nice keeper size of 25 lbs!  After the tide quit things slowed down and we ran up towards the mainland.  We saw a handful of tripletails but not many, landed 1 nice keeper and another one we released.  Saw a few more but no luck they were very skittish.  We tried a few areas of structure for more cobias or possibly big redfish that show up on nice calm days in the gulf on days like this, but no luck.  We finished the day inside cape sable, and caught a couple nice snook to finish the day.  So all in all it was about quality over quantity today but we still had a good bit of both!  Tomorrow looks fairly nice a little more wind out of the south, but likely try the gulf again.  Then Sunday night we are getting another cold front so may have a nasty day or two early next week, but I think the cool down will make the everglades/backcountry fishing better again for a little bit.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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1/18/17 January Half Day Fishing in the Florida Keys

Got out today in the near gulf of mexico fishing out of Islamorada, FL.  We went fishing for spanish mackerel out there.  Conditions looked pretty good the wind laid down nicely from what it has been the last week, a nice 5-10 mph and once we got a ways out there it laid down to almost nothing.  Felt like a warm summer day almost in the middle of January!  Once we arrive at the ‘fishing hole’ – a few white holes in the bay grass with some scattered debris and structure – we hung the chum bag and waited for fish to come.  The current was just starting out… tide is important when mackerel fishing and usually the falling tide is best in the gulf and you want the current moving.  It wasn’t moving very hard today but got going a little bit eventually.  We were using jigs tipped with shrimp with heavier mono leader as the mackerel have sharp teeth.  Anyways after 15 or 20 minutes we started catching a few, and eventually we got into a steady bite.  Mackerel will come in waves and you’ll catch them seemingly every cast for a spell, then you’ll go 10 or 15 minutes with nothing and think they’ve disappeared, then suddenly you’ll start catching them again!  This went on for the couple hours we were out there and we also caught a few bluefish and blue runners.  We put a shark rod out for the last hour but no luck with that… I think with the lack of current it was tough to get a scent trail going.  Anyways the macks kept us busy enough and we got back home by 11 to call it a day.  I’m off tomorrow so far and the weekend looks fairly nice too, then Monday we are getting another cold front… I think that’ll be a good thing especially for our deeper everglades fishing for drum, snook, reds, etc…  If you want to get out there, gimme a ring!  Season is coming up fast and it’s about to be very busy.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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1/17/17 Islamorada Backcountry Fishing Trip in January

Got out into the backcountry again today it was kind of a slow pick throughout the day, never got into any big schools of fish.  But we worked around in the AM and eventually found a spot holding some decent sized sheepshead.  We caught maybe 8 or 10 of those and then fished around a bit.  Picked about half a dozen snook off a few spots, mostly little guys but did get one decent one, and lost two or three nice ones that broke us off or pulled the hook.  Also got a handful of black drums while doing this.  After that we hit a few other spots without much luck, but got a couple nice fish to end the day a black drum, a nice redfish, and a sheepshead.  Had falling tide most of the day, the fish seem to be pretty spread out and just takes patience to work areas and pick and move.  If you are a good caster it helps tremendously!  Anyways have a half day tomorrow probably do the patch reefs or maybe mackerels in the bay.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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