Greetings friends and I hope your winter is as fabulous as ours has been here in the Florida Keys in January. Our winter islamorada fishing charters have not disappointed and the bite has been overall just good. We’ve been mixing things up a lot lately with a variety of types of fishing as is the norm in the winter time. The most consistent trip for action has been in the gulf. The spanish mackerel have been biting voraciously on both the incoming and outgoing tides. With my larger center console boat I can get out there just about any day. We’ve been hanging the chum bag and fast jigging with shrimp. The mackerel are in the 3-5 lb range mostly and we’ve been getting double digit catches just about every trip. Some days they are waiting there when you set up and anchor, others you may have to sit and chum for 30 minutes, but they’ve always been finding us. Out there too are very large blacktip sharks and they have been a good alternative to tarpon if you want to pull on something big that jumps and puts on a show! Yesterday we found some tripletail further out in the gulf as well which is a fun option for those wanting to ‘sight fish’ especially on a calm nice day. Fishing the everglades in january has not been quite as red hot with action, though for anglers looking for more of a challenge and opportunity to catch more of a trophy type fish it is a good bet. We’ve been getting redfish, snook, blackdrum, and sheepshead most days. Some days it is good and you will catch a few fish in every spot you hit, other days you may strike out and hopefully find at least one spot holding some good fish. Of course days when the ‘honey holes’ are not producing we often put the trolling motor in and just work creeks, channels, and shorelines to cover more ground and put you on the fish. The bite can turn on in an instant though, especially with an impending cold front. We got a huge 20 lb black drum yesterday as well as a nice big redfish, plus several other drum, snook, trout, and tripletail. Andy and his sons who have fished with me for years and have been blessed with good days just about every time had to work for them a few days ago, but did manage a good trip with 8 nice redfish, a snook, a sheepshead, and finished up with about 15 spanish mackerel and a couple bluefish. Out front the other great option especially for half days has been the florida keys patch reef fishing. Porgy, hogfish, snapper, and grouper have been consistent out there and it’s often all the rod bending action you could ask for. We got into a good bite of barracuda the other day too, which was lots of fun with big live pilchards for bait. This is great for people wanting a few fish for dinner too as I promise you will not find better eating fish anywhere. If your looking to get out on the water give me a call I have a few days open in January left, and February is starting to fill up fast as that marks the traditional start of our busy season. Tarpon fishing should be starting to get better as we get into February that is when I start focusing on that more as it is consistently warmer.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Well the big story of January 2015 here in Islamorada, Florida is the warm weather! It feels like late spring time with highs in the 80s. The fish are a little confused but that is not a problem. We’ve started doing some of our normal ‘spring time’ fishing trips a little early. Tarpon have been around in good number and we’ve been getting shots at that almost every trip the past week. I’ve had several over 100 lbs which have given my anglers some very good battles. Of course this won’t likely last and when we get some more cold weather, things in the everglades such as redfish, snook, black drum, etc.. should pick back up. In December that was still fairly good, though with it being warmer the snook and reds are much more spread out in the creeks where we often fish in the winter, so you must have patience to cast and work areas thoroughly. Mixed in with tarpon have been a variety of sharks as well, including big black tips which put on a helluva show when they jump and take off! We also got a nice hammerhead shark one day. Otherwise we’ve been fishing the gulf a lot and the spanish mackerel bite has been very good, probably the most consistent thing around right now as far as making sure to get the rod bent! Mixed in with them are plenty of big ladyfish, mangrove snapper, and the occasional trout and pompano. We’ve had a few cobias the last week as well. On the nicer days when the water is pretty you can find them on many of the gulf wrecks. Looks like in a few days we will be getting another good cold front, so I may venture back to the usual winter time haunts of cape sable and flamingo. Drop me a line if your interested in fishing this January. Depending on the weather just about anything may be possible!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Well the december islamorada fishing has been pretty fantastic so far. The time between thanksgiving and christmas sometimes is a bit slow for us with business, but with the few charters I’ve had and the fun fishing days, I’ve been keeping busy! Things are picking up though this week the fun has rang a lot and most my days from the 20th through New Years are booked solid. Still have a few days though before that if anyone wants to go out, and of course January is still great for florida keys winter fishing. Today we had an epic day we had a good cold front come through the last few days, though the wind died down to less than 5mph today. It was chilly though, in the 50s in the backcountry this morning. We started out in the gulf and put the chum out, within 30 minutes we had a good spanish mackerel bite going. We landed probably close to 3 dozen mackerel in 2 hours. Mid day we ran back around the flamingo area to look for some snook and drum. We found a good load of snook around some islands, and caught about 20 or so. All feeding on lively big shrimp which are plentiful here in the winter time. We also caught a handful of redfish and sheepshead. We tried some of the channel runoffs the last hour of the day, though did not find much there, but my anglers arms were sore anyways so it was all good! The last couple week during and after the cold fronts there has been good fishing in the backcountry, just have to catch the spots right. Redfish, black drum, snook, and sheepshead are all on the menu. Earlier this month I’ve mostly had half days fishing the patch reefs. The action has been hot and heavy out there, with a good amount of porgy and hogfish around. The hogs were very nice size a few days ago and we had half a dozen in the box for dinner. Elsewhere in the islamorada backcountry the trout have been showing up in the ditches too, and the nice size big ‘winter time’ trout. This is a fun option for half day trips, and you can stay in fairly calm water too. Drop me a line and lets plan your next florida keys fishing vacation.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
It’s definitely “winter-time” fishing here in Islamorada now! We’ve had a few cold fronts come through the last few weeks and we are seeing the usual suspects while out there fishing. Each trip on my charter boat, Bn’M II at Bud n’ Mary’s Marina, has been a little different. Conditions change everyday but we’ve caught plenty of fish by the end of each Islamorada full day fishing trip. We’ve had quite a few families out fishing the last couple weeks and it’s been great seeing the smiles all the kids have had while catching fish! We’ve been live baiting while kite fishing and slow trolling for sailfish, king mackerel, and the occasional mahi and blackfin tuna. A couple days we caught a surprising amount of mahi for late November, but I wouldn’t expect to catch tons of them throughout the winter. I really haven’t put much time in for wahoo or cobia yet, but I have seen a couple around the dock. They should only get better as the weeks pass. We’ve been doing a lot of anchoring down for bottom fishing lately too. A few days the conditions were tough, with the current going into the wind. But after moving a couple times and trying both the shallow patch reefs and the deeper main reef we’ve caught a bucket full of fish each trip! We’ve had plenty of yellowtail snapper, a few big mangrove snapper, a couple mutton snapper, a few black groupers, and had a surprise amberjack the other day. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you’d like to book a fishing trip.
Capt. Nick Stanczyk
We’re a good way into November and are officially in ‘fall’ fishing mode here in the Florida Keys. We’ve had a real taste of colder weather we had a good front about a week ago that dropped temperatures down in the high 50s here. That chilled the water temps down nicely they are back in the mid 70s now but that gave us a few real good days of backcountry inshore fishing in the florida keys. We had an excellent day with redfish and snook catching over 3 dozen fish a few days ago, mostly redfish on the bottom of the tides in channel runoffs. The last couple of days I’ve been snook fishing and that has been pretty good we got double digit snook each day the last two days. They’ve been eating pilchards which are readily available on the shorelines of Islamorada. We catch them fresh every morning usually. The snook fishing has been decent it’s not a bite every cast and often it requires a good bit of chumming to get them going, but we’ve been able to get a good catch with some hard work. Elsewhere the patch reefs have been strong with snapper, porgy, and hogfish. The spanish mackerel bite has not really fired up red hot yet, though that should get good with another front which we may be getting this weekend. If your looking to come experience fishing in the everglades now is a great time. Or if you want a half day of action and good eating fish, the patch reefs of islamorada are a great option too. Give me a call let’s go fishing!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk