1-3-12 Islamorada Fishing in January

We ventured out fishing the last couple days on Islamorada Fishing Charters and had lots of action on both the 2nd and the 3rd of January. Yesterday we focused on sailfishing in the morning, but before that a boat called us in on a big school of cobia and we boated a nice 35 lber. We then started looking for the sailfish. ¬†The sails were up inside the reef in 35′ to 50′ of water chasing big schools of ballyhoo, also known as showering. We then will sight fish and run to the “showers” and cast at the fish when we see them. We saw probably a dozen fishing “showering” but could only manage 3 bites. Fortunately we caught and released 2 of the bites we had. After that we decided to try some wreck fishing in Islamorada¬†and caught a nice king mackerel about 15 lbs right away. I then decided to send down a big bait in hopes for a goliath grouper. It didn’t take long to get a bite, but after a 15 minute battle we had the big fish next to the boat, but it wasn’t a goliath, it was a 7′ bull shark! Somewhere around 250 lbs! After that we went and released a couple barracuda for fun. Today we took an Islamorada reef fishing trip and started out the day by catching live bait, including ballyhoo and cigar minnows. From there we anchored down on a deep reef and caught 3 king mackerel around 7 or 8 lbs. After that we caught some big crevalle jacks from 10 to 15 lbs on a wreck. We also had a kite out and had a hammer head shark come up chasing the blue runner, and after a 30 second chase the shark had the bait. We had the 5′ hammerhead hooked on 20 lb test and after a 20 minute fight we had the shark next to the boat and removed the hooks. Next we decided to catch something else to pull hard so we found a pair of amberjacks at 20 lbs and 40 lbs. We kept them for dinner and then made our way back to the edge of the reef. Within 15 minutes we found a pair of sailfish swimming over the sand bottom and managed to get one bite. The fish came up jumping and we caught and released the 30 lb sailfish after a 5 minute fight. But our day wasn’t over yet. As we were moving up the reef we found a big stingray with a school of cobia following him! Which is how we catch them this time of year. We caught 2 cobia off him but both were undersize, and then we decided to call it a day and head in from our day of fishing in Islamorada.

About Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Capt. Rick Stanczyk is a locally born and raised charter fishing captain in Islamorada, FL. He caught his first bonefish when he was 3 and has been 'on the water fishing' ever since. He loves what he does and enjoys showing his clients a great time fishing in the Florida Keys. Contact him at 305-747-6903 or rick@fishingislamorada.com!
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