Been a while since I gave an updated report about fishing in Islamorada, but here’s a few pics from the last couple months. It has been a much better year for daytime swordfish than last year. They still aren’t guaranteed by any means, but we caught 1 or 2 broadbill swordfish on 15 of our last 20 trips. Most the fish have been from 50 – 120 lbs, but we did have a couple over 200 this summer as well. The mahi are finally slowing down a little the past week here in August, but June and July were two of the most consistent months for mahi we’ve ever seen! There was plenty of keeper size fish from 3 – 8 lbs, and we had a couple big bulls this year. A 57 lber was our biggest on the Bn’M II, and my personal best here my entire life! A 42 lber bull was my second biggest of the season. The blackfin tuna were a little hit and miss this summer, but the last week they have been showing up in good numbers on the humps. I currently have my 36′ Jersey Devil Sportfish Boat for sale. The next few months we should see more good swordfishing when the weather cooperates, and the blackfin tunas and sharks on the humps should be entertaining as well.
Can’t believe it’s the middle of august already, boy time flies! I’ve been as busy as ever still fishing just about every day though I am getting ready to go out of town here for a couple weeks to get married. August Florida Keys Fishing has been so good figured I’d share before I left – if your interested in booking a charter don’t hesitate to email me I can line you up with a good guide while I’m away! I’ve been still doing a lot of islamorada tarpon fishing charters. Things have been very hot mid day and the fishing has often been a bit slower come that time so early starts have helped. We’ve had mostly light breezes, if any at all, out of the south which is a much warmer wind usually. I’ve still been getting mullet regularly first thing in the morning with the 6 AM departures. The backcountry tarpon fishing off the beaches of the mainland has been very consistent. My last 7 trips we have landed 14 tarpon, so averaging 2 per trip and all trips caught 1 fish at least – not bad at all for mid-august! Many tarpon in the 30-60 lb range which we consider on the smaller side or ‘resident’ size tarpon. I’m happy to see that and hopefully if the weather stays relatively stable these fish should be there for a bit longer. There are plenty of sharks, mostly blacktips, mixed in with them too. When not fishing for tarpon I’ve still been doing some trout and snapper fishing in the bays. Using small cut ballyhoo, chunks of mullet, or even GULP artificials can do the trick, however as I tell my customers most the best keys tarpon fishing is the first few hours of the day. So often it’s a pick though when we have a lot of bait and chum you can usually get the snappers going pretty good at least if nothing else. When pilchards or pinfish come up we are still catching those and I’ve been catching a few snook here and there around the islands and mangrove-laden shorelines. But to be honest this time of year I am happy to do a 5 or 6 hour day, put in the hard work early for a few tarpon and sharks, and be back home in time for lunch!
August is officially here! We’ve just finished up with lobster mini-season. It’s quite a zoo down here with everyone diving and snorkeling for the crawling critters on the bottom. Regular lobster season opens this coming week and will be crazy for a week or two, but that soon dies down again. Luckily most the fishing I am doing is back in the everglades as of late or the gulf, where we aren’t bothered by all the people. The last couple days I fished were truly incredible. In two days we’ve released 9 tarpon, 7 big snook 10-15 lbs, another 6 smaller snook, 8 goliath grouper, half a dozen large blacktip sharks, some big snappers, and a handful of other critters. The bait in the backcountry is still readily available, I’ve been catching mullet early in the mornings really every morning. Also on full days I’ve still been having good luck chumming pilchards up which we are using for snook and big snappers. That is great fishing any time of year, let alone the beginning of August fishing islamorada, which is typically considered the ‘slow’ period here in the Florida Keys. But as I always tell people – conditions really dictate the fishing here, it doesn’t matter whether it be in ‘season’ or not. However I will say fishing had gotten a little bit tougher in days before that. The winds now are east/northeast which is great, but days in the previous week before they were southwest which is not really good for much. We had seen tarpon on some of those trips though they had gotten much tougher to get bites out of, you could sit for hours waiting for one bite, or maybe not even get that. Sharks were not even very productive. Some of the snook I had been wailing on in early July had disappeared from many of the spots I was fishing. Almost any spot I went to a few weeks ago that you would normally find snook had some fish, though last week only a handful of spots produced any fish at all. Though most days I was still able to work hard and put together a decent catch, whether it be a handful of snook, a couple tarpon, sea trout and snappers, or pulling on sharks. That’s the great thing about fishing in the florida keys there is usually always a plan B! As we get more into August the fishing can still be really good. Tarpon are still not uncommon and on the right days can be really good. Snook should still be around and getting the right bait (pilchards) will make the fishing much more productive. Redfish on the flats, trout and snappers the bays. The gulf can hold loads of permit too, I have not done that much but may try it if anyone asks.