How to fish with shrimp in Islamorada

Fishing with live shrimp in the Florida Keys is probably the most popular style of fishing in the area.  Just about every bait shop throughout south florida carries live shrimp.  These shrimp are caught in areas of the gulf and atlantic by trawlers who consistently net them and then truck them to local area bait shop early in the morning.  It is one of the staples of our fishing industry and without them it would make the life of an islamorada fishing guide very tough!  Just about everything eats shrimp so it is the go-to bait for us.  Of course certain baits work better for certain things depending on a variety of conditions, however we bring live shrimp along on just about every charter.  In Islamorada itself we do not have a big run of shrimp consistently, so we rely on trawlers who go out closer to the mainland and bring them down to us.  In the winter time though with the right conditions (cold front coming in), they will run and you can catch shrimp in islamorada.  So we will get down to the basic of buying, caring, and using shrimp for bait.  Winter time we get the largest shrimp and with the cooler water temperature, everything in the backcountry just about eats them as well as on the patch reefs.  Summer time is often a tougher time as the shrimp are usually very small, and you may be better off trying to catch other forms of live bait or even using artificials in some cases.  

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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!

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