Got out for a fun trip with my dad Richard Sr, Stephen Byrd, and friend Capt. Dave Peck. We decided to try some stuff that I hadn’t fished in a while and explore a little. We caught some pilchards early on and had good live shrimp so we were baited up. Catching pilchards in November for fishing is a time honored tradition for getting on those ‘hot bite’ days. We banged away at some nice flamingo redfish in the first place we stopped landing quite a few. I got a nice big one as we moved a little further down working the edges of the structure we were fishing. Casting accurately is key in these situations and I had a boat full of excellent anglers so we made it look easy. We tried some other points and all the ones that had pretty looking water were holding plenty of fish. Got into some snook on the next one which was fun to mix it up. We then tried another area nearby that I hadn’t fished in years. Nothing in the first place but we moved down again and same thing once we found nice looking water with a little current moving it was game on. Some more redfish and then the snook started chomping! We lost a big one and caught a couple nice ones too. We then tried another spot and I got one nice snook there. The tide was now starting to fall and so things were starting to get shallow in the areas we had been fishing. I noticed some bait flipping and we made a throw with the cast net, and got a bunch of baby threadfin herring! These are great baits but they normally don’t keep very good when you net them, but these ones maybe because they were small didn’t do bad. They were even still alive when we got home. Anyways the next few stops we didn’t catch much, but we tried one other area before calling it a day. The snook were stacked up here, lots of little guys though we did catch a few decent ones on our new threadfins. We tried one other piece of structure in the area and we were about to call it quits when Dave hooked a monster snook, the biggest of the day! Unfortunately after one good jump he threw the hook and we were a little depressed. But I caught another smaller snook and then also landed a respectable 6 lber. I think the one he lost may of been a 10 lber though it was a very nice looking fish! Anyways that was all she wrote and we headed home victors of the day. I think we all landed fish in the double digits with close to 50 snook and reds. Just an awesome day one of the best if not the best I’ve had since Hurricane Irma. I don’t have anything on the books for a little bit here, so if anybody wants to go especially later this week, we look to have similar conditions. The weekdays are best as there are no crowds back there and that leaves many more options open as far as places to fish! Give me a shout!
Got out with Terry and his dad Pauly today. Pauly is a young 90 years old and wanted to catch some fish! We started out loading up the live wells with live shrimp from the bait shop and pilchards that we netted. I was able to find them early before the guys got to the dock so that was nice. Lots of sandy key pilchards not the razor bellies that we usually prefer, but they work just fine. They just don’t stay as lively especially later in the day. We headed into the everglades first to do a little snook fishing with pilchards. There was a lot of boat traffic being a gorgeous day and a weekend, but we were able to find a few fish away from the crowds. Pauly landed the largest fish, he caught two nice snook! Terry got a few more than that but mostly little guys. It was fun though and we saw some cool crocodiles which was neat. After that things slowed down a little and I decided to go try fishing for the spanish mackerels in the gulf of mexico. It normally starts to get fairly good this time of year but it hadn’t yet, I think due to the hurricane and lack of cold weather. Things did cool down a tad while I was gone though and the water look beautiful which was good to see. We chummed hard and soon we had some mackerels buzzing around the boat. The boys each caught a good handful, and we had quite a few more that we lost. They were grabbing the pilchards and slicing them in half, just not getting the hook as often as I’d like. But still good fun! We also caught a few lane snappers, blue runners, big ladyfish, and bluefish. All in all a great day on the water, the guys had a lot of fun and caught quite a few species of fish. I don’t have much going on this week so if anybody wants to go fishing give me a shout, weather and conditions look to stay reasonably favorable… the wind may kick up some Tuesday especially but other then that looks OK!
Got out with John and his sons Nick and Shaun today for a 3/4 day of inshore fishing in Islamorada. November has been steady with good action. We decided to stay local as the boys wanted more action and the backcountry right now has been a little more hit and miss, especially if you are only doing a 3/4 day as opposed to a full day. They also wanted some tablefare, and the islamorada patch reefs have been good for that! We found a good amount of snappers on our first stop. Even got a few lane snappers which was a welcome surprise! We had hits on our live bait pilchards as well as shrimp. We got some keeper mangroves, one keeper yellowtail, and then some more throwbacks. Also some throwback mutton snappers. We got a small grouper too which was cool, and everyone got to catch some small blacktip sharks! The sharks got keyed in on our chum line, and they were loving the free lined pilchards and are a great fight on light tackle. Lots of fun for the kids especially. After that the winds started to kick up a little more so we tried some stuff close to shore. We got John a nice snook near the bridge, and had another one on though we lost it. The islamorada bridge snook fishing can be good this time of year but you have to have the bait, which we did! Next stop we found some good size mangrove snappers, and kept a couple more of them. No more snook however. We blanked on a few more snook stops, did find a few baby tarpon in one place but they didn’t respond to our offerings. The last stop we found a big old school of jack crevelle going crazy on some baitfish! We caught several of them and it was entertaining watching the school come up and go crazy on the baits they were chasing. After that the boys had enough and we came in a little early. Fun day out there and nice to get some variety! I’m out of town now for a few days but coming back Friday evening. If anybody wants to go fishing this coming weekend I still have availability. Looks like we will be getting a nice cool down into the 60s… that could be excellent for our backcountry fishery with drum, snook, sheepshead, etc… Give me a shout!
Got out with Floyd and his son Grant today who were down from the gulf coast. We had a half day trip of florida keys fishing scheduled so I opted to fish the patch reefs. The winds were light out of the north and dropped down to almost nothing by late morning… very nice day out there. The november patch reef fishing has been a good option as of late, with plenty of action out there and table fare if you so desire. We had shrimp for bait but also found a few pilchards though lots of small ones, but a good handful of hook baits too. Snappers were everywhere, we caught a mix of mangroves, yellowtails, and muttons, in 4 different spots. Also got a few bar jacks too. No porgy or hogfish for me yet though I’ve heard a few guys have found some hogs on some rock piles. However this year though the hogfish season is closed until May so it’s more or less not something we’ll keep for table, but they are good rod benders though. The last place we stopped we did get into a good little barracuda bite which was fun. I changed our rigs to something a little heavier and we caught about a half dozen nice 4-6 lb cudas, lots of fun on the light gear. We also had something big that ate a large free lined shrimp, I think may of been a nice grouper, but unfortunately the hook pulled after a 5 minute battle. If you want to do some reef fishing for barracuda in islamorada, it’s a great time of year and they are consistently available on some of the patch reefs. I am booked tomorrow then going out of town tuesday for the holidays. I’ll be back late Friday, so if anyone wants to go next Saturday or Sunday, I’m available! Give me a shout!
Got out with Mike today down from ND for a 3/4 day of fishing. He didn’t have any specific species in mind for targeting. I told him it had been a little tough out back the last few days from what I’d heard, and since we just had a 3/4 day I knew that wouldn’t leave us a lot of time to switch gears once we made the hour+ trek back there if things didn’t work out well. So we decided to stay close and fish the patches and local areas. We spent a good hour or so looking for live bait but didn’t have much luck with that, only found one school of baby pilchards which were hardly worth throwing on, but I did get a few of them. Bait has not been consistent as of late. Luckily the live shrimp have been good size. November patch reef fishing is usually a good bet as the water temperatures dip down and the shallow reefs become alive. We had good action in a couple spots with various types of snappers. We got some nice mangrove snappers for dinner and Mike planned on a little hook and cook at lazy days. We also got some juvenile muttons, yellowtails, and a few grunts. One spot had a good school of yellow bar jacks too which were fun they pull a good bit! After that we tried a bay spot for some mackerel, but we had a weak tide going into the wind and not much happened there at all. We decided to finish up by trying some stake up bonefishing, which I don’t really do a whole lot of. We tried a couple different flats on the ocean side, but no bonefish bites. We did get a small bonnethead shark and a couple rays though. Anyways I’m not booked tomorrow, then have sunday and monday on the books, and going out of town tuesday for thanksgiving. If you want to go tomorrow give me a shout, or I have some days available after thanksgiving starting next Saturday! Hopefully we will get a little blast of cold weather sometime in the next week to spark up the winter time fishing.