Great day with Pat and Eric visiting from Texas. Nice northeast breeze and still cooled off from the front last week. We caught pilchards and had some shrimp and headed into the backcountry. First stop with high tide we checked and area for some snook and redfish. Boy did we get into them,. It was every cast for an hour and a half or so and we left them biting! Lots of small guys but one decent snook and one nice red, and did have another get eaten by a shark! After that we headed to another area to try some other stuff. Saw quite a few tarpon busting some baits, we tried drifting through there briefly but no action though we did get some nice trout here. We tried further offshore for some tarpon and did see a few but still not much interest. But we did get a big blacktip shark and a nice size lemon shark. Also some tripletail were floating by and we caught a few! Then we tried some other structure and got into some good jack crevelles. That was about all the wrote for the day but really good fishing it’s great to see. Definitely time to start mixing it up a bit, there are lots of options and the tarpon fishing will be sporadic. Off the next few days and going to Miami for the weekend them back at it next week!
Got out with Brenda and her husband Todd who are two Islamorada locals. They won a trip with me through a donation to the Bougainvillea Ball fundraiser last year. Brenda also use to cut my hair when I was a boy so we’ve known each other a long time! They were wanting to wait till things cooled off a little bit so Fall was an ideal time, and with the cold front we had come in it was definitely cooler than it had been, albeit a little windy but at least not a bad direction out of the north. We caught bait and headed out back also bringing some shrimp with us too. There were quite a few boats being the weekend. We tried a couple spots to start but no luck, the water was super muddy and tide was ripping pretty good. But we kept at it and then jumped into another area where we got by ourselves. We got into a killer redfish bite, catching them just about every cast for an hour or so! I lost count but we probably caught close to 30 or so, and Brenda got a nice snook as well and a trout. It was great to see such good action, I’ve caught a few of these small reds the last couple months but nothing like this. Anyways the tide kept falling and it got super low with the full moon and north wind, so much so that we got stuck in the canal where we were fishing! We bounced around some other spots and found a few more snook but bigger ones. Brenda caught two nice ones and her biggest ever. Todd hooked a couple but unfortunately they did not stay on for him, both got loose next to the boat! Last part of the day we found some small tarpon and set up trying to catch one of them, but they seemed to know we were there and disappeared as soon as we got set up. We hung out and had to wait another 30 minutes for the tide to come up before we could leave, but it did and we made our way home. Anyways a great day for these two, I was glad as I heard fishing was much tougher for several other guides. Things seemed to be biting shrimp as well as the pilchards so I was glad we had both. I’m off the next couple days to do some boat work, but fishing again mid week, but I do have Thursday available as well if anyone wants to get out there. Northeast wind all week should be favorable for some backcountry fishing like this!
Well today I had a last minute half day trip fishing in October with Lindsey and Brad. It was part of a big group trip with about 10 boats, they were down from Virginia for a wedding here in the Keys. We had a later than normal departure getting out around 7:30. Brad hadn’t really fished before and Lindsey had but they were up for anything, though requested trying to catch some snappers for dinner. So we gave that a whirl. We caught our pilchards which were pretty easy and tried fishing around some islands. There was a lot of green algae water in the bay, which has been the case for a little while now. We’ve been dealing with algae blooms off and on for the last few years, however it just gets in certain areas and for the most part we know where to stay away from it. But sometimes it’s a gamble as you make a long run and then find the water looking like crud and have to immediately change plans. Today though it wasn’t too bad in the area we went. We picked away at some decent mangrove snappers to start. After an hour or so the tide turned and started coming in, and then it really turned on! Brad got a nice small snook, then a juvenile tarpon, and then a redfish for a backcountry SLAM! Really cool and fairly unexpected in the area we were fishing. But last year actually some of these same fish showed up at the same time of year, with the algae and all, so it seems somewhat of a pattern. Anyways we got our limit of snappers and Lindsey got a nice small redfish too. We had some more time to kill and we tried some bonefish fishing on the way home, no luck with the bones but they each did catch a nice bonnet head shark to round out our half day. Good fishing and lots of fun with nice folks. Back at it tomorrow for a full day, looks like we have a weak cold front coming in so it’ll be blowing out of the west which may or may not be good for our fishing… then a little temperature cool down and hard north wind sunday which will be better than the west wind anyhow.
Got out with Jim, Jay, and Andrew today for a full day of fishing. I’ve been off the last week or so, welcoming my new boy Beau into the world who was born on Tuesday! After a few sleepless nights it was good to get out on the water and will have some more time off coming up with him. Anyways we decided to leave closer to day break to catch our pilchards nearshore in Islamorada before heading into the backcountry. The baits been pretty easy to catch the last month or so and some nice baits available. We blacked out our well in one throw of the net, loaded with pilchards and had some shrimp too. We ran into the backcountry, it was windy blowing a good 20 knots out of the east. The fish didn’t mind though, we caught a nice triple tail and sheepshead in the first stop, then a few snook and some redfish in the next stop with a few jacks in the mix too. One nice snook there for Jay about a 10 lber! The we ran further back and found a few more snook around an island, and worked a shoreline pretty hard to get one more. After that things slowed down for a little bit as we got to the top of the tide and the current slacked off. Then it started to fall and we got into another spot that turned on for us. We switched to shrimp and had some better luck with that here, catching another half dozen snook, a few more redfish, and a half dozen nice trout! Good little flurry of action. We ran back towards home and tried a couple more spots, banging out one more snook in one spot, then hitting the last stop with our last dozen baits. We got lucky and got five real nice snook here, and Andrew finished the day with a nice juvenile 15 lb tarpon! He didn’t cooperate for a picture unfortunately. Sometimes that last stop of the day is the best one! Anyways fun to get out and do some different stuff. We had such good late season tarpon fishing I’d been focused on that all through September and a little in October. But it’s definitely getting into the fall where it’s time to mix things up a little more. As things cool off, look for the snook, redfish, trout, and drum fishing to get better. Also the mackerels should show up in the gulf along with a few cobia and tripletail. Give me a shout if you are interested in getting out fishing!