Had David and Jared out today after a day off yesterday. Winds were howling a little bit, east though so not a bad direction. Water temps still on the chilly side. We opted for action and to maybe try for a tarpon later in the day. We found a few large reds and black drum to start the day. David landed a nice one of each and we got a few smaller as well. Also a ton of trout. We made our way into the creeks as the wind picked up more. Much weaker tide then a few days ago, funny how fast it can change. Actually not a very low tide at all it stayed nearly a foot above the low from two days ago. We worked around and picked some reds in one spot, then found a couple small snook in a couple other spots. After that we had a dry spell the next couple stops. Finally gave it one more whirl and got into a decent snook bite catching a half dozen or so plus a few more reds and a baby cubera snapper. We ran back to Islamorada to try for tarpon the last hour. No luck though. Water is definitely in the temperature range but with the howling winds we didn’t see many fish. Looks like it’ll calm down tomorrow so it could be better. We will find out! Unfortunately another front on Wednesday to cool things off again. Never know with this early spring weather.
Good fishing with Steve, Logan, and Wayne. We had more of the late cold front, even chillier and windier this morning. Not too bad though and at least it’s been a gradual cool down so hasn’t seemed to shock the fish so badly. We hit the creeks to hide from the wind. Slow to start as the tide was ripping with the super moon. But we picked a few small snook and redfish. As the tide slowed, fishing improved. Once it really slowed down, we got swarmed with redfish for a bit. We moved around a bit and tried a few other spots. Nice pick of fish everywhere. Logan got a very nice snook about a 32 incher. Also even found a few small black drums. Wayne got the nicest redfish of the day about a 20 incher. All in all a great day! We never tried for tarpon as it just seemed like it’d be tough. Looks like it’ll be a little nicer tomorrow with the wind, but not suppose to warm up much. Then we have a other cold front middle of next week. Not going to do our tarpon fishing any favors in the short term, but it may be a good thing in the long run. This was weather we would expect back in February. Anyways at least the Keys is a dynamic fishery so we always have other options. Off tomorrow and then back at it Sunday.
Had Irv and Dan out for the day today. Things cooled off and it was a stiff north breeze. Dan hadn’t been in the backcountry and with the weather change, I figured the tarpon fishing would likely be slow. So we decided to hit the creeks and shorelines. First few stops were good, lots of nice trout and a handful of redfish working some shoreline. Got our limit for dinner easily. After that we worked some creeks. Last trickle of tide we picked away at a few redfish. Then when the tide turned, the bite picked up we got several nice size snook, and a few other small ones. A good flurry of redfish as well. After the tide started rolling though things slowed down. We worked our way out and bounced around. Lots and lots of boats back there, I think a lot of people had the same idea and very busy with spring break. Anyways, hard to go where you wanted there were boats all over, but we picked a few more redfish in a few other areas. And a few areas without much going on. It was a fun day, looks like it will be similar conditions tomorrow but getting even colder. We will see what happens back there!
So had yesterday off and we had a major weather change with a big cold front coming in. These can be good for a lot of our backcountry fishing in the winter, when we are regularly getting them and the water is already on the chilly side. However after it’s been in the 80s for nearly a month and felt like summer, it causes a drastic temperature change that can shut down a lot of the backcountry fishing. I wasn’t back there yesterday but this morning in a few areas, the water temperature dropped nearly 15 degrees from what it was, so I imagine that was quite the shock. On these types of days, you may be waiting around until mid day for fish to bite as they just aren’t use to that. I had Bruce, bill, bill, and Brian for a 3/4 day and we opted to just fish close and stay on the Atlantic side where the temperature swing wasn’t nearly as drastic and the warmer gulf stream keeps the water temperature more stable. It was a good bet, as we had a killer day on the patch reefs. Tons of various snapper, about a dozen small grouper, yellow Jacks, porgies, hogfish, bluefish, pompano, and a few other various critters. We ended up cutting our trip to a half day as we went through a lot of bait in a short amount of time, and the shrimp have been in short supply so you can’t just take as many as you’d like always. Looks like it is suppose to get back up into the 80s on Saturday and the water should have a chance to warm back up then too as we are suppose to have a brief window of calmer weather starting Friday evening until Saturday night. Tarpon fishing is likely a better bet around the bridges now until it has a chance to warm up more in the backcountry. But hopefully by Sunday when I’m fishing again that will be the case!