Islamorada Fishing Reports and Florida Keys Fishing Information
Author: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
I was out in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a week or so and just got back in town a few days ago back to the lovely islamorada florida keys. I fished for fun the last couple of days to get some picture/video footage, see what was out there, and just have a good time! We went fishing islamorada backcountry and ran deep into the everglades near cape sable on 11/28/12. Hit a couple of spots for cobia/redfish in the gulf on the way, as the day before we did catch a cobia and several nice size redfish (still waiting on pictures). November islamorada fishing is often great for cobia and larger redfish in the deeper water and gulf of mexico as the water has cooled down. We did get a cobia this day and one decent sized redfish though not huge by any means, as well as a big sting ray that got us excited as it did scream out some drag right away. Once the tide had turned and was coming in, ran to some of the canals in the back. We idled into one of them and started hitting some runoffs. Redfish fishing is often good through the winter in these areas and the fish will stack up in the deeper canals, however today the bite was not redhot. We slowly picked at them, catching 15-20 or so, along with a mix of jacks, ladyfish, snapper, and sea trout. A good mix for any backcountry fishing guide in the florida keys! We decided to run back to east cape canal instead of venturing further into the shallow areas of the deeper creeks to look for some snook. We did catch one nice one on the shoreline along with a nice redfish on pinfish, however those were the only two fish we found on the area of shoreline we fished but were well worth it! Hit a couple spots in lake inghram and caught another 3 snook out of there, 2 being very nice sized fish again as well. Snook fishing Islamorada can be good in the winter time after a cold front, however the fish seemed to have thinned out again from the last front we had. We hit east cape canal after that and stayed late as the water color, current level, and everything seemed ideal, however did not have much luck in there surprisingly. All in all a great day, any day you catch snook like these is excellent! The day before on 11/27/12 I also fun fished. We started the morning fishing spanish mackerel on the edge of the gulf of mexico. The bite was fair we caught enough to keep us entertained, as well as got some cool underwater footage of a big goliath grouper on a wreck. We then hit a spot further out in the gulf and got a cobia as well as 3 nice size big redfish. Tried for a snook near the cape, did hook a nice one but he cut us off unfortunately, and ended the day catching about 2 dozen puppy redfish fishing flamingo. A great two days fishing, and very glad to be back here in the 80 degree weather!
Got a few nice snook fishing in Islamorada yesterday with my dad. Went deep into the ‘glades, backcountry fishing in the everglades was a little tough, we caught the very last of the falling tide. Put some pinfish out and on the tide change did get a nice snook first thing in the AM. Hit a few more spots though with not much going on aside from some jacks, ladyfish, and a few big trout. We decided to take a run up to shark river to check that out since I hadn’t been before. Came back on the higher water and the florida keys redfish were not found in their usual holed up spots. Hit a few more shallow water spots but to no avail. Did get another nice snook on the way home fishing islamorada. We did manage to get into a good red bite closer to home, catching 20 or so off some trees as well as another 3 snook. Got to play with my new Go Pro camera as well so hopefully will be adding some video soon! November florida keys fishing report has had a mixed variety of fish, today we got into the spanish mackerels and big mangrove snappers good in the gulf early, plus some snook and reds in the afternoon! Great way to spend the day here on an islamorada fishing charter!
Winter time fishing Islamorada is off to a good start. It started blowing good out of the northwest today after being flat calm yesterday. Cold front moving in, however this should light up the spanish mackerel, and push some trout and redfish in the ditches and deeper creeks they like when its cold. Had John and Jay today, we started the morning fishing for redfish in florida keys. It was pretty good with the higher water, caught 30 or so in a couple hours, only moving twice and leaving them biting. Several nice fish in the 18-22 inch range too we caught a couple for dinner. After this we went looking for trout for more table fare. Some trout had moved into a few nearby channels that they often do when its colder, nice to see them their early as trout is not being closed this november/december in our area. Pilchards were the trick for bigger trout, bouncing them slowly on the grassy bottom. November fishing florida keys is often best with live pilchards, they are usually plentiful as the northeasterly winds push them onto the ocean side flats and can be easily found most mornings by the birds bombing them. After we had our fair share of trout fishing, the boys wanted to try for something bigger. We had a couple ladyfish and jacks for bait as well as pinfish, so I ran out to a hole for some sharks or possibly big goliath. We put a ladyfish on the bottom and some pinfish out for a possible cobia. Backcountry fishing in Islamorada can produce a number of amazing fish you may not think possible to catch, but you don’t know unless you try! We ended up getting a bit on the big bottom rod and the line scoped up to the surface. At first I thought it was a blacktip shark, but it turned out to be about a 10 lb cobia! Of course he ate the wrong bait, but it was fun to catch him none the less, and of course release since he didn’t make the cut. No shark or goliath bites to add to this islamorada fishing report and we headed home to meet up with the rest of their crew who also fished today. They brought plenty of fish to lazy days for dinner and will be back for sure next year!
The muddy water, dead grass, and general downturn from hurricane sandy cleared up dramatically today in the gulf of mexico during our november islamorada fishing trip on 11/4/12. Started out west near sprigger bank, caught some nice mangrove snappers and bluefish on pilchards. After a long while a few spanish mackerels showed up, we caught half a dozen nice ones and broke a few others off. This is a great option when backcountry fishing florida keys on a half day in the winter time, a few more weeks and another cold front and they should be going strong. I love gulf of mexico fishing and it’s a good time of year for cobia when the waters near low 70 degrees. That’s what we looked for later, ran further out to some deeper gulf wrecks. Saw some permit in islamorada on them when we pulled up but they bolted quick, anchored down and had one swim back up but he got spooked by the boat as he swam right into it. Had another lay up on the surface, fins out of the water. He had a chunk out of his back was likely almost a shark appetizer! He did not want to eat though did drop down to look at a big shrimp. So we put some islamoradacobia fishing baits out, some humming pinfish. Ended up getting 4 nice cobias, Carols caught one casthing a pilchard too on a trout rod/jig – this was a battle! Also got a small goliath grouper, and a much larger 100 lber on a chunk of mackerel. Then got a 250 lb bull shark as well on a jack cut in half, nice action on the big rods! The tide quit soon after this, and not much was going on with the incoming water, so we split. Ran the crab lines looking for triple tail, saw a handful, had one eat and spit, and then caught one. It was a great end to a november florida keys fishing trip. This should be a great week of fishing and as long as the winds stay down, we have good tide and the water has cleared up nicely out there… fish on!
A late season hurricane known as Sandy gave us some tropical storm force winds here before the beginning of november fishing in islamorada. It did give some opportunity to try some islamorada bonefishing. With the cloudy/rainy/overcast condition, changes in barometric pressure, and stirred up water, it gives a good ‘stake up’ condition. We sit and wait with baits out in strategically placed areas. As conditions were fairly dangerous otherwise, it was a good option this day as some great flats are literally within a minute or two of Bud n’ Mary’s. I had some regulars Jim and Gwen out who fished with me a couple days before in the everglades, catching Jims first snook fishing in islamorada as well as shots at many more, redfish, snapper, jacks, and the like. Another fellow guide, Capt. Jim Willcox, was fishing close by. Both boats landed florida keys bonefish and the parties were stoked! Also got into several bonnet head sharks, atlantic sharpnose sharks, and some other various ‘picker fish’ such as box fish – which don’t let them fool you they can give a hard fight! Some intense weather came in towards the end of the trip so we both came in early, feeder bands of hurricane sandy, scary to see especially now november fishing florida keys. However being so close to home it was fine, just a little wet but we were prepared for that! In November and December, this is always a great option to keep in the back of your mind, especially those days it is blowing 25+mph. You don’t have to sit in a hotel room you can be catching bonefish in islamorada comfortably!