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!
Well it doesn’t get any prettier than it did today on 1/4/13 while fishing islamorada! We worked some island shorelines on the high in tide in the everglades national park first things this morning. We picked several redfish, black drum, and a few sheepshead in this fashion casting shrimp. On the tide change we went looking for a snook around some other island moats. We did find one eager participant, alas we broke him off boatside. However we did end up catching some more black drum jigging the bottom, as well as some more sheepshead from around the mangrove trees! We then hit some scattered muddy waters in some ditches further towards the gulf area and got into a mess of trout, jack crevalle, ladyfish, pompano, and one juvenile permit. What a mixed bag for this islamorada fishing report! Continued cruising on out into the gulf of mexico along the crab bouys, and saw several tripletail fish. We caught some for dinner, mostly again casting shrimp on a small cork, dragging it to ’em, and WHAM! These high flying acrobats are fun on light tackle, and not bad blackened on the grill either. A gulf wreck was next on the agenda, and we caught some cobias off of it, as well as a goliath grouper that took some convincing to get to bite. Another permit was had in this area too – you never know what to except fishing the florida keys! To end the day we caught some spanish mackerel closer to home in Islamorada. And so ends another tale of wonder fishing islamorada backcountry.
We ventured out fishing the last couple days on Islamorada Fishing Charters and had lots of action on both the 2nd and the 3rd of January. Yesterday we focused on sailfishing in the morning, but before that a boat called us in on a big school of cobia and we boated a nice 35 lber. We then started looking for the sailfish. The sails were up inside the reef in 35′ to 50′ of water chasing big schools of ballyhoo, also known as showering. We then will sight fish and run to the “showers” and cast at the fish when we see them. We saw probably a dozen fishing “showering” but could only manage 3 bites. Fortunately we caught and released 2 of the bites we had. After that we decided to try some wreck fishing in Islamorada and caught a nice king mackerel about 15 lbs right away. I then decided to send down a big bait in hopes for a goliath grouper. It didn’t take long to get a bite, but after a 15 minute battle we had the big fish next to the boat, but it wasn’t a goliath, it was a 7′ bull shark! Somewhere around 250 lbs! After that we went and released a couple barracuda for fun. Today we took an Islamorada reef fishing trip and started out the day by catching live bait, including ballyhoo and cigar minnows. From there we anchored down on a deep reef and caught 3 king mackerel around 7 or 8 lbs. After that we caught some big crevalle jacks from 10 to 15 lbs on a wreck. We also had a kite out and had a hammer head shark come up chasing the blue runner, and after a 30 second chase the shark had the bait. We had the 5′ hammerhead hooked on 20 lb test and after a 20 minute fight we had the shark next to the boat and removed the hooks. Next we decided to catch something else to pull hard so we found a pair of amberjacks at 20 lbs and 40 lbs. We kept them for dinner and then made our way back to the edge of the reef. Within 15 minutes we found a pair of sailfish swimming over the sand bottom and managed to get one bite. The fish came up jumping and we caught and released the 30 lb sailfish after a 5 minute fight. But our day wasn’t over yet. As we were moving up the reef we found a big stingray with a school of cobia following him! Which is how we catch them this time of year. We caught 2 cobia off him but both were undersize, and then we decided to call it a day and head in from our day of fishing in Islamorada.
I’ve been fishing in Islamorada aboard the Bn’M everyday since Christmas. Fishing hasn’t been easy, but we’ve been putting together some great catches the past couple of days. While winter time fishing the Florida Keys we usually stay near the reef, about 4 miles from shore. Today we started out with a pair of nice “smoker” king mackerel, both around 20 lbs. We were near a wreck so I decided to send down a big bait to try for something big. Within 2 minutes we were hooked up to a monster! Unfortunately the fight was short lived, we wound up breaking the 80 lb braided line! We re rigged and sent down another bait. Within 1 minute we were hooked up again! After about a 5 minute tug of war, Nick caught his first goliath grouper. It was a big one too, around 200 lbs! We took a quick picture and then released him to fight another day. We mixed up the strategy in the afternoon and caught 4 black groupers, keeping 2 of them, as well as a handful of yellowtail snapper. We then started our way back towards home, but while on the way we came across a hungry sailfish. The sail was chasing ballyhoo in 40′ of water, so we threw out a live ballyhoo and wound up catching and releasing a sailfish while working our way closer to home. We also caught a big barracuda and one more king mackerel. Yesterday we focused on sailfishing in Islamorada, and managed to catch and release 2 sailfish, as well as lost a couple. The biggest surprise though was a 32 lb wahoo which ate a kite bait. We didn’t have any wire leader, so we were really lucky to catch the fish on 40 lb. monofilament and a 6/0 circle hook. The day before we tried for sails too, and saw a couple but couldn’t get them to eat. We wound up catching a few snapper for dinner, a bunch of jacks, and then a couple barracuda. The next month should still be good sailfishing, so book your Islamorada January Fishing Trip soon!
Another fabulous day fishing in islamorada! The snooks were biting near flamingo as well as east cape. Large shrimp hooked through the horn on 3/8 oz jigs were getting the good bites! Caught half a dozen nice snook and lost a few nicer ones around a few islands early in the morning. The pup drum were also biting pretty good in the deeper water as well, which is normal this time of year when the water temps drop below 70. We had fun for a few hours in one spot not having to move! Later in the day we hit the deeper big canal at east cape. We worked our way through the major number of boats, caught one decent snook. Then went around the bend towards the big open lake. Here we found an area where the current was not running quite so hard, and set up for some fun islamorada backcountry fishing. Lots of redfish as well as some juvenile snook, black drum, and sheepshead here. We were fishing 1 oz weights with a 4/0 circle hook with just big chunks of shrimp, letting it sit on the bottom for the most part. I love fishing islamorada in december.