2/23/12 Looking for goliath grouper fishing islamorada in february!

I had Martin Williamson today from across the pond on 2/23/13.  He fished with me a few years ago and we had an excellent day then catching tarpon, hammerhead shark, several other sharks, plus some other rod benders.  Today Martin was after an islamorada goliath grouper fishing trip.  Winds were a bit too high to get out into the gulf to hit the wrecks for them, so tried some other protected areas.  First things in the morning with the low water we hit some channel run-offs to stock up on bait – lots of big ladyfish plus a mess of sea trout, jacks, and even some pompano, mackerel, and bluefish mixed in.  This was going to be tough to leave!  We put big rod out for fun and caught 4 blacktip sharks as well, saw a couple tarpon roll in the distance but not much activity from them.  Tarpon fishihng in Islamorada in February is a definite possibility – but they can be very hit or miss!  After we were loaded on ladies, we ventured to the next spot which is a hole that sometimes holds goliaths as well as other big fish.  We anchored up, tide against the wind but got the boat positioned right.  Had a big pack of cobias come right up under the boat… quickly reeled in our pinfish on top and hooked one!  Martin dropped a bait to another though unfortunately we missed the hookset, but he caught the other one on the surface bait – good job!  Not a huge fish but a first for him.  A bit later both big rods went off with the ladyfish on the bottom, a double header!  Both at first appeared to be large sawfish as they dogged us and didn’t stop despite the heavy pressure we both were putting on them.  Sawfish in Islamorada have made a terrific comeback.  I gave chase to Martin’s fish leaving the other in the rod holder going the opposite direction!  Eventually the fish behind us kind of rolled over and I told Martin to switch to that one as it was acting more like a big grouper now, thumping quite a bit.  Sure enough it was, hooray another first for Martin a 150 lb goliath grouper!  We then focused on the other rod which was still bowed over.  We leadered up the behemoth on the mono filament line… all of a sudden his bill broke the surface and slashed violently!  We got him up one more time like that but this time he cut us off, but we were happy to get a look at the beast.  My first sawfish of the year, and yet another first for Martin.  After this we fished for a bit under an hour back at the hole, alas not much other action.  Decided to hit a high-tide spot for some reds on the way home which worked out nicely.  Martin caught about 10 or so mostly nice slot size redfish, something else he hadn’t caught yet!  A fine end to a fabulous day february fishing the florida keys.  This was another special trip for Martin and a great birthday present for himself!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903
rick@fishingislamorada.com

2/20/13 February Fishing in Islamorada Backcountry

Well lots of half days this week, we are so busy it is making my head spin!  Double half days every day which is a good thing!  Today on our february islamorada fishing charter we fished a bit further in the backcountry.  Yesterday fishing was tough locally around islamorada, with the cold water temperatures from the cold front that passed over the weekend.  Though we did catch what we needed and the afternoon picked up quite a bit as it warmed.  Today was good all around.  This morning first thing we got into a mess of nice pompano which I’ve only been catching a handful of through the winter.  We got about 15 or so pompano fishing in islamorada.  Also some nice big drag pulling ladyfish kept mom and son entertained!  Next somebody hit the switch and the trout started biting one right after another.  Nothing spectacular size wise but it was fun, getting them on shrimp, gulp, artificial, popping cork – you name it!  In the afternoon we did the same thing… no pompano this time, but a lot of trout again plus ladyfish and jacks.  My same anglers from yesterday afternoon loved it and still had plenty of fresh mangrove snapper we caught yesterday for dinner.  All anglers reported sore arms which I like to hear!!!  Look for the florida keys fishing in february to pick up and with that hopefully being our last front of the year, tarpon can be just knocking on the door.  The water temps did break 70 this afternoon, a few more degrees and the tarpon should be much happier and willing to feed.  Well thats all for this february islamorada fishing report.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903
rick@fishingislamorada.com

islamorada pompano
islamorada pompano

2/15/13 Backcountry Fishing Islamorada Report

Well today February fishing islamorada in the backcountry we had shots at several different types of fish.  Tarpon, redfish, snook, trout, cobia, tripletail, and more!  That’s all possible when you go fishing in the florida keys, especially out of Islamorada.  We caught most of them too, unfortunately the snook we broke off and cobia we had some hook pullage.  But several, nice 22-24 inch reds in some creeks plus a juvenile tarpon which ate a big lively shrimp on a jig.  We found some nice slowly falling water with some tanic water coming out of a side creek which usually spells F-I-S-H.  We hit the gulf after that escapade and had our cobia bite, unfortunately no others and the conditions did look good plus we caught the tide change which usually is a sure bet for decent cobia fishing in islamorada – perhaps the incoming front had thrown them off.  We hit the trap lines on the way back, lots of triple tail which I’m happy to report, we caught plenty plus one for dinner.  Also got into a mess of trout on the way home and some keepers as well.  After this weekends front, fishing should continue to improve as we enter the spring time.  You know what is on the agenda then – big tarpon!  We’ve been seeing plenty showing up and after the cold weekend they will likely be in feed mode, so be ready!  Until our next february fishing report islamorada.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903
rick@fishingislamorada.com