1-9-13 Islamorada Fishing Report in January

Now I don’t get out flats fishing in Islamorada too often, but today after finishing some maintenance on the Bn’M, I went out with our friend Capt. Dave, My Dad, and Sara in search of some Florida Keys Bonefish. Now Islamorada definitely used to be one of the best places in the world to catch bonefish, but the last 10 years they have because quite difficult to catch. You need patience and have to be willing to invest lots of time in search of the fish. We had a couple hours of day light left when we set up, and with the windy condition we set the anchor out and waited for them to come to us. It didn’t take long to get a bite. After fishing about 20 minutes my Dad released the first bonefish in Islamorada. It was a decent fish, around 5 lbs. It was the first bonefish I’ve seen caught in a while, and they are without question one of the friskiest and best fighting fish around. We caught a few small sharks the next hour and were gonna call it a day. But right before we headed home Sara hooked up. After a short battle she caught and released another bonefish, not a big one, maybe a few pounds, but a bone is a bone. After that we pulled the anchor and headed home. It was nice to get out for a couple hours and relax with some friends and family. I really prefer offshore Islamorada Fishing, but it was a nice change of scenery for sure.

12-29-12 Islamorada Reef Fishing in Late December

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!

Capt. Nick Stanczyk