4/6/13 Islamorada hogfish fishing on the patch reefs!

Well today we had a breezy north 15 mph wind in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  This seemed to have slowed the tarpon down for a day or so hopefully tomorrow it will pick back up.  I had anglers from the other day that had already caught some big tarpon in islamorada so we decided to mix it up and do something different.  We fished the patch reefs which are often good when it is cold and with northerly winds as it stays calmer out there.  We hit some rocks fishing jigs and shrimp.  The islamorada hogfish fishing was good we caught about half a dozen fish off one spot, with 5 of them being keepers!  We also caught some porgies, yellowtails, mangrove snappers, and a couple small groupers.  Though lots of fun on light tackle regardless with the groupers!  One trick to the florida keys hogfish fishing is chumming with bits of shrimp, this really can get them going and to find you out there.  Tomorrow it’s back to tarpon fishing in the morning, hopefully the warmer incoming tide early in the morning will have the fish happier – we shall see!

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

April hogfish islamorada
April hogfish islamorada

3/29/13 Islamorada backcountry fishing report

We’ve been extremely busy here in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  One of the busiest spring times I can remember!  Unfortunately this last week we had another late cold front dropping the temperatures extremely low.  Some parts of the everglades national park the water was in the high 50s, and even florida bay was in the low 60s – not ideal for this time of year or any time!  The hot ticket for my anglers has been fishing the islamorada patch reefs.  The last several days we’ve done that and the fishing has been pretty good.  Lots of good eating fish too!  We’ve caught some nice mangrove snappers, porgies, and hogfish which are all delicious!  There has also been a mix of smaller yellowtails, mutton snappers, various groupers, blue runners, grunts, chubs, and even a few small sharks.  A few days ago one of my anglers was after sharks, but with the water temperatures being what they were I did not think much of our chances.  However we fished near the ocean side with the incoming tide from the atlantic and that kept things quite a bit warmer than in the bayside.  We didn’t catch anything we consider ‘trophies’ here, but he was thrilled to catch a few very large nurse sharks, big sting rays, and large bonnet head sharks.    The april tarpon fishing in islamorada should pick up too.  The last several nights have obviously been pretty slow with the cold water.  We saw plenty of fish last night, though never could get one to eat.  I fished 3 different spots and all held fish that we could see rolling consistently.  The cold front has since passed and the waters should have a chance to warm up, once they reach ~70 again everything should get better slowly.  If your thinking of doing a backcountry islamorada fishing charter give me a call!

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

3/14/13 Islamorada tarpon fishing and backcountry report

Well last night took my first official evening tarpon fishing trip in Islamorada.  Not ideal conditions with the breezy north wind and impending cold front, though luckily the water temperatures did not drop too drastically and had time to warm during the day.  Anyways had all different kinds of baits – big shrimp, cigar minnows, crabs, and pinfish.  We drifted the local channels for some tarpon in islamorada.  I had seen several there days before, though early in the afternoon not much activity.  We stopped near one of the bridges and I saw a fish roll, we set up our anchor and drifted baits back towards the bridge.  We had a couple bites, one on cigar minnow and one on shrimp.  Not sure what the shrimp bite was but likely a tarpon as it pulled drag for several seconds.  The cigar minnow definitely was a tarpon but didn’t get a hook set.  We did end up catching a legal gag grouper and nurse shark off the bottom to keep busy.  March tarpon fishing Islamorada is just like any other time, around sunset can be your best bet for good bites.  We ran further back to catch the end of the falling tide in one of the channels.  Again saw fish roll right as we made our first drift, a welcome sign!  After a couple more drifts we finally hooked up on a live crab around 7:30.  After a 20 minute battle we had a nice 75 lb fish to the boat, just in time to make our way back home on our florida keys night tarpon fishing charter!

Today we fished in the backcountry for a half day, the winds were way up 20+mph out of the north.  Pretty chilly too but not brutally cold.  Not many options but we ran and hid behind some of the islands and caught some nice mangrove snappers.  Got our limit of nice 12+ inchers, including this nice 17 inch fish which for the backcountry is gigantic!  After that we tried to find some muds in the bay for trout/ladyfish/etc… but it was tough to fish in the bay as it was so rough, we anchored down in a muddy area and did catch half a dozen big ladyfish for something different before heading home.  Islamorada mangrove snapper fishing is one of the best bets for edible tablefare in the backcountry, and they can be caught almost any day even when its blowing and nasty.

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

1/13/12 January islamorada fishing report gulf/backcountry

We’ve had a gusty east wind the last several days however we didn’t let that put a damper on the islamorada fishing charters.  The last few days we’ve hit the edge of the gulf of mexico for the spanish mackerel.  Yesterday fishing was red hot, today was ok we caught about a dozen or so plus a nice 8 lb kingfish (king mackerel).  A good mix of mangrove snapper off a wreck out there too plus plenty of jacks and blue runners.  We’ve also caught some big bruiser blacktip sharks which are lots of fun.  They jump, spin, bite, do everything they can to try and get off the hook and they are a challenge!  The specimen pictured here was one of the biggest caught and close to 70 lbs!  January fishing islamorada is a often good in the gulf here.  We even had a big 300+ lb goliath grouper try to eat one of the smaller blacktips the other day which was exciting to watch him lurking underneath thinking about it!  Yesterday we also went back into the park as we had a full day and fished several run-off ditches for trout, ladyfish, etc…  Some of the trout were very nice size which have not been easy to find the last several months.  January fishing the florida keys continues to be productive even with the howling winds and unusually warm weather.  If your looking to get out on the water this winter fishing islamorada give us a call we’ll put you on the fish!

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

11/28/12 Fishing Islamorada Backcountry For Snook and Redfish in November!

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!

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