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

2/15/13 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

1/26/2013 Great islamorada backcountry fishing in the winter!

We’re still having some great islamorada winter backcountry fishing in january here!  The young boys today and dad had lots of fun catching puppy drum.  We caught 30 or so in total jigging shrimp back at the cape.  The colder water this time of year has fish in many of the creeks and such back there and on low tide they can only be in so many places!  We also got some nice big black drum, one cut us off unfortunately after we chased him down, but did boat a large double digit one!  Conrad also got a snook which we had been wanting to catch january fishing islamorada.  We also caught plenty of sheepshead, ladyfish, jacks, and a few trout.  All fish today caught on plain old jigs and shrimp, worked slowly on the bottom.  The water at the cape is nice in certain places, though you must work around and find the corners and such that look good.  A nice slow moving current and lightly cloudy green water is what you need to look for florida keys backcountry fishing at the cape.

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

1/4/13 Gulf and Backcountry Fishing Islamorada Report

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.

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

12/28/12 December Backcountry Islamorada Fishing Report

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.

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