Had Sam out today luckily after a last-minute cancellation. He wanted to try to catch a tarpon in islamorada and I told him I thought we had a decent shot at getting one today. The fish have been around though not biting great yet, however we had the wind switch around today to southeast from north yesterday which is a good thing – nice and warm weather! We started the morning early out at 7 AM, found some birds bombing and looked for mullet for a bit but they were very finicky so just continued our run in the back. We stopped in the bays near the edge of the gulf and got into the trout and ladyfish pretty good which we saved the ladyfish for bait. Islamorada trout fishing should be pretty good through the spring with lots of fish in the bays moving out from their winter holes, and these were nice size keeper fish too. Around 9:30 we had our fill of bait and such, so we went in search of tarpon. Set up in a channel with the start of the incoming tide, and within 10 minutes we hooked a nice 100 lber! Plenty of jumps and leaps, chased him down and leadered him up after a 25 minute battle. Good job Sam! The march tarpon fishing in islamorada i think will continue to get better and hopefully we will have a strong show of fish through season with the later start this year. We caught several black tip sharks after this, and had one myestery fish likely a big ‘mud marlin’ that we pulled the hook on. Anyways after the tide quit we went into the gulf for the last hour and caught about a dozen triple tail which was fun. The triple tail have been pretty thick in the gulf and even with it being a bit choppy it was a good bet for something different. If you want to catch islamorada triple tail then make sure to ask they are an option!
Well spring is officially here today the wind died out and left a beautiful flat calm day for march backcountry fishing islamorada. We started out the morning a little late but that was ok, we searched for some mullets and found a few on the flats nearby. Made a few throws only to get a couple of them which was what we needed! We ran back into the islamorada backcountry and fished some channels for trout, ladyfish, etc… We had lots of action and saved the ladyfish for bait too which we turned out not to need but saved for another day! Plenty of tarpon seen at this point in the main channel, so after we had enough fun with that we set up there for the big stuff. Within 10 minutes we hooked a gorgeous 80 lb fish that went airborne and nuts, he ate a mullet with the tail cut off on the bottom. Got the fish boatside after 15 minutes, but before we could get a picture we broke him off unfortunately, oh well still a technical catch with the leader in the rod tip! I’ve included a picture of a similar sized fish caught the day before. Everglades tarpon fishing is going to be getting better and better from this point on I think. After this we caught a smaller blacktip shark, and then decided to run to the gulf. Hit some structure in hopes of a cobia, which one did pop up and we cast a pinfish too him… He sunk down after it but did not eat it, and we did not see him again. Ran further out and got into a mess of tripletail, they were a little spooky but we caught about a dozen or so, including our limit of nice ones for dinner! Inshore fishing islamorada in march offers many different opportunities especially on this flat calm gorgeous days. After this we headed home, tomorrow heading out for a day of fun fishing with my dad so going to run deep in the backcountry to try some new things – hopefully have a good march islamorada fishing report!
March is usually a great time of here for fishing islamorada tarpon. It’s been off to a slow start as we’ve had several cold fronts, almost every week, for the last 3 weeks. Oddly enough january had 2 weeks of 80 degree weather – go figure! However even with the mid 60 degree water temperatures we were able to find a nice tarpon today. A 60 lb fish caught on fairly light spin gear on a live pinfish! We also caught some nice islamorada trout fishing further out west near the edge of the gulf in the morning. Later in the day we caught several more along with a ton of ladyfish and a spanish mackerel. The report on redfish and snook have not been very good, some guys saw fish today but they would not eat. We tried a few spots but muddy and cold water, with no fish… But the nice everglades tarpon made our day! Tarpon fishing in March should continue to improve, we are getting a tad cooler weather again in a few days but I don’t think very cold so hopefully the water temps won’t drop and the tarpon will show up in force!
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!
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.