So had yesterday off and we had a major weather change with a big cold front coming in. These can be good for a lot of our backcountry fishing in the winter, when we are regularly getting them and the water is already on the chilly side. However after it’s been in the 80s for nearly a month and felt like summer, it causes a drastic temperature change that can shut down a lot of the backcountry fishing. I wasn’t back there yesterday but this morning in a few areas, the water temperature dropped nearly 15 degrees from what it was, so I imagine that was quite the shock. On these types of days, you may be waiting around until mid day for fish to bite as they just aren’t use to that. I had Bruce, bill, bill, and Brian for a 3/4 day and we opted to just fish close and stay on the Atlantic side where the temperature swing wasn’t nearly as drastic and the warmer gulf stream keeps the water temperature more stable. It was a good bet, as we had a killer day on the patch reefs. Tons of various snapper, about a dozen small grouper, yellow Jacks, porgies, hogfish, bluefish, pompano, and a few other various critters. We ended up cutting our trip to a half day as we went through a lot of bait in a short amount of time, and the shrimp have been in short supply so you can’t just take as many as you’d like always. Looks like it is suppose to get back up into the 80s on Saturday and the water should have a chance to warm back up then too as we are suppose to have a brief window of calmer weather starting Friday evening until Saturday night. Tarpon fishing is likely a better bet around the bridges now until it has a chance to warm up more in the backcountry. But hopefully by Sunday when I’m fishing again that will be the case!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing