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Islamorda Fishing Reports

Offshore Report

Offshore Fishing Report

January & February

Premier sailfishing months!!!
Sailfishing is at it's best. Sailfish are considered by many to be the premiere game fish that swim in the Keys waters. Sailfish fishing Islamorada Style is unique in that most of our local captains use live bait and light tackle insuring an acrobatic fight and a lifelong memory. A few of the methods of fishing we use are Slow Trolling live bait, Kite Fishing, and Sight Fishing. The captains are in their Tuna Towers scouring the shallow water to find Sailfish feeding or swimming as the anglers or mate cast live baits to them.

Sailfish tournaments
We have sailfish tournaments almost every week.If you are interested in tournament fishing check out our event listings on this site and choose one of our listed Charter Boats to guide you to VICTORY !!

Slow trolling- live bait
This time of year we troll live bait (ballyhoos, pilchards, goggle-eyes, blue runners) on the edge of the reef in 80' to 150' foot of water. Our main target is sailfish, you will see these big fish pop up behind your boat chasing your bait around. This in itself is an awesome and exiting site. Catching these big fish on 20 lb spinning tackle is hands on action, as you hook one up, they will come out of the water, tail-walk and take most of your line in under a minute. It is not uncommon to hook up multiple fish at the same time. Most days other fish come into the spread such as mahi mahi, wahoo, blackfin tuna and kingfish. You can fish a down rod at different depths for kingfish, mutton snapper, and grouper.

Anchoring up - chumming
On the patches reefs 2 to 3 miles offshore in about 20' to 30' feet of water. You will find mutton, mangrove, yellowtail snapper, red grouper and cero mackerel.Out a little bit further on the edge of the reef in 65' to 95' you can catch the previously mentioned fish, larger yellowtail snapper, red and black grouper. Cero mackerel, kingfish, cobia, and sailfish are also caught while achcored up.

March & April

Slow trolling- live bait
This time of year we still troll live bait (ballyhoos, pilchards, goggle-eyes,blue runners) on the edge of the reef 80' to 150' foot of water. We are still catching sailfish most days, and the kingfish bite has usually gotten very good. Some days there are schools of big wahoo that show up in the 50 lbs range. By changing up your live bait to speedos, you can get into some awesome bites of big wahoo and big smoker kingfish. You have a good chance of seeing mahi mahi up in the shallow water as well. Usually the bottom bite gets better for the mutton snapper and grouper.In April, the permit will show up in big schools, we have spots where we catch 20 lbs to 35 lbs permit. (These fish are catch and release, same as sailfish, please let them go)

Anchoring up - chumming
On the patch reefs 2 to 3 miles offshore in about 20' to 30' foot of water, you will find mutton, mangrove, yellowtail snapper, red grouper and cero mackerel. On the edge of the reef in 65' to 95', this time of year the water starts to warm back up. Depending on the direction of the current and color of the water, the yellowtail snapper bite can get really good. Using 12 pound spinning tackle, these are a great fighting and eating fish. You will also have bottom rods down for mangrove, mutton snapper, and various kinds of grouper. Kingfish will sometimes swim into your spread, and you will catch them as fast as you can throw a bait out. Awesome time on 20 lb spinning tackle!

Offshore trolling - lures or rigged baits
This time of year, we start to venture offshore. We usually fish from the edge of the reef to about 12 miles offshore. On a full day charter, you can fish part of the day on the reef and part offshore, mixing up your day. When trolling offshore, we are catching tuna, wahoo, sailfish,and the mahi mahi are starting to show up.o some days we troll on out looking to find dolphin,wahoo,tuna and sailfish the dolphin can start to show up . The closer we get to May, the better the mahi mahi fishing gets. Offshore on the humps, the big amberjack,50 lbs and up are usually biting well. Blackfin tuna in the 5 lb to 30 lb range are also congregating near the humps. Deep dropping for tasty deepwater species is another option. If you are looking to catch and release a big shark; tiger, bull, and hammerhead sharks show up this time of year. They can weigh from 100 lb to 1000 lbs.

May, June, July, & August

Offshore trolling - lures or rigged baits
This time of year we will spend most of our time offshore searching for mahi mahi. We will be trolling and looking for birds, current edges, weedlines, and floating debris. When we find one of these indicators of fish, it goes from fishing to catching. Most days we will find multiple schools of fish, and load the fish box.

Schoolie Dolphin - these fish will run in the 5 lbs to 10 lbs range. There can be anywhere from 10 to 300 fish in a school. If they are moving, the captain will follow them. When you hook them up, you keep a couple in the water, and the school will usually stay with you. Keep in mind we are using 12 to 20 pound spinning tackle for these fish, so when you get into a school, all hell breaks loose.

Gaffer Dolphin - theses fish will also run in big schools, ranging from 10 lbs to 20 lbs. You still will be using 20 lb spinning tackle, so theses fish will take a little longer to get in boat. The difference is your arms will be a little more tired.

Slammer Dolphin - these fish run from 25 lbs up to 80 lbs. We catch theses fish throughout the summer, some days there are a lot of them pouring through. A lot of times they are in schools of 2 - 10 fish. When we hook one of these big trophies, we start casting 30 pound spinning tackle at the followers. This is the ultimate mahi mahi fishing experience.

Dolphin tournaments - We have Dolphine tournaments almost every week.If you are interested look up the tournament schedule on the site, and book one of the captains for a great day and a chance to win big.

Wahoo - sometimes by themselves or in schools under debris.

Blackfin tuna - migrating schools or on the humps.

White marlin, blue marlin, spearfish, sailfish - we catch these while trolling the waters offshore of Islamorada.

Swordfish - day or night.

Tripletail - under debris.

Permit - back in close to shore.

Amberjack and sharks - on the humps.

Anchoring up - chumming
On the patch reefs, 2 to 3 miles offshore in about 20' to 30' foot of water, you will find mutton, mangrove and yellowtail snapper, red grouper and cero mackerel.

September and October

This is a great time to fish, because this is the least busy time of year out on the water.

Slow trolling- live bait
Expect to catch kingfish, wahoo, sailfish on top. Mutton snapper and grouper on the bottom.

Offshore trolling -
The dolphin, wahoo and blackfin tuna can be found most days.

November & December

Premier sailfishing months!!!
Sailfishing is at it's best. Sailfish are considered by many to be the premiere game fish that swim in the Keys waters. Sailfish fishing Islamorada Style is unique in that most of our local captains use live bait and light tackle insuring an acrobatic fight and a lifelong memory. A few of the methods of fishing we use are Slow Trolling live bait, Kite Fishing, and Sight Fishing. The captains are in their Tuna Towers scouring the shallow water to find Sailfish feeding or swimming as the anglers or mate cast live baits to them.

Sailfish tournaments
We have sailfish tournaments almost every week.If you are interested in tournament fishing check out our event listings on this site and choose one of our listed Charter Boats to guide you to VICTORY !!

Slow trolling- live bait
This time of year we troll live bait (ballyhoos, pilchards, goggle-eyes, blue runners) on the edge of the reef in 80' to 150' foot of water. Our main target is sailfish, you will see these big fish pop up behind your boat chasing your bait around. This in itself is an awesome and exiting site. Catching these big fish on 20 lb spinning tackle is hands on action, as you hook one up, they will come out of the water, tail-walk and take most of your line in under a minute. It is not uncommon to hook up multiple fish at the same time. Most days other fish come into the spread such as mahi mahi, wahoo, blackfin tuna and kingfish. You can fish a down rod at different depths for kingfish, mutton snapper, and grouper.

Anchoring up - chumming
On the patches reefs 2 to 3 miles offshore in about 20' to 30' feet of water. You will find mutton, mangrove, yellowtail snapper, red grouper and cero mackerel.Out a little bit further on the edge of the reef in 65' to 95' you can catch the previously mentioned fish, larger yellowtail snapper, red and black grouper. Cero mackerel, kingfish, cobia, and sailfish are also caught while achcored up.

Backcountry Report

Backcountry Fishing Report

January, February & March

During the first 3 months of the year which are our winter months in the Florida Keys back country you can expect to catch weather permitting:

Snook, Redfish, Sea trout, Black Drum, Mangrove Snappers along with jack crevelle ,lady fish, striped drum, pompano and small permit with some sharks as the water warms up and down.

The fishing is a light tackle fisherman's dream using 6 or 10 pound spinning making the smallest one to the largest tackle buster a fantastic experience!

Out in the Gulf of Mexico it is March fishing Madness when the wind is in the right direction you are in for Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, ladyfish and various kinds of snappers, an occassional cobia and monster Redfish with a sprinkling of sharks.

Should condtions work out where you can get to some of the various wrecks there are Large Jewfish, Snook, Permit and Big Sharks--sturdier tackle Required!

Close to the keys Bonefish are sporadically on the flats as the water warms with an occasional permit showing up, there are also bonnet head sharks and a few "cudas"

April, May & June

In April there is still plenty of action in the Everglades National Park Snook, Redfish, Sea trout, Black Drum, Mangrove Snappers along with jack crevelle ,lady fish, striped drum, pompano and small permit with some sharks as the water warms!

But a couple of added things are happening as the water warms up a bit the BIG TARPON are just beginning to make their presence know in the "PARK" and around the local bridges and channels of Islamorada as the month click down it turns into a full blown Tarpon Rampage as they are feeding up to make their northern Migration --towards the end of April beginning of May it is time to dust off your 12 wt Fly Rod and begin to tie your tippets for the fly tarpon action. Evening bait fishing for Tarpon is a preferred choice for some also, Tarpon jumping in the sunset HMMMM even the wives like this one!

April fishing Madness is still hot in the gulf with plenty of Spanish Mackerel , bluefish and the beginning of the tripletail run, they hang around the crab buoys and you can run and "gun em" they eat a small fly very well sometimes as well.

Back in Islamorada the water has warmed up to the point that the bonefish are more frequent visitors to the flats and edges of the flat, April is usually the time the big females are full of eggs and weigh the most, an 8 pound fish puts on 2-4 pounds so they are at their largest size then-- permit are lurking around also so you have to be prepared when that devil is in your sights.

AS mentioned before May is Tarpon Madness and the Big Fish are here it is not uncommon to catch a tarpon exceeding 150 pounds so 30# tackle is recommended and HOLD ON!

July, August & September

Summer is here and it is quite warm early departures are recommended and back early to beat the heat---we are still catching Tarpon but the smaller fish are here 50 to 90 pounds, fly or bait either works well it is just about your skill level now! Evening fishing for them is quite good just a matter of preference!

This time of the year it can be nice enough to patch fish on the Oceanside--yellowtail, snapper, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, hogfish, Grouper, porgies, grunts , cero mackerel , grunts are all on the ticket, just need the nice calm days to do it.

In the Backcountry fishing is still good but it is hot in the boat as a result you may have to move about more than normal to find good catches of Snook, Redfish, Sea trout, Mangrove Snappers along with jack crevelle ,lady fish, and sharks!

The bone and permit fishing has slowed down as the flats are quite warm by midday so early or late afternoon are the ticket!

October, November & December

We have just about gone full circle for the year --The tarpon are not gone but have thinned way down and the first good cold fronts will send the remainder back into the gulf of Mexico for the winter- patch fishing still good when weather permits- Emmm good fresh yellowtail snapper for dinner--The water has started cooling down and the Park fishing will begin to build into the nonstop action that we enjoy in the winter, Snook are beginning to school up and hungry ,the Redfish and Sea trout are moving out of the gulf into all the channels and Islands of the Everglades National Park-a light tackle dream for sure!

Snapper fishing for the kiddies is good and judging by the smiles so far Dad's a hero and mom gets sometime in the sun on the beach--wink!

Back on the flats it is the hunt for the elusive grey ghost [bonefish] of the flats it continues on ,the permit are offshore on the wrecks spawning, still plenty of bonnet head sharks and cudas to help keep your casting sharp.


December 22, 2010

Backcountry Fish Report

December

Anchoring up
We have just about gone full circle for the year --The tarpon are not gone but have thinned way down and the first good cold fronts will send the remainder back into the gulf of Mexico for the winter- patch fishing still good when weather permits.....

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December 22, 2010

Offshore Fish Report

December

Premier sailfishing months!!!
We have sailfish tournaments almost every week. If you are interseted in fishing one or all of the tournaments, check out our link for the tournament schedules. Book one of our seasoned, competitive, tournament proven captains for chance win big........

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