8/2/14 August Fishing in Islamorada

August is officially here!  We’ve just finished up with lobster mini-season.  It’s quite a zoo down here with everyone diving and snorkeling for the crawling critters on the bottom.  Regular lobster season opens this coming week and will be crazy for a week or two, but that soon dies down again.  Luckily most the fishing I am doing is back in the everglades as of late or the gulf, where we aren’t bothered by all the people.  The last couple days I fished were truly incredible.  In two days we’ve released 9 tarpon, 7 big snook 10-15 lbs, another 6 smaller snook, 8 goliath grouper, half a dozen large blacktip sharks, some big snappers, and a handful of other critters.  The bait in the backcountry is still readily available, I’ve been catching mullet early in the mornings really every morning.  Also on full days I’ve still been having good luck chumming pilchards up which we are using for snook and big snappers.  That is great fishing any time of year, let alone the beginning of August fishing islamorada, which is typically considered the ‘slow’ period here in the Florida Keys.  But as I always tell people – conditions really dictate the fishing here, it doesn’t matter whether it be in ‘season’ or not.  However I will say fishing had gotten a little bit tougher in days before that.  The winds now are east/northeast which is great, but days in the previous week before they were southwest which is not really good for much.  We had seen tarpon on some of those trips though they had gotten much tougher to get bites out of, you could sit for hours waiting for one bite, or maybe not even get that.  Sharks were not even very productive.  Some of the snook I had been wailing on in early July had disappeared from many of the spots I was fishing.  Almost any spot I went to a few weeks ago that you would normally find snook had some fish, though last week only a handful of spots produced any fish at all.  Though most days I was still able to work hard and put together a decent catch, whether it be a handful of snook, a couple tarpon, sea trout and snappers, or pulling on sharks.  That’s the great thing about fishing in the florida keys there is usually always a plan B!  As we get more into August the fishing can still be really good.  Tarpon are still not uncommon and on the right days can be really good.  Snook should still be around and getting the right bait (pilchards) will make the fishing much more productive.  Redfish on the flats, trout and snappers the bays.  The gulf can hold loads of permit too, I have not done that much but may try it if anyone asks.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk