October Islamorada Backcountry Fishing Report

Well we are smack in the middle of October and things are starting to pick up again with business.  September I was out of town for a good part of, and the rest of the time was fairly slow as usual.  But everyone needs some times off.  So the beginning of October fishing has been fair – not great but not terrible – and I’ve been able to put together good catches for the day but really having to work at it.  We had not gotten a whole lot of cool weather, with exception to while I was still away very early in the month.  But it warmed up again very quickly and I think the fish are ready for a break from summer.  There had been a pick of snook around the islands and shorelines in the everglades, with the occasional redfish mixed in.  Lots of snappers, jacks, and some trout and ladyfish to keep the rods bent.  Half day trips snapper fishing has been a good bet, if you take your time with the live baits you can pick out some real nice size ones around the islands and potholes in the gulf area.  Many snook and redfish ‘spots’ had been loaded with juvenile snappers, and the tough thing is getting a bait to the desired fish without one of them grabbing it.  Sharks are in the mix if you want something big, and a few tarpon as well.  We did have a good tarpon trip a few days ago landing 2 out of 4 nice tarpon.  There has also been some smaller baby tarpon as well.  Now the tarpon fishing in October in the everglades can go buck wild if you catch it right… if we get some more northerly breezes that can push the baitfish down the coast and lead to some unbelievable tarpon action.  Yesterday we finally got another mild front and today the fishing was very good back there.  The temperatures dropped and the water was in the high 70s in the morning.  Snook and redfish made their presence known and the water in the cape sable area was very pretty with a good north breeze.  We caught double digit snook, and double digit redfish, so the action was hot!  Also some big jacks and a juvenile goliath grouper. One thing that has been prevalent has been bait.  Pilchards are readily available around many islands and shorelines of islamorada, and they have gotten bigger than they were last month so they are perfect snook and redfish bait size now.  Fishing should only get better and we should be getting more and more cool air from the north as we get into later fall/winter.  This is when the snook, redfish, and black drum fishing gets very good.  We also get hot action with spanish mackerel in the gulf, a mix of cobia, tripletail, bluefish, and more.  Plus don’t forget the patch reefs with mutton snapper, hogfish, porgy, and more – great for table fare!  The rest of October is fairly busy for me though I do have a few open days, and November is starting to fill up fast.  So if your interested in booking a trip, drop me a line sooner rather than later.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk