2/18/15 February Backcountry Fishing Report for Islamorada Florida

February is already half way over and we have been experiencing a late winter that’s for sure.  Cold fronts have continued to hit us once or twice a week, and last weekend it was the coldest it had been here I think in years.  Oddly enough another front is coming in tonight which is even suppose to be colder – lows in the 40s according to the forecast!  But thankfully it hasn’t slowed down the inshore fishing actually last weekend things picked up a little if anything in the backcountry.  We had a great day catching seven snook, 4 black drums, 4 big trout, and handful of other specimens on Saturday in low 60 degree water which wasn’t too shabby.  I’ve had two days in the last week catching our limit of hogfish out on the patch reefs which has been incredible.  The hogfish fishing this winter in Islamorada has been the best I’ve ever seen and according to many old time guides the best it may of ever been.  Just about every day you catch a handful out there though many days have yielded quite a few, limits, and even a few days of high double digit numbers.  Mixed in on every trip out there has been poriges, mutton snapper, small groupers, and a few other odds and ends such as cero mackerel or barracuda.  The gulf fishing has stayed consistent as well with the spanish mackerel and big blacktip sharks.  I have not been further out in the gulf much as there hasn’t been much action with cobia or tripletail.  A couple days we’ve found some tripletail but not really worth the run to only see a few.  We did catch some big goliaths one day a couple weeks ago out on a wreck plus a big shark.  Anyways I’m out of town for a week now and it looks to be a good week to miss – high winds through the weekend and cold, cold weather.  Tarpon fishing has been pretty much non-existent with this late cold we’ve had, and looks to stay that way for probably another week or so.  I doubt I’ll miss anything with them thankfully and things may not got started with them until March.  This isn’t a bad thing though as it may push the migration back a month or so which actually can help out our fishery in late May and June which is when people are really expecting to catch tarpon.  So we will see.  Anyways drop me a line if your looking to fish, the next 3 months are fairly booked up with anglers looking to hook up with the silver king, though I do have a handful of days and evenings open.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk