1/7/16 January Islamorada Fishing Report

We finally had our first real cold front of the winter a few days ago. Temperatures have finally dropped into the 60s and looks to be cooling down a little again this weekend after slowly warming up some. Today we fished back in the everglades with my dad, his girlfriend, and friend Dave Peck. It looked to be the ‘ideal’ conditions for fishing some of the deeper canals and such this time of year. Usually after a good cold front in January when you have a nice slow incoming tide, you can get hordes of big snook and drum showing up in some areas back there. We ran back early and it was a foggy morning which is unusual here. Though this winter we’ve seen it a few times as it’s been super warm so any little temperature fluctuation with the moist air it can creep up. We fished a few areas using large shrimp on troll-rites. It was not a red hot bite and had I not had confidence in the conditions, I may have moved after not catching fish in the first 10 minutes. Though we waited it out and eventually we caught some nice snook, black drums, and couple straggling redfish. You would have to work the bait very slow and patiently, and only get a bite maybe every 10 or 15 minutes. But quality fish. Dave got a very big snook one of the largest I’ve ever had caught in light tackle of 15 lbs or so. It really ran like a beast all the way across the canal and was a good 5 minute battle. Later we moved deeper into the canal and tried a black drum hole. Same deal it wasn’t red hot action but eventually we got a double header of smaller black drums. Then Dave again caught a nice size black drum. Then a couple other smaller ones. Then before leaving I hooked a lunker 25 lber that we landed. What a fish he was a thumper! All good fun well now we tried some of the outside shorelines since the tide was getting high. We caught one little snook in one spot, then we tried another area and got into a load of redfish. Not huge ones but we probably caught a dozen or so plus a couple more snook. It was great to see the small reds as they have been a little scarce this year. Anyways it was a banner day with a total of 15 or so reds, 8 snook, and 8 black drums. We wrapped it up around 12:30 when we ran out of shrimp and made our way home. January is usually a very good month for this winter time fishery in the everglades, however this year it’s been a little more up and down with the lack of cold weather. Though as I said it looks to stay cool through into next week and hopefully we may got another front or two between now and the end of February. Otherwise the tarpon should be showing up early and there are plenty of other options too! I know the patch reef fishing has been very good we got into some nice hogfish, porgy, groupers, and variety of snappers out there the other day. And good spanish mackerel fishing in the gulf as well with some cobias and tripletail mixed in.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk