3/5/16 March Fishing in Islamorada

Well spring has finally arrived!  It has taken it’s time and the temperature is still on the chilly side, but we’ve had several flat calm days and the water has had a chance to warm back up into the mid 70 degree range.  That means tarpon are starting to show up finally and that is what we all look forward to this time of year.  Now that being said, with the water temperatures still on the low side we aren’t quite yet seeing the massive schools of hungry fish quite yet – you may have to put some time in just to get a bite or two.  But it is possible and I’ve caught a couple the last few days.  I would say currently it is still a good idea to keep the fishing options open and try maybe try for tarpon for part of the day as there are plenty of other things that are still biting well.  We’ve had great spanish mackerel action lately in the gulf as well as loads of triple tail out there with some cobia mixed in.  We had several days with our limit of triple tail, though you have to run far to find the larger fish.  Cobias have been on some of the wrecks and occasionally following big sharks and sawfish up too.  We had a few nice ones the other day off some gulf wrecks in the backcountry.  In the everglades the snook and redfish fishing has been fair, though with the calm weather the bugs have been a little tough to deal with in some areas.  Out front on the patch reefs there are still plenty of options including hogfish, porgy, snapper, grouper, and even a few permit on occasion.  Last week we had one of my best days fishing ever in the gulf.  We got lucky and got in on a school of lunker redfish between 20 and 35 lbs!  We caught 15 of them in that size range, plus a big 15 lb snook.  It was truly unbelievable I’ve never seen anything like it.  All caught on simple shrimp and jig rigs.  The day before we had caught one nice redfish of 25 lbs or so, and the following day there was just a massive school of them there.  That being said I wouldn’t count on finding that again for a while, one of those things you just had to be here to see.  Big schools of mullet are starting to show up, so the big tarpon migration should be right around the corner.  Once we have a nice calm day where the sun shines I think some bigger schools will push in from the gulf and down from the atlantic side.  As stated anything goes right now, but as we get later into March and especially April, tarpon will be the name of my game!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk