12/30/16 Backcountry Fishing Full Day in Islamorada

Well we got nailed with a cold front last night so conditions changed significantly for us today.  It was blowing 25 out of the north/northeast for most of the day and the temperature dropped down into the high 60s last night, and didn’t warm up much today and is suppose to get even cooler tonight.  Some times this can be great for fishing if you get lucky and hit it right, though it definitely isn’t always the case.  Today was pretty tough out there the water temps dropped into the high 60s with the air, and unfortunately with all the wind blowing hard west last night and then north this morning, and tide screaming out, it was hard to find any clean water anywhere.  Usually if you can find some of those protected areas where the current is right and the water clarity looks decent, you can have some good fishing even when it gets cold/windy, but everywhere today looked like the proverbial ‘mud hole.’  We didn’t catch much the first 4 stops aside from some catfish.  I talked to one other guide on the water and he wasn’t having much luck either.  Eventually we caught a handful of fish – a redfish, a black drum, a trout, a mangrove snapper, and lost a snook – but it was a very slow pick and seemingly no big groups of fish.  The tide was so low in a couple areas I was a little worried about getting in some spots but we were able to make it luckily.  Anyways we tried to go just get some action from anything for the last hour, and even that was tough to do, but we were able to catch some nice size ladyfish and a few jacks to finish the day.  Tomorrow I have a half day and will likely stick close to home on the patch reefs, but sunday or monday if the winds lay down or at least stick out of the north for a couple days, it may be good fishing back there again we will have to wait and see!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk