1/16/17 Florida Keys Backcountry Fishing in January

Well unfortunately we had a mix up on dates so I ended up being open today and tomorrow.  Luckily I caught it yesterday and was able to rebook tomorrow and decided to take my dad, Steven and sportswriter Al Ristori from NJ out for fun.  We headed back to cape sable with some shrimp and got out early.  I didn’t really think about it being a holiday weekend, but there were lots of boats back there today so that kind of put a damper on things straight away… We even left early but there were already half a dozen boats in the general area when we got there.  Anyways we got to the spot we wanted to luckily, but not much happening there.  We did catch one black drum and a few nice trout, though we did lose 3 big fish which were likely large black drums.  One got eaten by a shark, one broke us off in some underwater brush, and another just went through the leader.  One of those unlucky starts!  After that boats started to crowd the area so we decided to run further back and try some other creeks that aren’t fished as much.  We caught plenty of little things – snapper, jacks, and a few more big trout – but no snook, reds, or drum.  We then worked our way back towards home and tried some other areas.  No luck in the first few stops and was almost going to consider the day a wash.  But we kept at it and finally when the tide turned and we got in a different area, we started to pick a few fish.  Out of 3 spots we got about a half dozen reds and three snook, and missed a couple other bites.  Not red hot but it was nice to put some quality fish in the boat.  Had several boats go by us in the area where we normally rarely see people, so we could tell it was still busy.  Wrapped up the day after that.  I did hear a buddy of mine had a very good day fishing one of the areas we tried later in the morning but he was there first thing… unfortunately you can’t be everywhere at once, but at least I have a good idea of where to start tomorrow!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk