1/18/17 January Half Day Fishing in the Florida Keys

Got out today in the near gulf of mexico fishing out of Islamorada, FL.  We went fishing for spanish mackerel out there.  Conditions looked pretty good the wind laid down nicely from what it has been the last week, a nice 5-10 mph and once we got a ways out there it laid down to almost nothing.  Felt like a warm summer day almost in the middle of January!  Once we arrive at the ‘fishing hole’ – a few white holes in the bay grass with some scattered debris and structure – we hung the chum bag and waited for fish to come.  The current was just starting out… tide is important when mackerel fishing and usually the falling tide is best in the gulf and you want the current moving.  It wasn’t moving very hard today but got going a little bit eventually.  We were using jigs tipped with shrimp with heavier mono leader as the mackerel have sharp teeth.  Anyways after 15 or 20 minutes we started catching a few, and eventually we got into a steady bite.  Mackerel will come in waves and you’ll catch them seemingly every cast for a spell, then you’ll go 10 or 15 minutes with nothing and think they’ve disappeared, then suddenly you’ll start catching them again!  This went on for the couple hours we were out there and we also caught a few bluefish and blue runners.  We put a shark rod out for the last hour but no luck with that… I think with the lack of current it was tough to get a scent trail going.  Anyways the macks kept us busy enough and we got back home by 11 to call it a day.  I’m off tomorrow so far and the weekend looks fairly nice too, then Monday we are getting another cold front… I think that’ll be a good thing especially for our deeper everglades fishing for drum, snook, reds, etc…  If you want to get out there, gimme a ring!  Season is coming up fast and it’s about to be very busy.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk