1/22/18 January Florida Keys Backcountry Fishing

Got out with two of my regulars today, Jim and Gwen Johnson, down from Nebraska.  The winds had laid down nicely and we were on a mild warming trend after very cold weather several days ago.  We ran far up the road to try some spots I had heard were holding some fish.  It’s a far run and a bit of a gamble, but Jim and Gwen are always good luck charms and they are fishing with me a couple more days later this week, so I figured we’d take the chance.  It paid off in a big way!  We caught a half dozen nice snook, all between 12 and 20 lbs, with one lunker that may of been 25 lbs!  We lost a couple more, and we also caught about a dozen black drums in the 8 to 15 lb range.  Just absolutely magical!  Everything was biting shrimp with the colder water temps.  We also had a big redfish that I’d guess was close to 35 lbs on for about a 10 minute battle.  Unfortunately the fish opened the hook on us and poor Gwen had to watch him swim away.  At least we got a good look at it though and new what it was, that’s all part of fishing.  Later on we made our way back to some of the more usual haunts.  It was very busy in the canal there again today for a monday, but we slid into a spot and caught fish right away!  Nothing quite as big as in the morning, back to reality with 4 to 8 lbers, but still lots of fun.  We caught another 8 drum and a few snook.  After that we found a few crocodiles to look at, and made our way back home.  It was just an epic day no other way to put it, one that you dream about and maybe get a handful like in a year as a guide.  Definitely appreciate them after all the tougher days we have to fish.  Back at it tomorrow hopefully it’s near as good, then on Thursday the wind machine is going to crank up.  I already had my thursday trip cancel, we’ll see what happens on Friday and Saturday but hopefully I can sneak out for a half day at least.  If anyone wants to go Thursday that will definitely be possible, but I wouldn’t expect anything like today unfortunately!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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