2/7/18 Mangrove snapper fishing in February in Islamorada

Got out with Jim and Steve today for a full day, two of my regulars down from Delray Beach area.  We are also fishing tomorrow for a full day.  They like meat fishing… table fare and aren’t interested in the big tarpon so we gave them a rest.  We caught some pilchards on the way out, good size baits so that was a nice way to start.  We found some decent size mangrove snappers around the islands, and got our limit of 15 inchers.  Had to work at it a little bit, but after a couple hours we were done.  Free lining pilchards to big snappers is a lot of fun and makes snapper fishing a lot more enjoyable, you don’t always catch the big numbers, but you do get the quality size fish.  After that we tried in the bay for trout.  It was tough though we tried a half dozen spots and never found any trout really, just a few small jacks and catfish.  I tried some of the spring time spots and even some of the winter time runoffs, since we are kind of between seasons now, but alas no luck.  We tried an area later for some mackerels nearby, as it was too windy to get to my usual mackerel spot at this point in the day.  We chummed but the mackerels didn’t show up there… but we did get some bigger jacks and catfish, and Jim got a nice blacktip on his shrimp on a light tackle rod which was a good fight.  Oh well at least the snapper fishing was good and we had a nice cooler of fish – mission accomplished!  Hopefully the wind will lay down tomorrow for these guys as it was blustery today.  If it does I’m sure we’ll try some of the patch reefs and maybe further gulf stuff.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing