3/29/13 Islamorada backcountry fishing report

We’ve been extremely busy here in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  One of the busiest spring times I can remember!  Unfortunately this last week we had another late cold front dropping the temperatures extremely low.  Some parts of the everglades national park the water was in the high 50s, and even florida bay was in the low 60s – not ideal for this time of year or any time!  The hot ticket for my anglers has been fishing the islamorada patch reefs.  The last several days we’ve done that and the fishing has been pretty good.  Lots of good eating fish too!  We’ve caught some nice mangrove snappers, porgies, and hogfish which are all delicious!  There has also been a mix of smaller yellowtails, mutton snappers, various groupers, blue runners, grunts, chubs, and even a few small sharks.  A few days ago one of my anglers was after sharks, but with the water temperatures being what they were I did not think much of our chances.  However we fished near the ocean side with the incoming tide from the atlantic and that kept things quite a bit warmer than in the bayside.  We didn’t catch anything we consider ‘trophies’ here, but he was thrilled to catch a few very large nurse sharks, big sting rays, and large bonnet head sharks.    The april tarpon fishing in islamorada should pick up too.  The last several nights have obviously been pretty slow with the cold water.  We saw plenty of fish last night, though never could get one to eat.  I fished 3 different spots and all held fish that we could see rolling consistently.  The cold front has since passed and the waters should have a chance to warm up, once they reach ~70 again everything should get better slowly.  If your thinking of doing a backcountry islamorada fishing charter give me a call!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk