2010-03-08 - Islamorada Fishing Report

Islamorada Fishing Report

The past few weeks here out of Islamorada have been up and down. First, we start with bait which has been nothing short of difficult at best. Some days we get one throw of the cast net and if you are lucky you get some minnows. Ballyhoo have been way up the line just too far to go on a “maybe”. So most days we have to resort to live shrimp and cut dead baits.

The cold fronts that have been steadily coming through are really making life hard on the reef edge as the water cannot warm up. Reports are that it’s this way up the whole coast of Florida. The water is dirty and green and for the first time in 14 yrs I saw the water turn to mud…it was horrible! Now with that said the fishing has been a lot of work but we do manage to put a pretty good catch together by the end of the day. Yellowtails and Mangrove snappers are okay. We manage to pick away at each stop which is about 6 to 9 spots a day; all shallow water patches. The fun part about it is the Grouper fishing is…well…super! This is very nice to see since it has been closed down until September. Blacks, Reds, and Gags have done a great job of giving the anglers an unreal fight on light tackle. The cero and Spanish mackerels have also provided some good action for us too. They’re mostly biting on the Gotcha’s.      

Now the best fishing has been over the last few days. During our present cold front the waters and currents have helped to slowly turn things around. The water began to really clean up and the bites have become somewhat easier. The bait has seemed to find its way back along with some of the deeper bites on the wrecks and fades.

The Sailfish have been very slow but I do feel we are going to get some GREAT tailing conditions real soon, lots of fun and big numbers. The Cobia have really been the most consistent for us, they have been coming down the inside reef edge on rays in big numbers. This has provided us with real good action almost every day! The Cobias love the live Grunts which we catch on the patches. The best part is they are a very hardy bait and easy to keep alive in the bait pens. Finally when the opportunity allows us we have been able to start catching some real nice Amberjacks on the humps and deeper wrecks offshore. The live Bluerunner or Speedos have been best to produce a bite. The Jacks have ranged anywhere from 20 to 75 pounds. A great fight on stand up gear. Not much to report yet on the Black fins. Just a few here and there…it’s coming though! We also have been able to get in a few Swordfish trips on this last Moon and both the That’s Right and Pretty Work had some bites and each was able to get themselves a keeper. The bite overall though was slow on this Moon but perhaps the weather played a role.         

The outlook is good though for the upcoming weeks. The weather seems to want to finally break which will help greatly. The signs are all there. All we need are things to start to line up together and we are there!! Just another note for all…the Pretty Work will be in Islamorada year round now!!!! We have also taken the time to attach a Dry Tortugas permit to it so now we are running these trips in June, July and August which are some of the prime months to fish and snorkel in that area!!

Capt.John Oughton
cell 305-481-6527