Florida Keys Weekend Fishing 4Cast

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Key Largo to Key West
Includes Islamorada and Marathon

March 3-5

Backcountry

Hello everybody! Great fishing last weekend and most of last week in the Florida Keys backcountry. The storms and strong westerly winds stirred the waters up by mid-week, making fishing conditions a bit tough for most. The weekend is shaping out to be a lot better with calm westerly winds. The fly guys are here and they have one thing in mind, sight-fishing for tarpon. Look for the annual migration to get in full swing in the coming weeks. Anglers in the Key Largo area are reporting a mix bag of snook, redfish, trout and big jacks. Most of the action has been working the mainland shorelines with pilchards or scented artificial’s like Berkley Gulps! Fish the last of the outgoing tide on the Flamingo area. Work the runoffs and island moats with shrimp, pilchards or scented baits. The shark and tarpon action on the deeper channels is picking up and will only get better as we continue our warming trend. Fish dead baits on the bottom for the best action.
The deep channels around First National Bank are producing a decent bite of trout, bluefish, pompano, jacks and ladyfish. Jigs with either shrimp or artificial baits bounced on the bottom will get some action. Look for a decent bite of snook, redfish and black drum around the creeks, ditches and shorelines in the Cape Sable area with the best bite in the Lake Ingram area. There has also been an increased number of tarpon in the Cape Sable area so it’s good to have some live baits ready to go in case de opportunity presents itself. The shark fishing should also start to pick up through out the park as water temperatures continue to get warmer.

Out in Gulf waters expect to find an ok bite of Spanish mackerel. Some days they come quick and other days you have to wait a bit and have some patience. We had some days where for almost an hour nothing happened but when they came it was a free for all with really nice fish. We also caught some nice cobia, goliath grouper, sharks and even a couple of hogfish. The winds are forecasted to come down for the weekend. If the dirty water clears up, look for the wrecks to be holding some cobia plus all the other Gulf residents. We have also been fishing inside the Park boundaries east of Sandy key and have been pretty successful with some really nice trout, ladyfish, bluefish and a few mackerel. Look for this fishery to keep getting better as we approach our spring season.

Bonefishing conditions should improve for the weekend. Fish the incoming tide around oceanside flats throughout the Keys. Look for tailing fish on the lower stages of the tide and mudding fish on the higher stages. The permit fishing will continue to get better as this is the time of the year where they start moving in big numbers towards their annual spawning grounds in the deeper reefs and wrecks. The tarpon are here, not in big numbers yet but its just a matter of time before they show in full force migration. The outgoing tides especially from sunset on are the most productive. It’s that time of the year where we are getting ready to say goodbye to winter and welcome spring with all its new fishing opportunities. Have fun on the water and take the family fishing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.fishingcharterinislamorada.com {305-297-0438} info@beatslandcharters.com


Upper Keys

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! The weather so far this week has been pretty good, but not quite sure what the rest of the week is going to bring, just yet. It looks like a good possibility for some wet weather with a bit of wind, but I think we will have to wait and see exactly how it folds out. The fishing this week has been pretty good with some sails, wahoo, kings, and tuna being caught all up and down our coast. The current has been going good, mostly to the East to the North, with some Southwest current moving to the south of us here in Islamorada. Either way the water is clean, and is moving, so that is a good thing. The offshore swordfish bite this week has been decent with a few boats making it out to the deep ledge. Pretty similar to last week with a few fish caught so far this week, nothing really any bigger than 100 pounds that I have heard of, but still a nice fish. The humps have been on fire this week with some really nice blackfin tuna up to 30 pounds, averaging high teens to low 20’s on the live baits, and a ton of nice footballs on the troll and vertical jigs. Plenty of jack action, as well as shark action, on these humps with the Marathon Hump being the best of the tuna fishing. The sharks have been fairly friendly on this hump as well, so it has been a lot of fun! The deep dropping for yellow eye snappers, vermillion snappers, and black belly rosefish has been good too with the nicer weather. These fish make excellent table fare, and provide a truly different experience for most anglers as “chicken rigs” are used in deep water and allow 2 fish to be caught at once on the same line. Most clients get a real “kick” out of it, and with the quality you get for the dinner table it is truly a win-win for everyone!

The wrecks this week have been ok to slow on the bottom fishing, but they have had a few kings and wahoo around. Also, there have been a few nice blackfin’s patrolling these areas as well as a few sails. Speaking of the sailfish bite, this has started to pick us as the current and wind have come into play. A good push from above is on the way I am sure as several boats have been catching double digits to the North, so we are waiting on the arrival of some better numbers but a few shots or more each day has been the norm here. The reef remains decent with some nice yellowtails and mangroves. Some nice cero and king mackerel have been making appearances as well in the slick. Fishing has been pretty good this week, and depending on what the weather actually ends up doing will depend on how the fishing ends up. We will have to wait and see! Have a safe weekend everyone!


catchalottafish.com (305)803-1321
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lower Keys

Overall, the fishing in the lower keys has been mediocre this past week. We had a great tuna bite offshore last weekend, but that has slowed up during the week. People have still been catching them, but not in great numbers. The sailfishing hasn’t been too great either, a couple sailfish here and there, but the water has been very dirty close to the reef. The kingfish have been really thick around the reef, and there have been some smoker kings around too. The weather this weekend looks awful, with 30 to 35 mph winds forecasted out of the east. Most likely, it will be difficult to get offshore or anywhere near the reef. Depending on the size of your boat, fishing the patch reefs may be a good idea. If you have a smaller boat, I would recommend finding some areas in the backcountry where you can hide and fish.

The backcountry was more productive this past week. I didn’t see as many permit on the flats as last week, but the barracudas were around and they were eating well. It may be a good idea to fish on the lee side of the mangrove islands, looking for barracudas this weekend. You can get some protection from the wind and the visibility will be a little better so you can see the fish. You can also drift through the basins, looking for mud slicks in the water. We caught a few trout the other day doing this, but there can be ladyfish, snappers and jacks as well. I normally just bounce a ¼ oz bucktail jig on the bottom as I drift through the mud slicks inside the basins. Whatever you decide to do this weekend; plan accordingly and please be safe on the water, these winds are no joke.

Capt. Jamie Connell
www.flyingfishkw.com
(908) 303-9873

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Article source: http://www.floridasportsman.com/2017/03/02/keys-fishing-4cast/