This Islamorada Fishing Report is going to cover the last week and a half in February and the first couple days of March so far. I was out of town quite a bit lately, hence the delayed report. About 10 days ago we had the coldest day of winter here, with temperatures in the mid 40's one day! The cold snap didn't last too long, and within a couple days we were back up in the 70's. There was a decent bite of sailfish with the cold weather, quite a few boats had releases, with some boats having as many as 3 or 4. The bite has been a little spotty the past few days here, but there's still a few around. Today the Kalex and Reel McCoy each released a sail, and yesterday the Relentless had 4 releases, but he was the only boat to score on the sails yesterday. I think the next week we will see a few here and there each day, but if they aren't biting, don't be afraid to do something different to try to catch some fish!
Sailfish on the leader on the Cloud Nine last week
2 sailfish releases plus some other fish on the Man O War
Some of the days we saw an usual amount of mahi around (for this time of year), with some boats having 10 - 15 fish, and many of the boats having a handful. I just saw a couple hanging up today, but I think we will see them here and there this month. I wouldn't make them your priority, but they might be an option some days. March is an interesting month here with usually a little bit of everything, and with the changing coditions you don't know what will bite day to day. There's still some schools of cobias passing through, and if you find the right pack of fish there's been some in the 25 - 50 lb range. We hit a couple schools of small fish today, which were still fun to catch and release. For other dinner fish there's been yellowtail snapper, a few mutton snapper, porgy, and cero mackerel.
Mahi, snapper, and porgy for dinner on the Bn'M II
Even though you can't keep them for dinner now, Black Grouper are a tremendous fight and a great looking fish
Cobia caught and released on Bn'M II today
There's also been some big barracudas on the reef, which are always fun to catch! The black groupers are still around, but they are catch and release till May 1st. The Gon Fishin V had a couple days of good deep dropping out in 400 - 600' of water last week with the calm weather. They had porgy, tilfish, and a couple monster yellowedge grouper! Further offshore there's been some "football" size blackfin tunas on the humps and the amberjacks are starting to show up. We should start seeing some big 40+ lb "donkeys" soon.
Monster Yellowedge grouper, a couple other yellowedge, tilfish, porgy, and a sailfish for Gon Fishin V last week
Amberjack from the Bn'M II while wreck fishing
Overall this time of year you want to keep an open mind and fish for what's biting to have the best day possible! It's gonna be a busy spring here at Bud n' Mary's, so give the office a call at 305 664 2461 to book a boat soon! I also attended one of George Poveromos National Saltwater Seminars in Port St Lucie last Saturday and it was a great event! Over 650 people attended! Always nice to meet people in the industry as well as people that want to learn and even get out fishing with you!
The group of guest speakers and George Poveromo for his National Seminar Series
660 people crowded the room to spend the day learning fishing tricks from various captains and fisher people
Capt. Nick Stanczyk