It finally feels like winter again here offshore fishing in Islamorada. We had a fairly strong cold front blow through last night, and the temperatures dropped into Mid 60's with winds out of the North West. This morning the wind has already let up some, and the next few days look to be great days to get out on the water. We are gonna have a north wind, which means the wind blows across the land mass, so we will have a wind "chop" on the ocean side the next couple days, but not big swells by any means. The reef line we fish this time of year is only 3 - 5 miles out from shore. Last Thursday was the one day Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament, which is also the last leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup series. The Relentless releases 3 sailfish that day, giving them 2nd place in the IFC tournament, and another 1st place finish in the Gold Cup Sailfish Series with 31 releases over the 6 days of fishing! Congrats!
The Catch 22 finished in 2nd place in the Gold Cup Series as well with 17 releases over the 6 days of tournament sailfishing. Overall the past 10 days here there's been a handful of sailfish around each day. It hasn't been a red hot bite, but most of the boats that have been putting their time in have been getting 1 - 3 shots each day. Some days have been a little slower, while others better, it's always fishing. There's still been some kingfish and cero mackerel around on the reef, as well as the occasional tuna and mahi.
There's been some nice mutton snapper, a few big mangrove snapper, and the usual amount of yellowtail snapper while bottom fishing too. Of course when grouper season is closed we always seem to catch those too, and there's been a handful of nice black grouper released lately. We also saw a couple nice african pompano caught last week.
I think this front might push some more cobia out of the gulf of mexico into the atlantic ocean this week, so I wouldn't be suprised to see some big cobia caught this next week. Hopefully the sailfish bite will keep improving this week as well with all the North Wind. A few boats have gone "deep dropping" for bottom fish lately and that has been a great way to catch some excellent eating fish. There's been tilefish, snapper, grouper, etc. from 400 - 700' of water.
We also took advantage of a nice day last week and made it out daytime swordfishing, and emily got her first swordfish.There's still been a few swordfish around way offshore, and if the weather cooperates and you want to try your luck, you always have a shot!
Give us a call in the tackleshop at 305 664 2461 when you're ready to book your fishing trip and we'll find a great boat to get you out on!
Capt. Nick Stanczyk