Been very busy here as of 5/21/12 and lots of rain around so have not been taking pictures and keeping up with reports - sorry guys! Last week I had Kenny Johnston here flats fishing in Islamorada from across the pond. We fished two full days in the islamorada backcountry fishing. Day 1 we started around flamingo. We got into a decent snook bite catching 10 or so snook up to 8 lbs, lost the first 1 which was a nice fish likely over 10 lbs into the trees. Lucky for the fish as a large bull shark was after him! We also caught a couple redfish there and off one other tree nearby, as well as lots of mangrove snappers. The wind kicked up so we made our way back towards Islamorada and found a nice trout mud on the way home. Plenty of trout with several slot size fish mixed in. A big mullet mud was on a flat nearby so we caught a few live mullets and decided to give the tarpon a shot near home for the last hour. We caught a couple small sharks early, and put our last mullet out on the bottom. I reeled up the bait to check it after 15 minutes, put it back out, and within a minute the line zipped off and a nice 60 lb tarpon was airborne and hooked! Kenny caught him in about 30 minutes to complete his backcountry slam for the day! Great to catch an afternoon tarpon in islamorada! Day 2 we ran back towards the cape area and found a nice school of redfish up on the flats. We caught probably 15 of those, then loaded up with ladyfish in one of the nearby channels. We caught a small shark nearby, and then kept heading back towards the cape. Kenny wanted something big so we put the ladyfish on the bottom in one of the channels. Caught 2 mud marlin, one small one of 40 lbs, and another that was likely 200-250 lbs! Great options here fishing in the florida keys! Capt. Jim Willcox also reported getting a backcountry slam - snook, reds, and a tarpon, running deep into the glades off the northwest cape. Capt. Jeff Beeler did well on the redfish with myself in a group trip several days ago as well as some shots at tarpon early in the morning, some nice trout and snappers, and a shark. Capt. Mike Bassett got a couple tarpon in the afternoon the other day as well on live mullets drifting the oceanside bridges. Capt. Dave Butler also snuck out after the rain the other day and caught a big tarpon as well as a couple redfish!
As of late the tarpon fishing here has been picking up a bit, a lot of fish around locally however still not many in the backcountry. The evening trips have been giving more shots at fish, some have been eating crabs as well. We had bites on crabs early in the evening the last 2 nights, as well as mullet. We do have falling tides here till near dark this next week, so the fishing will hopefully be good the next several evenings! Get ou there on a night tarpon fishing islamorada trip!