We just finished up the Cheeca Lodge Sailfish Tournament here in Islamorada yesterday. It was a two day event and the Bud n' Mary's boats made another strong showing! Capt. Travis Dickens aboard the Indigenous led his team to a first place finish with 8 releases. Capt. Paul Ross aboard the Relentless finished in second place with 7 releases. Congrats everyone!!! Overall the sailfish bite has been fair, with most boats getting 1 - 4 bites per trip. The week before The Relentless also took second place in the Islamorda SailFly tournament, with Konnor Ross releasing his first ever sailfish on fly! Last Tuesday was the "Over the Hill Sailfish Tournament" for anglers over 50 years old, and Capt Ray from the Reel McCoy charterboat ran a local privately owned boat in town to take first place and Capt. Joe aboard Fearless put his family in 3rd place! Great job everyone!!!
We had a couple calms days of weather last week as well and sure enough some nice cobias were found just inside the reef. It's a hunting game that takes extreme patience looking for them, but if find a big stingray with a school of cobia following them be ready for action! There's been some nice king mackerel on the reef and wrecks, as well as the occasional wahoo and african pompano. The snapper bite has been decent most days with enough yellowtails for dinner and the occasional mutton snapper in the mix as well. Remember our shallow water grouper season is closed, but it's still fun to catch and release the black groupers and red groupers.
Way offshore I made it out on one daytime swordfish trip aboard the "Broad Minded" and Jerry landed his first ever swordfish. We've had a lot of luck with my new personal "STANZ daytime swordfish rod" which are available for sale now here at Bud n' Mary's Outfitters and online at www.floridakeysswordfishing.com.
Give the marina office a call to book you winter time fishing adventure here in Islamorada and we'll get you set up with a great boat and crew! 305 664 2461!
Capt. Nick Stanczyk