We had some of our coldest air temps the past week here in Islamorada, Florida Keys. It reached a brisk 60 degrees or so, but it didn't stop our offshore charter boats from going fishing! Last Thursday was the one day Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish tournament, and the Bud n' Mary's boats did well again. The Kalex took 2nd place with 4 releases and the Cloud Nine finished in 3rd with 4 releases. That was the third and final leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship, and team Relentless took top honors with 22 combined releases over the three different tournaments this winter. Congrats to all the boats here on a great season!!! Overall the sailfish bite has remained fair, with most boats getting a shot or two per trip the last week, with a few better days mixed in. Hopefully they turn on again and we start getting a handful of shots per trip.
The yellowtail snapper bite has been very good most trips, with many boats limiting out. There's been a few mutton snapper in the mix as well and some grouper (but grouper have to be releases untiil May 1st). The king mackerel really showed up the past few days, with fish from 5 - 20 lbs. We've seen the occasional blackfin tuna in the mix and some cobia are starting to move through. February is usually one of the best months for cobia, so if you're patient and put your time in you should have a good shot at find them! There's also been some amberjacks on the reef and wrecks, but remember they are closed for harvest until March 1st.
Way offshore I made it out on a few daytime swordfish trips, but the bite has been tough. The last two trips didn't yield any bite, and we missed a couple bite a few trips ago. This time of year was very slow last year as well, but when you are fishing for that one fish you just never know when he's gonna eat your bait! There has been some beautiful queen snapper caught deep dropping on the way in and out from the swordfish grounds, so that's been a plus.
Give the marina office a call at 305 664 2461 when you're ready to get out and go fishing in Islamorada! We'll set you up on a great boat!
Capt. Nick Stanczyk