February 2017 came to a close yesterday but not without a few good fish hitting the dock! We could a nice 35 lb kingfish aboard the Catch 22, and both the Kalex and Reel McCoy each had a sailfish release. There has been a lot of kingfish the past week here, mostly in the 4 - 12 lb range, but you never know when that big smoker is gonna bite!
The sailfish bite has definitely been on and off the past week. For example, the Catch 22 fished 3 days in a row, losing 1 the first day, releasing 9 of 10 the second, and losing a couple the last day. Making the bites count is the most important thing, and you never really know what day they are going to snap! The Indigenous also had a good day last week with his angler catching his first ever sailfish (4 of them) and then the next day reported a few bites but unfortunately they all got away. A little bit of luck always helps, but the tough days make you appreciate the good days. Most of the boats have been getting 1 - 2 sailfish bites per full day trip if they put their time in. It looks like we have another strong cold front coming this weekend, so hopefully that stirs up the sailfish and gets them going. We haven't seen the cobia like expected, but hopefully any day they show up!
The snapper bite has been pretty decent most days on the reef with yellowtails, mangroves, and a couple muttons. Offshore there's been some big amberjack up to 60 lbs as well as some almaco jack up to 30 lbs. We've seen a couple blackfin tuna the last few days, but nothing like it was a week ago with the calm weather when some boats had 10 - 15 fish. The bait that was plentiful disspeared with the wind, but you never know when it will show back up and the condiditions may get right to make the run back offshore to the humps. There's also been a stray wahoo here and there and hopefully around the next full moon we saw some more.
Way offshore I made it out on 1 daytime swordfish trip before the wind started and Tom and Joey landed their first ever swordfish, around 100 lbs. The spring time is when some of the biggest swords have been caught off Islamorada, so if the weather is right (not super windy), keep that in the back of your mind if you want to take a gamble.
Give the marina office a call at 305 664 2461 when you're ready to book your next Islamorada Fishing charter. Remember we are in "season" now, so the sooner you call to book the more likely we can accommodate your schedule.
Capt. Nick Stanczyk