Sorry for skipping last weeks Islamorada fishing report, but I'm back in town and will have the weekly report up the rest of the spring and summer. The past week has been pretty windy in Islamorada, but it hasn't stopped all the boats from getting offshore, or atleast to the edge of the reef. The Spring time is a transitional time of year here, and the fishing changes day to day, but if you're ready for what's biting you can have a great day on the water. Earlier in the month there was a handful of days of great sailfishing, when they were "tailing" down a color change. The Reel McCoy and Kalex both got in on the action and had 11 releases on a single trip, and many boats had a handful of them. There was a couple cobia in the mix as well. The current died out, the wind switched a little, the water color changed, so those conditions faded, but I was happy to hear that some people experienced it. It could still happen again anytime the rest of the month or even next, we'll just have to wait and see.
Some boats have continued to go offshore and the mahi are definitely starting to show up. They aren't thick yet, but a couple boats that braved it out had 8 - 10 fish yesterday, including schoolies and a few gaffers up to 12 lbs. Last week a few boats had some "slammers" over 20 lbs. It should only get better as we near summer. There has been some "football" blackfin tunas on the humps as well as just migrating in the gulfstream. Amberjacks are on the humps and wrecks as well, but a few spots are loaded with sharks so you have to be aggressive to get the fish up.
The reef has been good for yellowtail snapper, with a few mangrove and mutton snapper in the mix. Grouper season opens May 1st, and everyone is hoping the grouper stick around. Almost all the boats that have bottom fished lately have reported releasing nice size black grouper with a couple red grouper. I think we will continue to see a couple sailfish here and there, but probably not with the consistency we see in the winter. The permit have been on a couple wrecks just oustide the reef, so if you're lucky and the school of fish is happy you might get in on the action.
The Catch 22 made it out on a few daytime swordfish trips the last couple weeks, Catching 1 fish on each of their first two trips and pulling the hooks on a fish the last trip. The rest of the year is prime time to try your luck at a broadbill swordfish, and we have plenty of boats ready to give it a shot!
Give the marina office a call at 305 664 2461 to book your next Islamorada Offshore fishing charter and we'll set you up with a great boat! Either fishing the reef or going offshore will be options the upcoming weeks!
Capt. Nick Stanczyk