November came and went just as quick as the other months while fishing here in Islamorada, Florida Keys. We've had a couple real nice days with light winds but most of the days we have had the usual winter time wind and sea conditions. The good news is that the majority of the boats are fishing on the edge of the reef and even when it's a little rough you only have to travel 3 -5 miles from shore to get in on the action! The sailfish bite has been fair, with a couple good days mixed in and a couple slow days. I would say the boats have been averaging 1 - 3 shots per trip, but one day the "Bn'M" went 6 for 8. Sailfish are one of those fish that if you make you shots count you'll have a great trip, but if they jump off (which some of them do), it can be a little frustrating. This coming Friday the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament starts, and it will end on Sunday, so good luck to all the boats fishing it!
If you're not into chasing sailfish there's been plenty of action with snapper, king mackerel, barracuda, amberjack, a couple grouper, a couple tuna, etc. while fishing on the reef and wrecks. A couple boats found schools of cobia inside the reef as well, which can be very exciting and they are great fighters. Boats have been anchoring down and chumming for a lot for the bottom fish, and then slow trolling and kite fishing for the pelagic species.
Way offshore on the "Broad Minded" I made it out on 7 swordfish trips the past couple weeks. It was slow a couple weeks ago, with one fish on 4 trips, but the past week was much better with one fish on each of 3 trips, as well as some more bottom fish one day on the way out. Capt. Scott on the Catch 22 had one swordfish his last trip and had a big day a couple weeks back with 3 swordfish on one trip. Swordfishing is big game fishing, and most of the time you are fishing for one fish, so if action is what you want I wouldn't recommend this type of fishing. We are getting to the time of year where swordfishing can be tough to plan because if we get a passing cold front it's hard to make the 30 - 40 mile run in and out and fish comfortably, but if the weather cooperates you always have a shot!
Give us a call at Bud n' Mary's Marina at 305 664 2461 when you're ready to book you're next fishing trip and we'll find the right boat for you. We are booking up already for Christmas week, so if you're planning a trip down here to Islamorada give us a call and get a boat on hold. Bud n' Mary's Outfitters is up and going with the largest selection of Pelagic Gear in the Florida Keys, and also plenty of Yeti products, as well as some custom Columbia gear.
Capt. Nick Stanczyk