About Bud N' Mary's

Bud N' Mary's Fishing Marina is located in Islamorada, Florida, The Sportfishing Capital of The World!  It was established in 1944, and over the years has been one of the most famous sportfishing destinations in the world!  It is home to over 40 of the finest offshore captains and backcountry guides.  We also have a spectacular party fishing boat, the Miss Islamorada.  There is also a great dive shop, boat rentals, motel, boat storage, transient dockage, and tackle store.  We will be posting fishing related events, catches, media publications, and overall news concerning Bud N' Mary's here, so keep tuned in!  You can contact Bud N' Mary's at 1-800-742-7945 or e-mail us:



Welcome to our Florida Keys Fishing Reports section.  Here we will be posting all the catch reports both offshore and backcountry around Islamorada and the Florida Keys.  Remember all captains can be booked through Bud N' Mary's Florida Keys Fishing Charters by calling 1-800-742-7945Islamorada Fishing Reports vary year round, so check back often! Thanks!

To see older fishing reports, scroll to the bottom and click the page numbers!

P.S. You can also read Capt. Rick Stanczyks daily updated fishing reports here or daily tarpon reports here (during season).

Entries in jim willcox (68)


4/4/13 Great tarpon fishing!

Today the islamorada tarpon fishing was really good.  Lots of mullet around in the morning and afternoons.  We caught 4/4 this morning in the backcountry by 10:00 AM.  Anglers had enough so we finished the day catching trout, ladyfish, and snappers.  This evening we caught 4/9 around the local bridges mostly on live mullet on top.  Very exciting bites and strikes, mostly smaller fish though did get one 65 lber.  Incoming tide on both trips and live fresh mullet for bait.  That's a total of 8/13 fish!  Capt. John Johansen and Capt. Ben Ekblom also had some tarpon action this evening.  Today Capt. Jim Willcox had lots of sharks, a big 'mud marlin', and a monster hammerhead as well.  The islamorada backcountry fishing will likely be tough the next few days as another front is coming and suppose to blow 25-30 tomorrow, but luckily not getting very cold so hopefully as soon as the wind lays down it will get back to normal.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


3/13/13 Islamorada night tarpon fishing report in march

Well had my first official march islamorada night tarpon fishing trip of the season.  Chris and Steph were down from Baltimore, and Chris reads the blog regularly and I promised to make him famous!  We did have a light blast of cool air last night with a predominant 15-20 knot north wind which generally the tarpon don't like.  You can't predict these things ahead of time, though the best time to tarpon fish islamorada is whenever you can make it down here.  However the water temperatures didn't plummet and were still in the low 70s which was a good thing, as well as falling tide till dark which I like.  The wind also laid out nicely around 6:00 or so.  Anyways I brought a loaded variety of bait included cigar minnows, pinfish, nice big live shrimp, and of course some crabs.  We made some drifts early starting around 4:15 pm in one of the channels where I had seen tarpon on previous days, though not much luck.  I anchored up near one of the bridges where we saw a tarpon roll as I pulled up and set up.  Tarpon fishing the bridges is often productive as most always there will be some tarpon around them.  We had one tarpon bite on a cigar minnow but unfortunately missed him.  We caught a nurse shark off a bait on the bottom, and while photographing him had another bite on a big shrimp - not sure if it was a tarpon or not but it zipped drag for a good 2 seconds so had to be something of decent size...  No more bites here, but we did catch a nice legal size gag grouper off the bottom which was cool, of course we released him as they are out of season now.  Nearer sunset we ran further back to catch the last of the falling tide, and on our first drift we did see a tarpon roll.  We made 2 more drifts and finally around 7:30 hooked up a nice 75 lb fish on a live crab.  Made a couple really good runs and spectacular jumps which my camera phone is not good at capturing, but we did land the fish and I snapped a quick picture.  After that it was time to head home.  Glad my first march islamorada tarpon fishing report at night was a good one!  This week there have been some other fish caught as well, I know Capt. Vic Gaspeny caught one early this morning and the past couple days Capt. Skip Nielsen had several nice fish, as well as Capt. Jim Willcox with one the other day in the backcountry.  Tommorrow night got downgraded to 15mph out of the north so may be fishable, not sure how the night fishing will be the rest of the week/weekend.  But if your interested give Bud n' Mary's or myself a call and we'll give you an honest opinion!  March can be a very good time to fish and if the cold weather stops, the fish are around and have not seen a ton of hooks yet so can feed really well with the right conditions!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


3/6/13 March Islamorada Backcountry Fishing Report

Things have warmed a little bit here again the last few days of fishing islamorada in march.  Water temperatures are still on the chilly side but totally fishable, however it is suppose to get a little colder again the next couple of nights though which will likely keep us in 'winter mode' backcountry fishing islamorada through the weekend.  Today Capt. Rick Stanczyk and Capt. John Johansen had good mixed bag action.  They both fished the patches in the morning and had a mix bag of snapper, grouper, hogfish, porgies, and some other various things.  Capt. Rick had this nice legal size red grouper on light spin tackle which we had to release, as well as a large sheepshead which is very unusual to see on the ocean side!  Later on snappers were caught on the bayside, and Capt. Rick also caught a cobia while snapper fishing blown in likely from the westerly winds in the gulf.  Further back Capt. Jim Willcox and Capt. Mike Bassett had some action at the east cape florida keys snook fishing, pictured is a nice snook caught with Capt. Jim.  Capt. Mike reported a handful of nice size redfish and black drum with a mix of trout.  Capt. Bill Bassett had steady action with nice mangrove snappers and lots of big trout around the flamingo area.  Also Capt. Dave Sisung reported action with some sharks and a couple of big 'mud marlin' fishing the backcountry channels.  Florida keys fishing in march will start to focus on tarpon quite a bit once water temperatures reach 75 or so, and fishing in the gulf can also be very good.  There were reportes of some laid up tarpon in the backcountry today so hopefully this next cool spell will be brief!  Until our next march islamorada fishing report!



2/10/13 February Islamorada Fishing Report Backcountry with wind!

Winds are howling today on 2/10/13.. 20 miles an hour from the east.  One great thing about february fishing in islamorada is when it blows like this as it often does with the changing of the seasons to spring, is that you can always run and hide.  Capt. Jim Willcox and Capt. Mike Bassett both report good fishing back at east cape and beyond cape sable.  On this day fishing in the florida keys in february they had some low water in the morning for several hours.  With this ideal condition the fish are much more congregated as they have no where to go.  Jim reported getting into several large redfish, as well as some more slot size fish, over a dozen or so deep in some creeks.  They also caught 3 snook backcountry islamorada fishing.  Capt. Mike fished Will and Pat down from upstate New York.  He reported a mixed bag of redfish, black drum, sheepshead, and 10 snook!  They also got into a big mess of seatrout.  If your looking for table fare there was some of that too.  Capt. Bill Bassett caught his limit of mangrove snappers and sea trout with his anglers who wanted stuff for dinner.  Capt. Vinnie Biondoletti also reported several large bull sharks while he was shark fishing today.  Islamorada fishing in the spring is happening now, water temperatures are approaching 75 and as long as it stays warm, the spring time fishing should be in full swing (meaning tarpon!).  On the offshore side it was very rough, though a handful of sails were caught on the Kalex and Fearless.  Kalex also got a nice mutton snapper.


1/26/13 January Islamorada Backcountry Fishing Report

Had a gorgeous day here today january fishing islamorada.  Andy and his sons Derek and Conrad fished with me again on 1/26/13.  The wind blew but not too bad mostly out of the north/northeast.  Temperatures were chilly in the morning but nice after the sun was higher in the sky and we stopped running.  Caught the end of the falling tide back fishing cape sable.  Lots of redfish in the ditches and run-offs, today mostly little guys with a handful of nicer fish here and there.  Mostly caught jigging shrimp.  We also got some really nice big 20 lb black drum right off the bat, one we lost around a tree stump but one we caught right after on our islamorada fishing charter!  All these guys were eating shrimp on jigs, slowly twitched on the bottom.  We moved further in some of the creeks on the incoming tide and picked away at redfish, sheepshead, ladyfish, trout, jacks, and snapper.  Mid day we caught a handful of other fish along with a nice snook.  Backcountry islamorada fishing in the winter is lots of fun.  Capt. Jim Willcox and Capt. Mike Bassett reported similar fishing back at the cape including redfish and snook.  Capt. Willcox and Capt. John Johansen also did some trout fishing later in the afternoon and reported lots of nice big trout showing up in the ditches between islamorada and flamingo, which have been slim pickings the last month at least as far as the large ones go.  Great day here on the water flats fishing in the florida keys.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk