Well March is rolling on and we’ve been very busy here with our key largo fishing charters! I’ve had some luck with permit fishing in key largo the last few trips. We hit the patch reefs on the ocean side out on the atlantic and found a few schools of them. Not a guaranteed thing and they can be one of the most difficult fish in the ocean to catch at least here. But we managed a smaller 12 lber one day, and got about an 18 lber yesterday! We also had plenty of action on the patch reef catching yellow jacks, hogfish, porgies, various snappers, groupers, and more! Winter and spring are great times of year for this fishing, and especially during a cold front. The northerly wind keeps the florida keys to your lee side, so the ocean swells don’t pick up nearly as bad when the wind is south or east. Shrimp and jigs do the trick for many of these fish, though for the big bad permit we float a crab out in the distance. When that rod bows over you know you have something good because only so many fish will eat that crab on the surface. Anyways our season has kicked off in a big way and things are busy. I don’t have much available the next few months and I’ll be mostly focused on the tarpon grind that I love. But summer time can still be very good for tarpon so if you want to go tarpon fishing in key largo, give me a shout and book in advance before it gets filled in. Otherwise I’ll try to post updates on here a couple times a month but you can always read my more frequent reports on my other websites or follow me on facebook/instagram. Tight lines!
Well March is here and it almost feels like it’s summer time with as warm as February has been! Not a single cold front all month and temperatures in the 80s every day. Though looks like we have some cold weather coming this weekend it’s suppose to drop into the low 60s for several nights. It will be a nice change for sure and I think overall a good thing as it feels like it has gotten way to hot to early here. The last week the tarpon fishing had been fair though the last couple days it really turned on. We made some deep runs into the everglades the last couple days and it was well worth the two hour trip! We caught 6 tarpon in the last 2 days. Day 1 they were big mamas… a couple in the 110 to 120 range, and then a big bruiser that was 150 lbs+ for my angler Irv! What a day it was just fantastic plus plenty of sharks too, and even a couple triple tail. Today the fish were smaller but still lots of fun, a couple 50 lbers and a 90 lber. We also missed one more tarpon that would’ve been a double header but he threw the hook as he ate the bait right away! We finished up today with some trout and snappers in the bay to mix it up a little bit, because the tarpon bite died out by 10:00 or so. The early bird gets the warm or so they say! Looks like tomorrow the winds will kick out of the west, but not suppose to blow too much until later in the day, so the morning may still be good fishing. I have the same crew again tomorrow as I had today, and they are game to make the long run again for a chance at glory. If you are down in the key largo area in march, give me a shout I have a few open days and the tarpon season seems to be starting very early this year!
Busy season has arrived finally and we are very thankful for that after dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma! The last few weeks I’ve been fishing a lot and haven’t been keeping up with my reports on here as much as I’d like to. But it’s been unseasonably warm for February after we had a cold January. No cold fronts at all and it’s been around 80 degrees just about every day. The wind has been howling on and off though which has sometimes made the fishing a little tougher but that is typical of the early spring. Good news is that the big tarpon in key largo have shown up in full force with the warmth! We’ve been seeing a lot of tarpon in the backcountry everglades areas and a few even showing up locally around the key largo bridge fishing areas. So far this February we’ve landed 12 tarpon and most of those have been big fish in the 100+ lb range! There has been some variety of sharks in the mix as well, plus the occasional random cobia. The windier days the tarpon haven’t been quite as cooperative especially when the winds get very hard southeasterly. But we’ve been able to still get out on those days and the mangrove snapper bite has been pretty good, plus plenty of spanish mackerel still around if you don’t mind being on the open water where it is a little bumpier. But in a larger boat like mine it’s usually not too bad once you get to fishing. That’s been my regular routine as of late we had still been picking off a few snook here and there, though haven’t been focused on them too much with the arrival of the big tarpon that is usually my focus in the spring and summer. Anyways I’m really busy the next few months, still have a few days open in March but April and May are already just about filled. But get in touch with me if you’d like to go key largo tarpon fishing, if I’m not available I can recommend several good guides and many who will do the later evening trips too.
Well I’ve been back for a week or so now just hadn’t updated the site yet. Though I fished the last 3 days and things were still pretty good here in Key Largo fishing! Two days ago we got on a killer spanish mackerel bite in the gulf bays of key largo. After about 20 minutes of chumming the water, it was fast and furious with mackerel on just about every cast. We worked the upper water column with shrimp on jigs real fast, and it did the trick. We loaded up with mackerels and in an hour ventured on to the next thing. We found a good load of tarpon which I was happy to see. They usually start to show up in key largo this time of year, as long as it stays warm. The tarpon fishing was good for us, not red hot but we had two bites and made them both count. My angler Larry landed a 110 and 140 lb tarpon, very big fish! It was a great day. The last two days I had my regular customers Steve and Jim out and they like to catch smaller stuff, mostly for the dinner table. We got our limit of nice size mangrove snappers both days. The first day we didn’t find much else in the bay, tried to get some trout but not much luck with that, but plenty of jack crevelles and a lot of catfish! Today we mixed it up more on the patch reefs and local bay, we had more jacks, spanish mackerel, a variety of other snappers, groupers, hogfish, porgy, and even snook! It was action all day long and plenty of good eating fish for the boys. Well just wanted to give you all an update, give me a shout if you are visiting key largo in the spring. I still have some days in March open but tarpon season (april – june) is booking up fast!
Well we had a big tarpon the other day in the key largo backcountry! It was a fairly calm day after it’d been flat calm the couple before that. The waters warmed up nicely and a few tarpon showed up in the local channels. We had plenty of mackerel action in the morning, and then did the big stuff later. My angler Jim landed a big 85 lb tarpon, plenty of blacktip sharks, and jumped off one other tarpon! Wow that is great for January. Today we had 35 mph easterly winds it was ripping! I got out with Bo and into the backcountry. The ride really wasn’t all that bad, that is the nice thing about a fishing charter in Key Largo, there is so much protected water we can get out in anything really. Fishing was slow to start but we picked away with a few black drum and trout. But the last hour of the day we got into a killer snook bite! I think Bo landed at least two dozen snook. Mostly little guys but a handful in the 4 to 6 lb range that were very fun. He also had a couple tarpon bites but unfortunatley both of them came unbuttoned. Wow just a great week of fishing for me this last one… to start with the two days of monster snook and drums, then a big tarpon, and then today with big numbers of snook even with it blowing 35 mph. Sometimes you just can’t do anything wrong! Well I’m going out of town for a week now, better quit while I’m ahead haha! Off to Jackson hole to go skiing for a week. I hope the fish are biting as well when I get back.
Got out today with Joe and Harold down from the chilly northeast to enjoy some florida sunshine! It was a nice flat calm day in key largo perfect for fishing. I knew we had similar conditions to yesterday and thought we might have a shot at a repeat if we played our cards right. The boys were down to try so we headed out into the key largo backcountry early. We got on a good bite of black drums early on, nice size fish in the 8 to 12 lb range. Jigs with shrimp did the trick with the colder water temperatures. Joe even got a 15 lber later in the day, not one of those ‘big nasty’ monsters but respectable and a fighter! We were also lucky enough to get some good shots at some monster snook! We caught a nice one for Joe in the first area. Harold had one on for a few minutes that zipped out 30 yards of line and got us around some structure! We chased him down and got around the structure, I thought we’d land the fish but he went through the leader! Oh no! We looked for triple tails for a bit without much luck and then we found some more snook and drum in another area. We landed another half dozen beautiful big snook and about 8 more drum. It was just a magical day of winter time fishing in key largo. Harold and Joe will remember this day for a long time to come I’m sure, as will I. We really dream about days like these as guides and wish they were all like this, but then I guess you wouldn’t appreciate them as much.
Got out for a full day january fishing charter in key largo with Gwen and Jim, two of my regulars down from Nebraska. It was fairly calm with a light northeast breeze, the air warming up again but the water still chilly in the low 60s in the bay to start in the morning. It looked like prime conditions for some ‘big snook’ spots out in the western end of the everglades. We made the run back there and were rewarded with just an epic morning of snook fishing. It wasn’t about numbers today, no, it was all about big fish in key largo. The first one zipped out 30 yards of line when we hooked her, and cut us off on some structure. First bait in the water, but I had a feeling their would be more. We ended up catching 6 fish, one 12 lbs, the rest 15-20 lbs, and one that was probably close to 25 lbs! Likely the biggest snook I’ve had landed in my boat, very impressive! We also caught over a dozen black drums, nothing super huge but a few 15 lbers and under. We had a big redfish on too that was probably 35 lbs, but we pulled the hook on him after a 10 minute battle – the hook actually opened up on us, sometimes this happens if the hook doesn’t penetrate entirely through their mouth. All the pressure is on the point of the hook and it can give way after some time. But we got a good look at the fish at least. After that we tried some other spots and caught some more snook and drum, but smaller fish (more the norm!). Still nice ones though in the 4 to 8 lb range. We headed back towards key largo after that. It was a great day on the water, and one of those days as a guide that you dream about and get to live every so often!
Got out for a 3/4 day with Ray and his son Jeff down from Maryland for a January key largo fishing charter. The weather had warmed up some from the cold front but the water was still pretty cold out back in the high 50 degree range. Chilly ride but not near as bad as the past couple days before. It was very busy out there with 20 or so boats fishing the area where we were… Luckily we were able to get on the spot I wanted too! Not a red hot bite, but when it gets that cold in key largo bait fishing is your best bet but can take some patience. Eventually we hooked a nice 12 lb snook that Jeff landed, woohoo! After that it was quiet again for a little bit, then Ray got a nice snook of near the same size. It never got red hot, but every 5 or 10 minutes we’d get a good bite, and all the fish were quality size! Eventually a few black drums came into the mix and we caught a couple, Ray got a small tarpon later which was very cool. Tarpon in january in Key Largo are rare, they just don’t like the typical cold weather we have and a cold front makes that even more likely. But it happened! I had my fingers crossed Ray would get a redfish at some point to complete his backcountry SLAM and sure enough one of the last fish he caught was a red drum. Awesome! We caught a few more snook and a sheesphead after that. The last hour things slowed down considerably we didn’t catch much and there were too many boats to try and jump around anywhere, but we had a stellar day catching what we did. I think we had around a dozne snook, mostly all 10-15 lbs, a couple drum, a redfish, a tarpon, and a sheepshead. I told the guys catching one or two snook like that in a day, you’ve already had a great day, and they agreed. The ride home was nice and the wind had laid down even more. This coming week I’m very busy and then out of town next sunday for a week to go skiing. I’ll be back for some key largo February fishing charters after that, I have days open during that month if you are looking to go fishing!
Got out with Peter who flew in from Seattle with his son Sam, and their buddy Bill who lived in Ft. Lauderdale. We had some major cold weather come in a few nights ago in the key largo area. It dropped down into the high 40s the other morning, so it was about as chilly as it gets here! The boys wanted to try some fishing in the everglades so we headed back that way. We only had a 3/4 day which is enough time to get back there and fish, but when fishing is a little tougher sometimes it’s hard as you don’t have enough time to move too much or wait for a different tide etc… The water temps were down in the low 50s so it was pretty chilly. When we are fishing in key largo and that happens, shrimp are the go-to bait of choice. We found a few black drum, a nice redfish, a snook, and a sheesphead in the first area. We had to fish it for a little while not a red hot bite, but we picked away there. Later on we moved and tried a bigger area. Unfortunately there was a lot of boats there but I knew several of the key largo captains. We caught a black drum where we first stopped, but not much else. We were able to squeeze in around a couple of them in tight quarters later. We picked a few more snook here, including a nice 10 lb fish that really made the day! After that it was about time to head home, but we had a decent day catching a little over a dozen fish… not red hot but quality of quantity, and for as busy as it was i’ll take it! Back at it tomorrow on another 3/4 day, then sunday I have open if anyone wants to go. Next week is all booked up then I am going on vacation myself and will be back in early February!
Got out for a full day of key largo snook fishing in the everglades today! Being january we’ve still had a good bit of colder weather, and we had another front come in over the weekend. Temperatures dropped down into the mid 50s here, not terribly cold, but still a decent front. The water out back got into the high 50s so we were definitely still in ‘cold weather mode.’ Fishing didn’t start out red hot, we worked a few areas hard without much luck. Did find a couple snook in one spot and a trout, but had to give it a lot of time for a few bites. We moved around and found one spot that was holding a few black drums. Again same thing we had to give it ample time and managed a handful of fish in an hour or so. Sometimes it is just like that though. As the tide came in and the day went on, the water warmed up a bit. I figured we might be able to get on a good spot to end the day, or at least hoped so. We did find an area that just looked gorgeous… the best looking water I’ve seen in a while. Most the water today was very ‘mudded out’ with a silty, dirty look from all the wind. You never know how the fronts will affect things these days, there is so much soft bottom that sometimes it gets all churned up in a lot of prime area and the fish just dont like that. Anyways it was good looking here, and the fish were happy there. We caught a good half dozen snook, a half dozen redfish, and a few more black drum. Also got a few sheepshead and trout too! Really made the day which was a nice way to end it. I wish we could’ve spread that all out throughout the day but I’ll take it how i can get it. Over the weekend I fished and I couldn’t get to this spot as it was very busy and a couple boats were on it. So being a week day today it was much less busy which is always a good thing for fishing in the key largo everglades. Anyways I’ll be back at it tomorrow, and then I have a few days open at the end of the week until Saturday. If you are looking to get out there charter fishing in Key Largo, give me a shout!