Got out for a fun trip today with my wife Elizabeth for a little fun day of key largo inshore fishing. It was slick calm though overcast as it was forecast to rain. We didn’t get wet though really just a sprinkle at the end of the day. The water temperatures were still low from the recent cold front we had over the past weekend, still a chilly 61 degrees or so. But they were down to as cold as 52 in some areas of the bay! We fished some areas I hadn’t been in a while to try some stuff out and get out of my same routine. Unfortunately most of that didn’t work out very well! We did catch a couple black drum and a couple trout in some areas, but that was all. Worked a good shoreline with the trolling motor for a while with only a drum there to show for it. A few creek mouths that looked great were surprisingly not holding any fish. But we did get on a spot at the end of the day that was holding heavy and is a fairly well known ‘winter time’ spot. We ended up getting on a great bite of black drum, with a few redfish, a snook, some trout, and a sheepshead mixed in there. Was just incredible fishing and made up for the rest of the day! Some times you get on these spots in the key largo backwater fishing and it just makes your whole trip. Anyways after that we headed home. I don’t have much on the books this week but next week is already all booked up, so if you want to get out fishing this week give me a shout I have days open. The weather looks great light winds, should be real nice out!
Brrr it was a freezing cold day here in Key Largo Florida. Temperatures dipped down around 50 for 3 nights in a row, which meant it was around 40 in the backcountry everglades areas! That is pretty cold for us, and especially when making a 30+mile run into 20 mph winds first thing in the morning. But we get it done and you just have to bundle up. Once we get back around the mainland areas, it’s much nicer as you get out of the wind and are in protected water, and the sun comes up and you start to thaw out! I had Jody and Tom down from St Louis and luckily for us the fish were biting a little bit even though the water temperatures were down around 52 to 54 degrees! That’s the coldest we’ve seen in years, likely since the cold snap of 2010. When the water is cold like this, usually your best bet is just soaking live shrimp on the bottom. We let it lay and just twitch it slightly every so often. The drum bites can be very subtle, so when you feel a little nibbling, give them a few seconds and reel a little bit – if you feel the weight of the fish set the hook and if not, just continue letting it lay and try again when you feel the nibble. We didn’t have red hot action, but a slow steady pick all day long really which I’ll take. It was a Saturday too so we had about 20 other boats in the area to compete with throughout the day. Sometimes you know where to go to catch fish, but it’s hard to squeeze in where you want to go when so many other boats are trying to get there too. We caught probably 8 black drums, 7 redfish, a sheepshead, and a trout. A good day of key largo fishing in January no doubt! No snook for us though I know a few boats had good snook fishing, but they seemed to be stacked up in a couple areas. We slid in there at the end of the day but at that point they were sore lipped and didn’t bite for us. Oh well we had good action otherwise thankfully. I have plenty of availability this coming week, then next week I am booked every day! But this week should be incredible fishing we will be back on a warming trend, and once those water temps rise back up around 60 I think the fishing will really go off back there. It will also be during the week so much less boat traffic. If you are interested in going let me know, prime conditions starting Monday I believe.
Got out with Vince and Steven again who fished with me a few days ago, along with Vince’s son Lucas. The key largo fishing forecast looked a lot worse then the day was, which happens fairly often here believe it or not. A very fishable day even though it was a little chilly but the wind didn’t get crazy like they said. It didn’t rain hard either just a light drizzle for about 20 minutes while we fished. We hit the backcountry with them and fished in the everglades. The water temperatures have cooled off since the last mild front, but not gotten super cold which can drive the fish into a feeding frenzy in the ‘winter time spots.’ The day started a little slow we got one snook in key largo in the first 30 minutes or so, that was it. We moved spots and then caught a black drum, then a little later a redfish, then a black drum… so we were picking away slowly. As the tide was nearing the end of it’s fall, the bite turned on! We ended up getting on to a good bite of more black drum, and about 4 or 5 snook. In about an hour we caught a dozen or so more drums. That definitely made the day, though it’s nice when you can space that fishing out across the entire day, it doesn’t always work like that! After the bite died we moved around and tried another half dozen spots. But not much else happening, we caught one more snook in one of those spots and that was it! I talked to a few other people who had very tough days as well, so I felt good we were able to catch a good amount of fish. Nothing super huge, but I’ll take the numbers most days to keep my customers busy catching… unless of course they are hunting for that one ‘big one.’ After that we headed on home, I think it did get a little nastier later in the afternoon but luckily after we were at the dock. Looks like later this week it’s suppose to get super cold, down into the high 40s which means low 40s possibly 30s back in the everglades areas. It won’t last long though just a few nights. This will definitely fire up the winter time cold water bite, but tough to say if it’ll happen during the front or after it passes. This one sounds so severe the fish might go lock jaw until things warm slightly, which could be later in the day on the next few days, or perhaps even after the entire front passes and we get back on a warming trend. You can never really know, unless you go! I’ll be going out tomorrow and saturday for sure. Sunday I am open and plenty of days next week, and that should be good fishing as we will be on that warming trend!
Got out with Adam and Marc today for a full day of key largo december fishing. Things cooled down with a mild front but it’s suppose to get even colder in a few days, down into the low 50s here… the real deal cold! Today the bite wasn’t super hot out back, as it didn’t get quite cold enough I don’t think to really fire off the ‘winter time’ holes for snook, drum, etc… plus there was a bit of algae looking water. Though we managed a few nice fish including a 20 lb black drum and a few snook. Adam was designated angler so he got to catch them all, for one person not bad. After we hit enough of those areas, we tried some open water stuff. I had a little spot I’d been catching a few redfish once in a while. We tried that but didn’t have any luck today. So we ventured further into the gulf of mexico to do a little spanish mackerel fishing. That can be a day saver this time of year, it’s usually easy living in the right area. Just hang your chum bag and cast shrimp on jigs. It was good and we caught probably 10 or so macks, a few bluefish, and 10 blue runners. Great action for the last hour of the day. We kept a few mackerel for dinner for the guys and then headed back towards home. Looks like it may rain a little on tuesday/wednesday, not looking forward to that. Rain and cold isn’t a good combo! But fishing should get very good with the cool off especially by late next week I believe. I have days available after Wednesday so look me up! Everyone be safe and have a happy new year.
Got out with Rich and Luke Cromwell today for a full day of fishing in Key Largo. We hit the backcountry first and caught a few snook to start the day. They weren’t all over the place we had to check a few spots but did get on a little bite for a bit. Had one nice fish of 10+ lbs or so to the boat but before we could net him he cut the line with his sharp gill plate! After that we caught quite a few trout with some jacks mixed in, didn’t find any more snook which is what we were hoping for. We decided to then try the gulf as the weather was calm and it looked nice out there. Plenty of triple tail were floating on the crab buoys. Key largo triple tail fishing can be good this time of year and in the spring, but it’s much nicer when you have calm days to run and look. We caught several little guys and eventually got a keeper. Then we found a monster that was close to 15 lbs! We hooked him and had him boat side, but unfortunately the hook pulled on him. Bad luck! We shook it off and then we gave some tarpon fishing a try. We found plenty of tarpon where they had been several days ago. They weren’t really biting yesterday though as we had a mini-cold front over xmas and they just don’t like that this time of year especially. Today though we worked hard and eventually fooled one and Luke caught a nice 90 lb tarpon! December key largo tarpon fishing can be very hit or miss, but today was a hit thankfully. We also got about a 20 lb cobia which was a cherry on top of the day. After that we tried one other area with our light rods to possibly find a snook or redfish, but no luck and we headed home. Just a great day with all kinds of variety! Hopefully the good fishing holds up through the years end.
Well with the warm calm weather we’ve had the water temperatures in key largo got up to the high 70s which is good recipe for some winter time tarpon fishing! Tarpon showed up in droves out from the gulf and we had caught a big one yesterday and two big ones today! Fish in the 90 lb range, 100 lb range, and even up to 150 lbs today. It was incredible and not something you get to see every day this time of year but with the unusually warm weather anything can happen. We also caught several big sawfish yesterday and got one today too, plus some blacktip sharks. It was like Jurassic park out there! Also the spanish mackerel fishing in the gulf has been great and almost a sure a bet as you can have for fishing. Plenty of good action for novice and experienced anglers, plus they make great bait for bigger stuff. Yesterday we found some triple tails and caught a couple of them, didn’t see a ton but just a handful. Today we didn’t do that but we did finish the day with some redfish, snook, and big mangrove snappers! December fishing in Key largo really doesn’t get much better than this. Christmas week coming up here is very busy for me, but I still have the 26th open, or a morning half day trip open tomorrow if anyone wants to go. I have bait put away and know where some tarpon are so tomorrow morning could be pretty good…. Otherwise check with me for dates next year I have plenty of openings and fishing has been great the last couple months as you can see!
Got out with Lee and his wife today just for a short 4 hour half day patch reef fishing trip. The key largo patch reefs have been alive with fish this winter. It had gotten a little tougher in certain areas after the last cold snap. What happened then was on the falling tides, water pouring out of the bay and into the ocean could chill down and dirty up some of the patches in line with the bridges (areas where the bay water comes out to the ocean). Now though things have stabilized and the water is all relatively the same temperature. We had a great day catching a ton of bar jacks and some cero mackerels in the first stop. Jig and shrimp did the trick! Later on we found a variety of snappers and kept a few mangroves and lane snappers for dinner. Also found a good little rock with some nice juvenile groupers on it which were cool for something different. We headed back to the docks around 11:00 am with a load of fish. Plenty for dinner and then some! Looks to be a busy holiday time for me, I’m booked up through xmas, and then on again from the 27th through the 2nd of Jan. So right now I only really have the 26th open and could do a morning half day on the morning of the 23rd (saturday). If anyone wants to go give me a shout!
Got out for a fun fishing day today with my dad and friend Capt. Dave. It is the last day we will likely have the very cool water temperatures as things are starting to get back on a warming trend. This is ideal conditions for catching big key largo black drum! They love it cold and when it is calm the water gets nice so you can have a good shot at getting one. We had to work at it but we got a nice 20 lber or so, very good fish on light tackle! The trick for drum is working a nice live shrimp very slowly on the bottom. They like hard bottom so areas where you can feel that roughness when you jig are usually good. I like to keep the bait fairly still and just twitch it every 15 seconds or so. If you don’t get a bite in a couple minutes, then try to recast. We occasionally throw a few shrimp bits out for chum too, that can be of help. But thats not all we caught today…. We caught a bunch of redfish and some snook too! Several nice 8-12 lb snook and plenty of medium sized guys. And the redfishing in key largo has gotten so much better since hurricane IRMA. We’ve really had lots of new structure created that holds fish. It also cleaned out many areas that had been silted up over the years, so now you have good hard exposed bottom that the fish crave. We found fish in quite a few areas today, and I know many other guides had good days fishing as well. Some areas I hadn’t hit much lately were holding fish which was great to see. You never know when you need those little aces in the hole. If you are down in Key Largo this next week give me a shout, I don’t have anything on the books until the 23rd and fishing has been very good as you can see from my recent reports.
Got out with Pam and Lars today and we had just an epic day of december key largo fishing. The weather was still very cold for here, but the winds died off yesterday afternoon and it was very calm. The water got nice looking in many areas as when it is cold and calm, the sediment drops out of the water and the fish love this. The bait tank was loaded with some nice, lively, large shrimp. Shrimp pour through the bay when it gets this cold, and the fish usually are keyed in on them in the backcountry. They don’t like to struggle much for a meal, so a shrimp on a jig head worked very slow works wonders. We got on an epic bite of snook, redfish, black drum, and even got a couple small tarpon! Just a fabulous day and seemed we couldn’t do anything wrong. We landed over 3 dozen fish it was fabulous. Later on we ran home via the gulf side and caught some triple tails off the crab pot buoys. Several little guys but one keeper for dinner. We also had caught a couple trout before which we kept for dinner as well, so just enough for a good meal for the 2 of them. Next week I have plenty of availability so if you are wanting to get out on a key largo fishing trip in the winter, look me up!
Well a big ol’ cold front rolled in yesterday and chilled things down a bit. Today we really felt the bite of it as the water temperatures finally dropped too and got to a bone chilling 58 degrees in some parts of the key largo backcountry. Fishing can be good when this happens believe it or not, you just have to know where to go. It can take some patience but luckily today they were fairly happy so it didn’t take long. We got the key largo black drum going pretty good early on after the first 20 minutes of fishing or so. A shrimp on a knocker rig or just plain jighead did the trick. We usually just put a glob of shrimp meat on the hook and the stinkier you can get it the better, then just set it out and twitch it every so often. No large drums but plenty of ’em. After that the snook started to roll in. Here we would fish a live shrimp, head hooked on a jig head. Moving them slowly up and down would entice the bite. The snook were kind of in shock and didn’t fight much, but still fun to catch ’em. We later found some more snook in another area, and got a redfish too. Picked away at a couple sheepshead and trout in another area after that, and ended up finding a few more black drums in some spots I hadn’t fished in a while. That was good to see always nice to have another spot to try when the going gets tough. All in all a fun day on the water I think we caught over 50 fish. Just doesn’t get any better than that. If you are down in key largo in december and want to go fishing, give me a shout. Christmas week is right around the corner and will be very busy, but before christmas I have openings and am still offering my special rates after hurricane IRMA before our 2018 season begins on xmas!