Key Largo February Backcountry Fishing is officially beginning now. For the last month we’ve had traditional winter time fishing going on for the most part. The weather has been chilly though we haven’t had much severe cold, only a handful of nights in the 50s. Spanish mackerel have been the name of the game if you want consistent action. The bite in the near gulf has been hot most days, and even the slower days are still yielding a dozen fish in an hour or so of fishing. We’ve had most of our action just fishing shrimp on jig heads, blind casting in chum slicks. Now further back near the mainland in the everglades of key largo we’ve had action with drum and snook. This hasn’t been red hot and has been a little tougher overall this year than most winters. Though there have been some nice size fish back there especially with the black drum and snook. You don’t always have constant drag pulling action, but can have shots at a handful of nice fish and a few trophy ones at that. The other day we had a couple nice snook over 10 lbs, and a little over a week ago we got a black drum about 25 lbs! This too is mostly on shrimp, with the water temperatures below 70 most days that is the bait of choice. This is nice as you don’t have to worry about spending time catching and hunting for other baitfish. The patch reefs have been a good bet too for catching tablefare and keeping the rods bent. We were able to get our limit of hogfish this saturday, 10 keepers which is fantastic fishing in just a half day trip. Plenty of porgy as well as a mix of snapper and grouper are common too. A key largo reef fishing trip especially on the closer in ‘patch reefs’ is productive all the way through the spring. Coming up we are getting very close to prime season for tarpon fishing key largo. Once the water temperatures stabilize at 75 degrees or so I will be doing that on the majority of my charters, along with other things too in the early spring. If your looking to get out on the water for a big silver king of a lifetime, or any other fish, give me a call.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk