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!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing