The Florida Keys

Florida Keys Fishing Report week of 1/23/2017
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There was no report of any offshore fishing activity this past week from charter captains in the Islamorada area. Of course, winter winds blowing from a northerly direction are the norm and such wind keeps the Bluewater current well offshore. The wind was up much of the week which would discourage many captains from even the run to fish the Islamorada Hump. On the nice weather days look for good to great action on the hump and catches of Blackfin Tuna.
There were a few sailfish Tournaments this Past week. The Cheeca Presidential, the Old Timers, and The Sailfly. Winter is Sailfish season and catches have been just great with many boats having multiple Sailfish releases daily. Captain Paul Johnson on the Reef Runner has been pleasing his clients by doing a great job finding schools of King Mackerel and putting plenty Kingfish in the fish box. Mixed in with Kingfish catches are Bonito, a few rogue Dolphin, Cobia and some bottom fish such as Mutton Snapper and Grouper. Remember that Grouper season is closed the first four months of the year. Captain Don Reichert on his 27 foot “Fishin’ Mission” out of Whale Harbor Marina has been doing some deep reef fishing for Snapper and Porgy, releasing some Grouper too. Guides have been fishing the near shore patches Oceanside and getting a great variety on light spin gear. Hogfish, Snapper, Porgy and Grouper have been bending rods in those shallows.
Gulf and Bay:
The Spanish Mackerel have garnered most of the attention from skiff and bay boat guides out of all Islamorada Ports. The Sprigger and Schooner Bank areas are loaded with Mackerel and there are good catches of Mangrove and Lane Snapper while on the Mackerel grounds. There are some Cobia being caught too. Captain Juan Garcia got two nice Cobia for his fare Last week. There has been a fair catch of Seatrout in the bay near Sandy Key and even up in the north central area of Florida bay. A strong frontal boundary raced through the area over the recent weekend and shut down fishing for two days.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Guides fishing the Flamingo area getting into fair catches of Black Drum and a few Redfish. There have been some Tarpon in the mix on a couple of warm and calm pre-front days. Captain Lou Brubaker ran to the Cape Sable area and had a good catch consisting of three Snook, five Redfish and one Drum and several Jack Crevalle with a few Trout also.