Florida Keys Fishing Reports
A school of Yellowtail Snapper. Some of the other fish we catch in the Florida Keys areTuna, Wahoo, Blue & White Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Sharks, Kingfish, Mutton Snapper, King Mackerel, Grouper, Cobia, Tarpon and more.

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Florida Keys fishing in Islamorada. Offshore and backcountry sportfishing at it's finest in the heart of the Florida Keys. Aptly named: "The Sport Fishing Capital Of The World!"

Fishing Reports from the Florida Keys

Webmaster's Note:
Due to numerous emails about the "practice of Dolphin fishing" I would like to make the following clarification.
The fish we are referring to as dolphin, as it is called in the Keys and south Florida, is a fish, also known as the Dorado and Mahi-Mahi. This is not the Dolphin mammal.

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Last Updated: 05/16/2017

Quick Glance
Provided by staff writer Captain Russ Pellow
visit him online at www.RustyIV.com

Captain Russ also answers questions in our Ask The Captain Forum
Check it out!

 

Offshore:
The Bluewater action was red hot the second week in May. Suffice it to say that the Dolphin catches have been great. Captain Billy Chrisman on his fast 36 foot Vera Vita picked up a charter with an eleven o’clock departure. Normally leaving mid-day would leave most captains with their head shaking, but Captain Billy put his clients on Dolphin, catching one 20-pound cow and a good bunch of school fish. Pretty much any charter that ran to the Bluewater racked between ten and twenty Dolphin including a few slammer size fish. Captain Casey Scott on his Sea Monkey had a career day releasing a Blue Marlin estimated at 250 pounds and a White Marlin with the catch consisting of Dolphin and Tuna otherwise.
Reefs:
Once again, there is not enough room on the page to mention individual boat catches. Yellowtail Snapper action is just off the chart and there are Mangrove and Mutton Snapper caught in the chum slick too. As Grouper season opened May 1st most captains are dropping down heavy tackle with big baits for Black and Gag Grouper while on the reef. Captain Don on the Kay K IV has been doing it all and successfully, but there was a rare catch, a large True American Red Snapper on one trip. Captain Paul Johnson on the Reef Runner released two Sailfish one day and the days catch also included Tuna, King mackerel and Mutton Snapper. The charter “Legasea” out of Post Card Inn had a great day with a limit of Yellowtail Snapper and two Gag Grouper.
Gulf and Bay:
In Florida Bay the Seatrout catches have been great and including some nice Mangrove Snapper too. Captain Lou Brubaker has been doing a number on the Trout catching a few up to twenty inches each trip and releasing them to spawn. The breezes have been light and some guides have been in the Gulf fishing structure and live bottom areas getting some nice Snapper and the occasional Grouper. But of course, the Tarpon is the big draw in most of the backcountry and shallow water areas. First and foremost, do be courteous when you are traveling out back and give skiffs that are sight casting Tarpon a wide berth. The Tarpon are feeding on chunk bait on the bottom and live Crabs or Mullet or Ladyfish under a float.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Again, about the Tarpon, they have taken up residence in the channels and on and around the banks near the Islamorada area. Techniques range from live and dead bait to Fly casting and success rates are great. In Flamingo Captain John Gargan has been putting his gang on Snook along shorelines and in the island moats. In the backcountry, there are also a myriad of areas to find Trout and Snapper. Drifting and jigging in the grassy basins or in a drain or cut in a bank. And, May is Permit month so always carry a few small crabs to drift on structure or around bridge abutments. For those of you fishing in Everglades National Park be advised that the park has introduced a new plan limiting areas to fish or use engines. Find out the details on the ENP website.

 

Last Updated: 05/16/2017

Capt. James Chappell's Fishing Report
Provided by Catchalottafish Charters
visit him online at www.Catchalottafish.com

305-803-1321

 

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! The weather is here and it is beautiful out! What a week of weather we are having here in the Florida Keys! The fishing has been pretty good too, so it is all coming together for sure. The offshore report has been decent this week as there have been some Mahi around, and I am sure it would be fantastic if it weren’t for the full moon on Wednesday. Good enough though, as everyone is getting enough for the dinner table, and to put smiles on the faces of our customers. This fishing is going to get good this week coming as the moon passes, and it will be game on. A lot of weed lines out there, with big patches and plenty of bait so all of the ingredients are there. Even had some decent debris show up mid week, so there are a lot of things going our way. The deep ledge of the Swordfish grounds has been producing this week as there have been several fish caught. Not a lot of big ones, but several fish in the 60 to 120 pound class. There have actually been quite a few billfish caught this week from Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Sails in the deep while trolling for the Mahi’s, so you just never know and that is what makes fishing here so much fun! The humps have been teaming with Blackfin Tunas and Amberjacks, so plenty to catch here as well as sharks. The deep ledge of the reef has been good for deep dropping this week with nice catches of Vermillion Snappers, Yelloweye Snappers, and Tilefish. Some great table fare with all of these guys, so give this a try if you choose. The wreck fishing and deeper live bottom has been pretty decent as well with this full moon kicking off the Mutton spawn. The late afternoon into the evening has been best, but we have been managing to put a catch together during the day. Some Kings around as well as the usual supporting cast of Groupers, Almaco Jacks, AJ’s, Sharks, Porgies, and Bonita. On the reef, the Yellowtail fishing has been on fire! Some really nice fish for us this week up to 6 pounds, and most in the 18-20” range, so this should be a no brainer. Still a handful of Permit left spawning on the wrecks too, so the reef is good to say the least! The weather for the weekend looks to be calm, but as of now they are calling for a southwest wind. We really don’t like anything with the word “west” in it down here, but we will have to take what we are given. At least the winds are looking to be around 10 knots or so, so it should be pretty! Well, that is it for this week! Have a great Mother’s day everyone, and be safe!


Tight Lines,


Capt. James Chappell

 

 

 

   

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