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Backcountry Report (4)

Sunday, 23 January 2011 05:58

January, February & March

During the first 3 months of the year which are our winter months in the Florida Keys back country you can expect to catch weather permitting:

Snook, Redfish, Sea trout, Black Drum, Mangrove Snappers along with jack crevelle ,lady fish, striped drum, pompano and small permit with some sharks as the water warms up and down.

The fishing is a light tackle fisherman's dream using 6 or 10 pound spinning making the smallest one to the largest tackle buster a fantastic experience!

Out in the Gulf of Mexico it is March fishing Madness when the wind is in the right direction you are in for Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, ladyfish and various kinds of snappers, an occassional cobia and monster Redfish with a sprinkling of sharks.

Should condtions work out where you can get to some of the various wrecks there are Large Jewfish, Snook, Permit and Big Sharks--sturdier tackle Required!

Close to the keys Bonefish are sporadically on the flats as the water warms with an occasional permit showing up, there are also bonnet head sharks and a few "cudas"

Sunday, 23 January 2011 05:59

April, May & June

In April there is still plenty of action in the Everglades National Park Snook, Redfish, Sea trout, Black Drum, Mangrove Snappers along with jack crevelle ,lady fish, striped drum, pompano and small permit with some sharks as the water warms!

But a couple of added things are happening as the water warms up a bit the BIG TARPON are just beginning to make their presence know in the "PARK" and around the local bridges and channels of Islamorada as the month click down it turns into a full blown Tarpon Rampage as they are feeding up to make their northern Migration --towards the end of April beginning of May it is time to dust off your 12 wt Fly Rod and begin to tie your tippets for the fly tarpon action. Evening bait fishing for Tarpon is a preferred choice for some also, Tarpon jumping in the sunset HMMMM even the wives like this one!

April fishing Madness is still hot in the gulf with plenty of Spanish Mackerel , bluefish and the beginning of the tripletail run, they hang around the crab buoys and you can run and "gun em" they eat a small fly very well sometimes as well.

Back in Islamorada the water has warmed up to the point that the bonefish are more frequent visitors to the flats and edges of the flat, April is usually the time the big females are full of eggs and weigh the most, an 8 pound fish puts on 2-4 pounds so they are at their largest size then-- permit are lurking around also so you have to be prepared when that devil is in your sights.

AS mentioned before May is Tarpon Madness and the Big Fish are here it is not uncommon to catch a tarpon exceeding 150 pounds so 30# tackle is recommended and HOLD ON!

Sunday, 23 January 2011 06:00

July, August & September

Summer is here and it is quite warm early departures are recommended and back early to beat the heat---we are still catching Tarpon but the smaller fish are here 50 to 90 pounds, fly or bait either works well it is just about your skill level now! Evening fishing for them is quite good just a matter of preference!

This time of the year it can be nice enough to patch fish on the Oceanside--yellowtail, snapper, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, hogfish, Grouper, porgies, grunts , cero mackerel , grunts are all on the ticket, just need the nice calm days to do it.

In the Backcountry fishing is still good but it is hot in the boat as a result you may have to move about more than normal to find good catches of Snook, Redfish, Sea trout, Mangrove Snappers along with jack crevelle ,lady fish, and sharks!

The bone and permit fishing has slowed down as the flats are quite warm by midday so early or late afternoon are the ticket!

Sunday, 23 January 2011 06:02

October, November & December

We have just about gone full circle for the year --The tarpon are not gone but have thinned way down and the first good cold fronts will send the remainder back into the gulf of Mexico for the winter- patch fishing still good when weather permits- Emmm good fresh yellowtail snapper for dinner--The water has started cooling down and the Park fishing will begin to build into the nonstop action that we enjoy in the winter, Snook are beginning to school up and hungry ,the Redfish and Sea trout are moving out of the gulf into all the channels and Islands of the Everglades National Park-a light tackle dream for sure!

Snapper fishing for the kiddies is good and judging by the smiles so far Dad's a hero and mom gets sometime in the sun on the beach--wink!

Back on the flats it is the hunt for the elusive grey ghost [bonefish] of the flats it continues on ,the permit are offshore on the wrecks spawning, still plenty of bonnet head sharks and cudas to help keep your casting sharp.


  • January, February & March
    During the first 3 months of the year which are our winter months in the Florida Keys back country you…
  • April, May & June
    In April there is still plenty of action in the Everglades National Park Snook, Redfish, Sea trout, Black Drum, Mangrove…
  • July, August & September
    Summer is here and it is quite warm early departures are recommended and back early to beat the heat---we are…

  • January & February
    Premier sailfishing months!!!Sailfishing is at it's best. Sailfish are considered by many to be the premiere game fish that swim…
  • March & April
    Slow trolling- live bait This time of year we still troll live bait (ballyhoos, pilchards, goggle-eyes,blue runners) on the edge…
  • May, June, July, & August
    Offshore trolling - lures or rigged baits This time of year we will spend most of our time offshore searching…