Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fw: Winter Fishing in Islamorada

----- Original Message -----
From: steve
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2014 2:31 PM
Subject: Winter Fishing in Islamorada

When most of our Country thinks of winter, they think about cold and snow.  Here in the Florida Keys winter means low humidity, sunny beautiful days in the mid 70's and fabulous fishing.  Our winters in the Keys are sometimes known to be a little windy, but that is not the case this year.  We've had beautiful weather with very light far.  This lite wind allows us "backcountry" fishermen the opportunity to get out in the Gulf as well as the backcountry flats and channels.  The diverse fishery is just another reason fishing in the Keys is so great.
Fishing in the Gulf is a little different then the backcountry.  The water is a little deeper and we catch a variety of fish that we generally don't see in the back bay areas.  Spainsh mackerel, pompano, tripletail, cobia, a variety of grouper and snapper, just to name a few..and the list goes on.....Just a few days ago we had a great day in the Gulf.  It was a beautiful sunny day with hardly a breath of wind.  The spanish mackerel were biting jigs tipped with shrimp.  They averaged about 2-5 pounds and fight like they are twice their size.  After we got our fill of mackerel we headed out towards an old sunken wreck, on the way we look for tripletail.  Tripletail like to float on the surface and ambush their prey underneath, so they are easy to spot on a nice calm day.   You must be a good caster to get them.  If your cast is too far away they wont see it and if you hit them on the head they will spook.  Presentation is everything with the tripletail.  Toss a shrimp just in front of them and wham!  Fish on!  They are excellent fighters and some of the best table fair.  We caught 3 nice ones and missed a couple others.  When we got to the wreck it wasn't long before a couple nice cobia showed up.  Again you need to make a really good cast just in front of them to get the bite.  We landed one nice one about 7 pounds.  Just a little short to keep.  The cobia are also great table fair, die hard fighters and can be 30-40 pounders in the Gulf.  We caught as many jacks (jack crevalle) as you wanted on the wreck and filled the livewell with keeper mangrove snapper.  A couple nice pompano and a few lookdowns in the mix as well.   The week before we got a big Goliath grouper (about 100 pounds) but we were denied the Goliath on this day.  We did catch a few black and gag grouper in the 2-5 pound range.  The guys wanted a shark, so we cut a jack in half and tossed it out on the "jaws" rod.  It didn't take long before the drag was screaming and we were hooked up with a 150 pound lemon shark.  15 minutes later, a few pics next to the boat and we were done for the day.   A pretty excellent day of fishing and this is just another option we have this time of year in the beautiful Florida Keys. 
Depending on the circumstances of the day we have a variety of options as backcountry fishermen.  We can fish the Gulf on certain days, the flats, the island moats,  the channels and run offs, shorelines and beachs, creeks, canals, bridges and the list goes on.  Every day poses different circumstances. Fishing is not an exact science. Some days are good ... some days are not so good.  The GREAT thing about fishing here is...Even on the "not so good" day you are still going to catch something.
Many Factors come into play:
Weather conditions...wind speed...wind direction...light conditions (sunny, cloudy, dark)
Water Temperature...Rising/Falling/Stable
Time of Year
Migration Patterns of Fish
Moon Phases
Water... Color/Clarity/Depth
Is there a lot of Bait in the Area?
Skill of the Angler...This a Big Factor
and the REALLY BIG one...Are they biting?
Each Day poses different circumstances....we do what we can depending on those circumstances.  The mainstays are trout, snapper, redfish, snook, jacks, ladyfish, shark. Those fish are accessable "all year". There are many fish that are more prevelant seasonally - tarpon, mackerel, black drum, sheepshead etc.. There are some fish that feed better in low light conditions - tarpon, snook. There are some fish that we can only access when the weather is nice and the ones way out in the Gulf or Ocean - cobia, mackerel, tripletail, goliath grouper. But ALL of the fish are affected by those factors listed above.
Fortunatley for you as an angler, you don't need to worry about these factors.  Your guide (in this case me) will figure it out.  So, the easy thing to do is...Hire a guide that you trust will try his best and make your day an enjoyable one...No Matter What the Circumstances...and enjoy our beautiful winter weather.
Thanks for reading and have a great day,
Captain Steve Murray
Phone: (305) 393-1641

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