Florida Keys Fishing Report for July 2014

July is here and its the first full month of Summer! We are well into a good dolphin season around the islands and many captains around town look forward to a push of larger fish this month. Schoolie and gaffer size dolphin have been abundant so far as well as some slammer bulls and cows and there has been a handful of white marlin showing up behind the boats looking to fight too. July holds the increased chance of tangling with a Blue marlin, this is the time of the year where you need to have a plan and the tackle ready if the “Man in the Blue Suit” shows up behind your bait spread. Snappers of all types will be putting on the feed bag this month and getting into spawning aggregations and the grouper action will be good too.
Reef fishing is a crowd pleaser and the calm weather of July will allow everyone to get in on the action. Mangrove and Yellowtail snapper will be thick and they will eat all day and into the night. Look in depths around 40-60 feet of water over broken bottom, ledges and scattered coral heads, once you find bottom you like anchor up current and start chumming! Flat-line fresh Ballyhoo or Bonito strips on your favorite 10-15 lb spin tackle using no more than a good quality leader material in the 20 class. a #1 or 1/0 hook will work well with no weight, flip the bait behind the boat and let the current take it back along with your chum slick. You will know when the strike comes, work the fish hard to avoid sharks and to keep the fish from rocking you up! You can also rig a bottom rod with just enough lead to hold bottom and 5 feet of 30-40 lb leader tied to a 1/0 hook pinned to a Pilchard or fresh Ballyhoo chunk, this should score a big Mangrove snapper or Mutton.
The Gulf of Mexico this time of the year will hold a good number of fish on the deep grass flats in the 4-8 foot depth, Mangrove snapper and Speckled trout will eat the same baits as you drift and cast. I rig a 8-10 pound spin outfit with a Cajun Thunder poppin’ cork with 3 1/2 feet of 20 mono and a chartreuse Hook Up jig, for bait I use a 3-4 inch GULP! Shrimp in New Penny or white. When I find a few big snapper or two I stake up with my Power Pole and work the entire area around the boat for several minutes. If you see a white spot on the bottom, a sand hole, stake up above it in the current and drift baits to it, you will find good action here. The rock piles and wrecks that you fish in the Gulf in the Winter will hold good fish in the Summer as well.
The heart of the Everglades will be good for the usual suspects found back there, Snook, Reds, Trout and Tarpon will be found in good numbers. This is the time of the year where you really need to keep a close eye on the weather in the back. Check your Weather Radar app early and often and keep in mind that these storms pop up fast, move fast and drop a ton of lightning! July is also the time of the year where you may need to renew your fishing licenses, lobster stamp and snook stamps. While you are doing that check all of you boats safety items for expiration dates and check your fire extinguishers too.

Thanks for dropping in, to book your fishing adventure call Ana at 305-393-0909 or visit BambooCharters.com and IslamoradaFishingFun.com

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Despite the winds, fishing has been productive. May 18 2014

The wind has blown more than it hasn’t for the month of May.  Plain and simple it has been blowing in the high teens and mid twenties for two weeks.  This makes for tough conditions for tarpon catching, don’t get me wrong we are putting big fish in the air and landing a few too!  Tarpon tend to sulk in these windy conditions and the guides that soak dead bait on the bottom will score well.  The late night brigade has been drifting crabs under the full moon and the bite has been silly good.  Capt Tony Melton and Capt Keith Tucker have found the bite just right between 7-8:30 pm close to our marina here at La Siesta Marina.

The banks that are found in the backcountry have deep channels that cut through them and have a huge population of Mangrove snapper living in them.  We have been putting together nice catches fantastic fish dinners.  Aside from a good snapper bite, the shark action has been intense!  Big Bull & Lemon sharks have been working these channels too and a fresh cut bait on a 8/0 circle hook tied to a 20 pound spin outfit will challenge your metal.

Family fun fishing

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Florida keys Fishing report for June 2014

June is here already?  What happened to May you might be asking.  Well May was a blow out, with any luck we had all of our wind days last month and now its time for soft, breezy days.  With any luck at all the offshore gang will be able to put together a fantastic dolphin bite this month to make up for the rather lack luster action the last two months offshore.  Not that fishing was bad out in the blue water, its just that the crews that I’ve spoken to all tell me that no one fish or type of fishing was outstanding.  Everyday was a “pick” of fish, by that I mean that throughout the day the action would change and the fish would vary.  We all want a more settled and constant wind direction and no more late season blows from the North!
Slammer Bull Dolphin

Slammer Bull Dolphin caught aboard Capt. Mel Walker’s Gotcha with Mate Cody Baily

   June holds hope for a great Dolphin bite as always and soon you will hear talk of peanuts, schools, heavy lifters, gaffers, slammers and super slammers.  these are all slang terms for differing sizes of Dolphin, the FISH, we also call them Mahi Mahi and Dorado.  Don’t worry Flipper the Bottlenose Dolphin is safe these Dolphin are the fish not the marine mammal!  For reference on the size scale, peanut Dolphin are small fish barely legal or smaller and they work their way up to slammer size after 40 pounds or so, it depends on who’s telling the fish tale as to the exact scale.  Throw back peanuts and schools will be nearly 20 pounds at the end of the season when they come swimming back to the South in late September early October.  
   Warm water and Summer time means that the snapper bite will really get fired up.  Mangroves and Yellowtail will be chowing down in preparation to spawn later on this Summer.  Mutton snapper will be on the prowl as well as larger Black grouper in the same water that the snapper will be feeding in.  Its never a bad plan to drop down a large live bait or big ballyhoo plug while you are chumming for the snapper bite and for that fact you need to keep a bait ready to pitch to a Dolphin that can come charging upon you slick. 
   Tarpon season has been outstanding once again throughout the Florida Keys and the bite here in Islamorada has been stellar!  Live bait, dead bait, plug and fly fishermen have been all bent up on fish and we still have plenty of action to come this month.  As the weather warms in June the oceanside migration will get going in full swing and you will see skiffs and fly fishermen standing watch for their next shot at a string of daisy chaining Tarpon as they move along the deep edges of the flats.  As you are boating these waters take care to steer clear of the many skiffs that will be poling and staked out looking for fish.  Tarpon can spook easily and won’t bite if they get run over.  Its a big ocean so lets all play nicely with it, theres plenty to go around for everyone!
Keys Tarpon Fishing

Capt Jared Raskob guided Sam Kaufman to the 150 lb Tarpon on Fly.

 The evening/sunset/night action for Tarpon will really get going this month and I do love the sunset with a huge Tarpon blowing up in the setting Sun.  We start offering a evening Tarpon/Shark trip that leaves our marina in Islamorada at 5 pm and finishes up around 9 pm that beats the heat and you get to tussle with some truly big fish!  we start out shark fishing in the deep channels found cutting the nearby banks of the Everglades National Park.  We catch big Bull and Lemon sharks and the occasional Tiger or Hammerhead shark will show up behind the boat.  Then we move to the area bridge channel and go looking for Tarpon.  Our Mercury powered Ranger Bay boats carry up to 4 anglers and are perfect for this type of fishing.  Call us at 305-394-0000 to set up your next fishing adventure or check out www.IslamoradaFishingFun.com for information on all of the different types of fishing trips we offer at Bamboo charters. 
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