Fishing Reports

Islamorada Fishing is world class. There are not many spots on this planet that can offer the diverse fishing available in Islamorada. Offshore, Patch Reef, Gulf and Bay, Back County, Everglades, the Flamingo, and Bridges are all active destinations for the largest fishing fleet in the world. The species are endless. Some favorites include tarpon, permit, bonefish, redfish, snook, shark, sailfish, mahi, wahoo, backfin tuna, hogfish and many species of snapper. Epic does not even do justice to describing the fishing in Islamorada. Islamorada Times provides the most current and accurate fishing reports in all the Florida Keys.

Fishing Report 12/13/2019


Another great week here in the Florida Keys, and more great fishing! This week I’m going to start offshore on the swordfish ledge, and let me tell you they are biting! Everyone I know who targeted these guys had success. Good numbers of medium sized fish, and several over 100 pounds. Even a few in the 300 pound class. This December moon is proving to be deadly for these guys, and the winter fishery as a whole has been impressive. The humps offshore are producing Blackfin tunas in the 4-12 pound range with lots of AJ’s and sharks throughout the column. Even a few nice Mahi still running around offshore, which has been nice, so the offshore game is still holding on.


Off the reef and wrecks the sailfish bite continues with decent numbers of fish, and most boats getting 2-5 shots per day. This fishery is still heating up, and will only get better. The wrecks and reef fishing is getting hotter each day, as the groupers and mutton snappers seem to be getting more and more fired up. Finally finding some consistency with the muttons, and the groupers are happy as their spawn starts to heat up. Remember these guys close January 1, 2020, so there’s not much time left. The yellowtail snapper bite has remained slow with the cooler water temps on the reef, but plenty of nice mangrove snappers and cero mackerels in the 30-80 feet of water.

Gulf and Bay:

Great time of the year to be fishing in the Florida Keys. There are a lot of great things going on right now in the Everglades National Park and Gulf waters. The bite was phenomenal last weekend, Spanish Mackerel, Snappers, Cobia, Redfish, Tripletail and many more were all reported by anglers that ventured out in to gulf waters. Anchor up anywhere from nine mile bank west and start your chum slick and it won’t take long before the swarm of Spanish Mackerel, Snappers and many other gulf residents make their way towards the slick. Out on bottom structure expect to get in to some decent Cobia, Goliath Grouper and all the other gulf species that make those wrecks their home. The Tripletail fishing has been phenomenal with plenty of nice fish hitting the docks throughout the week. Run the trap lines west of Sandy key for the best action, if one line is not producing move over to the next.

Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:

The Redfish bite throughout the park has been as good as it gets lately. The shallow areas east of Flamingo have been producing a great bite of Redfish with a couple of Snook mixed in as well. The deeper channels and runoffs in the Snake bite area as well as adjacent Island moats have been phenomenal for Reds, Trout and Snook. The last of outgoing and incoming tide has been the best. Farther west towards the middle grounds and Cape Sable area expect the bite to continue to produce great catches of Redfish, Trout, Snook and Black Drum. Live Shrimp on a 1/4 oz jig bounced on the bottom will get anybody’s attention. Scented artificial baits like Berkley Gulp Shrimp and

DOA Jerk baits will get the bites. The bait has been very easy to find, get your live well full of pilchards and use them to spice things up at your favorite fishing hole.

Many of the guides that went on the hunt for Bonefish this past week reported plenty of shots at nice groups of fish. Fish the high outgoing tide around Oceanside flats for the best action. Look for mudding fish on the higher stages of the tide. As the water drops look for pushing and tailing fish. The Shrimp have been very nice size at the bait stores and make for choice bait when Bonefishing.

Around the Bridges:

The fishing around the local bridges and channels has been solid and will continue to be. Groupers, Snappers, barracudas, Jacks and others have been eating live baits. The last two hours of the outgoing and beginning of the incoming tide have been best. Great way to bend the rod and put some fish in the box.

Fishing Report provided by: Captain Juan Garcia 305-297-0438 for backcountry charters, and Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 for offshore charters.

*Please email or call/text 484-919-2133 for referrals and recommendations for the best Captains and Guides in Islamorada and the surrounding Florida Keys.