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 07/27/2021


A great week of fishing here in the upper Florida Keys, with some really good offshore fishing closing out the week!  The offshore scene has really fired up toward the end of the week with some nice sized mahi moving in.  It seems the fall migration is in full swing with some nice lifter/ gaffer sized fish and plenty of them!  The Sword ledge, a bit further offshore, has produced a few bites this week too, so things are definitely on the up and up! Mini lobster season opens next week, so the masses will be showing up so just remember if you are visiting to be respectful to the locals and they will return the respect.  There’s plenty of room out there for everyone!


The wreck fishing is showing a little promise as of Thursday with a nice bit of mutton snappers from a few boats in the fleet, and a few nice groupers.  Even a few kings caught and plenty of sharks and bonitas.  The reef bite was decent most of the week with a good bite of yellowtail snappers, but the big news on the reef is the mangrove spawn.  These guys have been swarming all week, and are just getting started.  Some really nice size fish too, with a few in the 6-8 pound range with most around 3-4 pounds.  These are really nice fish for our area, so we will take it.  The bait fishing this week has been good too with a few nice schools of pilchards around, so bait hasn’t been a problem.  Looking forward to the weekend with the calm forecast so should be great for everyone.

Gulf and Bay:

If conditions permit the Gulf wrecks is a good place to be this time of the year. From Permit to Cobia and many more you never know what you can encounter while fishing these wrecks. Bring different baits like crabs and Pinfish and have different rods rigged and ready to go for what opportunity presents. Great bite of big Trout still going on around the park boundaries from Sandy Key all the way to Sprigger bank. Bouncing DOA’s on the bottom while you drift has been proven deadly for the Trout and Snappers and pretty much everything that swims out there. Constant action will keep everybody on the boat busy catching fish.

Backcountry, Flats, and Flamingo:

Typical summer weather has made for some great fishing in the Islamorada backcountry. Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sharks, Tarpon and Permit to name a few have all been available in the Everglades National Park. Look for the good Redfish and Snook bite to continue along the island flats, banks and mainland shorelines. Fish DOA soft plastics rigged wheedles in the shallow areas and baits such as Pinfish or pilchards in the deeper spots. Don’t be surprised if you run in to some Tarpon while looking for the Snook and Reds.

Snook, Redfish, Trout, Tarpon and big Sharks are all available in the Flamingo area with many rod benders as well. Fish the flats in Snake bite and adjacent islands for Redfish, Snook and Blackdrum. The runoffs and ditches have been holding fish too on the lower stages of the tides. Big Sharks and Tarpon will be in the deeper channels, mullet or Ladyfish on the bottom is a great way to target them. Trout and rod benders in the middle grounds area will keep you busy with fast paced action.

Head out to the Cape Sable area with a live well full of Pinfish for a great Snook bite. Fish the shoreline from the beach to middle cape while casting the Pinfish around the debris. Watch out for the Sharks while releasing the fish, don’t want to lose a hand doing it. Make sure you have lots of good bug repellent since it will be unbearable without it in some areas of the Park.

Bonefishing has been fair with most anglers putting the time on the hunt being successful. Look for the fish to be tailing and pushing early mornings and late afternoon around ocean and bayside flats. Same goes for the Permit, look for them to be patrolling the deeper edges of both ocean and bayside flats and banks. Keep and eye on the radar and hydrate properly for a great time in the Islamorada backcountry.

Around the Bridges:

Tarpon fishing continues to be productive if you put your time to it. Most boats fishing in daylight hours are getting the most action while fishing dead baits on the bottom around local channels as well as pilchards if you can find them. Crabs and the outgoing tide in the dark continue to be the best combination for multiple hookups.

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.