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 05/14/2021


Amy Kennelly


This week has been pretty incredible as the weather has been beautiful, and the fishing has finally found some consistency.  Although this has been great, a “but” is coming…..we have another cold front coming through.  As welcomed as the cooler temperatures will be, it is pretty crazy that on May 15th we are getting a cold front.  We will see what happens to the fishing, but hopefully it won’t screw things up too bad.  If the wind comes around quickly we should be good, so stay tuned.  Or, maybe the North wind will spark up the miracle “tailing” condition for the sails?  Who knows, but one thing is for sure that it will be what it will be!  We are going to get pretty breezy for most of the weekend into next week, so thankfully we have a bunch of troopers on the schedule.  As for the fishing, the mahi fishing has been great!  Finally we have been able to pretty much catch a limit on both boats every trip if we choose.  Even a few nicer fish too, with a couple over 30 pounds and several nice teenagers.  Let’s hope this keeps going!  The tuna fishing has been pretty good on the humps as well, although they aren’t very big, they are still fun to catch and tasty!


The reef and wreck fishing this week has been a little on the slower side, but not terrible.  It has been day to day fighting the predators and/or current and water clarity, and the groupers have actually bit pretty well.  All-in-all things are pretty good, and they definitely could be a lot worse.  Let’s just keep out fingers crossed and hope this change doesn’t mess up a good thing we got going!

Gulf and Bay:

Big Trout, Ladyfish and some Snappers can be caught drifting the grassy areas in between banks from Oxfoot to Sprigger. Soft plastics under a popping cork or Bucktail jigs will catch just about anything that swims around the area.

Backcountry, Flats and Flamingo:

Great fishing going on right now in the Islamorada backcountry! The weather couldn’t be any better with nice sunny conditions topped with great times on the water. Redfish, Snook and Trout are all feeding around the mainland shorelines, Island flats and moats throughout the Everglades National Park. We had some epic fishing lately with snook numbers in the triple digits. Live baits fished under your favorite bush have been getting pummeled by big Redfish and Snook. If you don’t have the live bait work the areas bouncing Berkley Gulp baits on a 1/4 oz jig head close to the shorelines or soft plastics rigged weedless will also get some bites. Lots of blind casting with artificials in the shallower areas will get you hooked up especially on overcast conditions where it might be harder to spot the fish. Mullet muds continue to form throughout the bay and drifting with popping corks and soft plastics through them will get you in to some Trout, Ladyfish and Jacks. Fish the runoffs in Snake bite area for some nice Redfish and Snook. Pinfish, Pilchards, Ladyfish shrimp or mullet chunks will get the bite going. Work the tides up on the flats with your shallow drafted boats for the best action. Sharks and the occasional Tarpon can be caught fishing dead baits on the bottom around the deeper channels in the same area. Look for nice Trout and Snappers to be feeding around the grassy areas of First National bank. The Snook bite will continue to be good in the Cape Sable area. Look for the fish to be congregating throughout the mainland shoreline. Live baits like Pinfish, Pilchards and finger mullet will be deadly for some trophy size Snook. Tarpon and Sharks will be cruising off the shorelines. Drifting live Mullet, Pinfish or Ladyfish where you see the fish roll will give you a good chance at hooking up with a Tarpon or a feisty Shark.

Anglers targeting bonefish and permit are reporting multiple shots while working the tides both Oceanside and bayside. Lots of great fishing opportunities going on right now in the Islamorada backcountry.

Around the Bridges:

Tarpon fishing has been the talk around town since mostly everybody that puts the time and effort are getting hooked up with the Silver King. The outgoing tides have been the most productive, mullet or Ladyfish dead or alive has been getting lots of attention on the daylight hours. The fly guys continue to report multiple shots at fish both Oceanside and bayside. Drifting a crab thru a bridge channel from dusk till dawn is the sure way for a hook up.

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.