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 02/12/2019


There have been some charters fishing the Islamorada Hump for Blackfin Tuna this past week and there was a good bite to be had.  Captain Ed Yanetti captained the Skipper out of Founders Park and got into the Tuna on the Hump with a showing of Dolphin catching three wintertime gaffer Mahi.


This time of year, there are Sailfish Tournaments every week.  The Islamorada Women’s Sailfish Tournament was this past week.  First place boat was the Floridian with 4 sailfish releases.  Second place was Last Dance with 4 releases and third was IBC with 3 releases.  There were 10 boats fishing the two day affair releasing 25 Sailfish.  Captain Don on his Kay K IV out of Whale Harbor Marina had a few nice days on the reef doing battle with a few Sailfish and lots of King Mackerel.  On the “Shake and Bait” out of Post Card Inn anglers caught King Mackerel, Dolphin and Yellowtail Snapper mid-week.  Captain Paul Johnson on the Reef Runner had a fare out from Maryland and caught a bunch of nice King Mackerel and Bonito.  Inside on the patch reef areas bay boat captains fished 10 to 25 feet of water on the calm days.  Captain Russ Pellow chummed up a mess of Mangrove and Schoolmaster Snapper along with Mutton, Red Grouper on a sixteen-foot deep live bottom patch.

Gulf and bay:

The Spanish Mackerel and Snapper were willing participants invading chum lines in the Gulf last week.  Just outside the Everglades National Park boundary, just beyond the Yacht Channel the Spanish Mackerel are really on fire.  Anchor and chum and the Snapper usually get things started and then the Mackerel get the scent and its drags screaming.  Casting jigs tipped with a pencil erasure size piece of Shrimp is the method of choice.  There have been a few Cobia reported too.  Captain Joe Gargan has been catching Snapper, Mackerel, Jacks, Ladyfish and a few Pompano in the Gulf.

Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:

The news from the backcountry is just great as it has been for many weeks.  Guides are carrying a well full of live Shrimp to fish “the park” and just bailing the Snook and Redfish.  Mike Forester of Mangrove Mikes Café in Islamorada summed it all up staying the action has bee great for quite a while and over time the fish have grown in size.  Captain Freddie out of Smugglers Marina on Snake Creek has fished several Flamingo trips and reports releasing Snook and Redfish in double digit numbers every trip.  Seatrout catches have been very good in the upper bay near the mainland shoreline.

Around the Bridges:

Relatively light tides were just what was needed to drift the channels this past week.  It was mostly a Snapper blitz at the bridges with plenty of jacks and a few mackerel present also.  There were reports of a few “baby Tarpon” jumped off or released too.  These resident Tarpon turn with mild weather and warm water temperatures.  These Tarpon will hit a drifted Shrimp of inhale a fresh chunk laid on the channel bottom.

Fishing Report provided by Captain Russ Pellow 305-393-0013

*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.