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 05/19/2022


Another great week in the Islands of the upper Florida Keys, and yet another weird week of weather.  Just when you think the fronts are over, we get one in the 2nd week of May…pretty crazy.  Anyway, it is what it is, so it definitely could be worse. The offshore bite this week has been on the slow side as well, with very little current offshore.  The fleet has been picking up a few mahi here and there, but there isn’t a “real” body of fish up here just yet.  It appears that down south there is a decent body, and we are waiting for it to move up here, or a new batch move in with some current.  Tunas are slow on the Islamorada and 409 humps, except for the feather tunas, but the larger ones are on the Marathon hump if you can make the trek.  Plenty of Jacks and sharks on all the humps, so no reason not to catch anything.  Deep dropping has been on the slow side with the lack of current, but I am sure it is all going to pick up soon enough.  Way offshore on the sword ledge there has been some pretty epic fishing.  A lot of bites over the past couple weeks, and a lot of fish being caught.  A few sea monsters caught as well in the 500 pound range, but lots of smaller fish in 40-120 pound range.  A lot of fun out on the ledge the past couple weeks for sure, and the weather is getting right again, so I am sure there will be more caught.  Looking forward to the weekend and this beautiful weather.  Hope to see you out there!


The fishing this week on the reef has been pretty good.  The Yellowtail snappers have been biting pretty good, as well as the groupers.  Some nice yellow bar jacks and cero macks on the reef have made for some great excitement.  The wreck fishing has been slow, but only because there is nearly zero current.  Had a trickle up the road today, but was barely enough to move the boat, so the bottom fishing hasn’t been too great.  We have managed a few here and there, but nothing worth spending a lot of time on.

Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:

Starting to feel more like summer. It looks like the rainy season is upon us and scattered showers will start being more common in the Islamorada backcountry. Redfish, Snook and Trout are all feeding around the mainland shorelines, Island flats and moats throughout the Everglades National Park. Live baits fished under your favorite bush have been getting pummeled by Redfish and Snook. If you don’t have the live bait work the areas bouncing DOA soft plastic baits on a 1/4 oz jig head close to the shorelines. 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. Fishing the runoffs in Snake bite area has been working great for some nice Redfish and Snook. Pinfish, Pilchards, Ladyfish or mullet chunks will get the bite going. Work the tides up on the flats with your shallow drafted boats for some great 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 or soaking dead baits on the bottom will give you a good chance at hooking up with a Tarpon or a feisty Shark.

Gulf and Bay:

Big Trout, Ladyfish and Snappers can be caught drifting the grassy areas in between banks from Oxfoot to Sprigger. Soft plastics under a popping cork on the shallower areas or soft plastics like DOA’s will catch just about anything that swims around the area.

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. Snappers, Groupers and Big Jacks have been also caught regularly around the Islamorada bridges.

Fishing Reports provided by Captain James Chappell of Catchalottafish Charters   (305-803-1321) and Juan Garcia of Beats Land Charter (305-297-0438).

*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.