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 06/25/2019


All is finally good on the Bluewater front.  Dolphin catches are great with loads of school size fish and plenty of nice big gaffers and slammers.  The Mahi are being found from 600 to over 1000 feet of water. Captain Wes on the Expedition out of Bud and Mary’s Marina had 25 Dolphin at days end.  Captain Rob on his Southern Comfort also had a box full of Dolphin one day last week.  On the Dee Cee out of Post Card Inn they had a limit of Dolphin by 10 am.  The Dolphin for the most part are being located by finding the birds above the school.


A few charters have been on the reef wailing away on the Yellowtail Snapper.  Captain Robert Mathias on his Restless Too and Captain Billy on his Vera Vita out of Whale Harbor Marina both had banner trips with big fat Yellowtail.  No word on anyone looking for King mackerel, but there should be some schools around.

Gulf and Bay:

In the Gulf there are Mangrove Snapper coming to chum and taking a bait drifted in the current.  In Florida Bay the Seatrout action is still good.  The schools will move around making for some exploration, but fish the smoky water for success.  Trout, Snapper and many others continue to feed on the grassy areas around Sandy Key, Schooner, Oxfoot and Blue bank. Jigs and soft plastics worked over the grass will get the bites, anchor up and chum while free lining chunks of Ladyfish or pinfish for the bigger Snappers. The gulf wrecks and structures are holding a wide variety of fish. Permit, Cobia, Groupers, Snappers, Sharks and many more can be targeted.

Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:

Typical summertime conditions in the Florida Keys backcountry. The Redfish seem to be in mostly every flat and shallow shorelines throughout the bay with Snook as well. The trick has been to get them to eat your offering. Captain Lain Goodwin reports great Snook catches fishing the mainland and island shorelines from Key Largo to Flamingo. Pilchards have been the bait of choice but live Pinfish and artificial baits like Berkley Gulps and DOA’s have been catching their fair share. Find the mullet muds and drift casting soft plastics with or without a cork for some rod bending action of Trout, jacks and lady fish.

The Flamingo area continues to have decent action with Snook, Redfish, Tarpon, Sharks and many other rod benders. Sharks and Tarpon are feeding in the deeper channels, dead baits on the bottom have been getting most of the bites. The Redfish and Snook are taking live Pinfish or pilchards on the runoffs and wheedles plastics and spoons on the shallower areas. The Snook bite continues on the Cape Sable area and up the beach. Fish the shorelines with live Pinfish or pilchards for the best action and remember to watch out for the hungry Sharks. Captain Andy Putetti reports good numbers of Bonefish both Oceanside and bayside on the incoming tide. Look for this fish in the early and later parts of the day when the water temperatures are not as hot. Permit have been cruising the deeper edges of flats and banks with some nice fish being caught while drifting the crabs intended for Tarpon around local bridges and channels.

The Tarpon action in the Islamorada area has been great.  There are still Mullet to be cast net for many who fish live bait.  Captain John Gargan has been Tarpon fishing evening and getting 3 or 4 or more bites per trip.  Captain Russ Pellow has also been bending the rod for his clients and had a four fish trip last Thursday evening.  In Flamingo the Snook and Redfish action has been great on the last of the falling water.   Captain Russ Pellow had a father and son out rod bending one day last week in Flamingo.  They anchored in a channel and cast Shrimp up on the shallow edge and the Red’s were lying in wait.

Around the Bridges:

Rumor has it the bridge bite was difficult with the strong full moon tides last week.  A little more lead will help get bait deep, but you do not want to hang bottom with too much weight.  The adjacent “ditches” were dug out during Henry Flagler’s railroad building days.  They dug along the highway and the fill was used to build up around the bridges.  These ditches hold fish and there will be much less current.  Look for Snapper, Grouper, Snook and more in the “ditches”.

Tarpon are present around the local bridges and channels. Live and dead baits with a little patience will get you hooked up. The night bite continues to be the best chance for multiple hookups on the outgoing tide while drifting live Crabs. Dead or live baits fished on the bottom have been catching nice Snappers with Groupers as well. The best bite has been in the early morning when the water temperature is not as hot.

Fishing Report provided by Captain Russ Pellow 305-393-0013 and Captain Juan Garcia 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.

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