Summer time is officially here in the Florida Keys. Summer time tarpon are here too. Those are more of the resident fish that can be found in the backcountry and around Islamorada that are often smaller in size but just as fun to catch. We've been finding lots of mullet in the backcountry and getting those early in the morning then fishing the channels and bays. We went 8 for 14 the last two days, most fish are in the 30 to 60 lb range though we did finish the day today with a 100 lber locally around Islamorada. In the backcountry they've been biting on the in and out tides, morning or afternoon - sometimes both! In the bays trout and snapper are in good supply though the mangroves should be moving offshore soon to spawn. Snook can be found throughout the cape and flamingo areas, and most the redfish this time of year are up in the super skinny water, so make sure you bring your shallow draft boat for them! With the winds that have been blowing I haven't been out in the gulf much though that is often a good bet this time of year for permit.
I've done this before. It's a blast. A few years back I hooked up on a monster a 1/2 before dark. We finally landed it 1/2 hour after dark. Fought it in the heavy currents under a bridge. 80" and my guide estimated 175lbs. It's like fighting a Volkswagon that can jump! I will post some pic's later.
1st off, this is really one of the best areas to go fishing anywhere! I highly recommend doing your research, and heading down there! And please....invite me!!!!
This area of the keys is pronounced "eyela morada" not the islam version. Us northerners learn that pretty quick down there.
This particular year we hired a captain for a full day. It was really hot so he broke up the day 4 hours in the morning and 4 for the evening.
All we caught in the morning was this jack.
So we headed back out in the evening without the girls. It's pretty tough to just sit and watch the corks waiting for the big bite. But then the water exploded just before dark!!!!
We were seeing the tarpon rolling on the surface big time. Then a rod thick as a broomstick just doubled over. And a monster started tail walking across the ocean going away from us. Our feet were about even with the water and this fish was taller than us...amazing!!! I asked my captain if it was as big as I thought it was? His reply...if we land it? It will be the biggest he's ever had in his boat!
Anyway this fish just kicked my ass!!! No way to stop it, so we threw out the anchor ball and had to chase it down! It was heading for the bridge pylons a mile away, and it made it too! We had to get vertical on it to navigate the pylons in the dark. I still couldn't stop her. So she emerged on the other side after that didn't work and started to find different buoy markers to wrap us around. This was a smart fish! That didn't work either, my captain was on to her ways and we finally landed her after a hour long battle. Years later and I can still give every detail of that battle!!!! What a memory.
The best time of the year to catch the migration is the middle of May! Sorry walleyes!
If you've got short, stubby fingers and wear reading glasses, any relaxation you would normally derive from fly fishing is completely eliminated when you try to tie on a fly. ~ Jack Ohman, Fear of Fly Fishing, 1988