Christmas has come and gone, however the Florida Keys fishing is here to stay! Some people ask me what makes the Florida Keys such a special fishing spot. Maybe it is because The Florida Keys are located in the most biologically diverse area of the Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean surround the islands, while the warm waters of the Gulf Stream current passes close by. The ocean surrounding the Keys contains more species of fish than anywhere else in the Atlantic! A fishing trip in the Florida Keys is sure to be successful. This past week was no exception to the normal Keys fishing day. The bite has been spectacular for Snook, Redfish, Speckled Sea Trout, Goliath Grouper, Mackerel, Jack Crevell, Cobia and the occasional Blue Fish.
Jack and Ida from Louisiana who stayed at the beautiful and unique Kona Kai Resort here in Key Largo had their luck with the Snook! We caught approximately ten great sized Snook. I have to say that Ida caught the most Snook. This frequently happens that the novice fisherman catches more fish then the experienced because they do not have the instinct to set the hook. I cannot tell you how many times that prize fish was lost by the angler ripping the bait right out of the fish’s mouth. We used 10 lb Power Pro braided line with a 40 lb floral carbon leader to ensure the catch. We used large shrimp as bait by hooking the shrimp through the bottom of the mouth and up through the head. The fish were caught under the mangroves in the deep channels surrounding the islands as the water temperatures were still hovering in the low 60’s.
Later in the week we caught numerous Redfish by using a 1/8 oz Chartreuse Hook-Up Lure. Shrimp were thrown up current and worked back to the boat slowly, as the fish are still a bit lethargic due to low water temperatures. If you are unlucky with the shrimp try using a Berkley Gulp Shrimp. The Speckled Sea Trout were happening this week too! When targeting Trout don’t forget the special weapon! They are attracted by the popping sound that either a popping cork or a Kajun Thunders makes while being dragged through the water. We caught most Speckled Sea Trout on the grassy flats around the Flamingo area. We used 3ft of 30lb leader below the cork and a ¼ oz weight located just above a 2.0 circle hook.
Finally, the Mackerel, Bluefish and Cobia were caught about 1 to 3 miles passed Springer Bank. When catching Mackerel it is important not to forget your wire leader because of their sharp teeth. We caught them using about 8-10 inches of 40 lb wire leader on the end of the line. All of these fish make being on the water a joy for me everyday!
Regardless of your interest in fishing the scenery alone is worth a day on the water. It is expected that your fishing guide knows a great deal about the ecosystem here in the Florida Keys. He or she could not do their job successfully if they did not understand the combined physical and biological components and the complexity of the way they interact. A trip on the water will open your eyes to a new way of seeing the world. You will see many beautiful islands peppering the landscape, beautiful rare birds, playful dolphin, sluggish manatee, filtering sponges, elegant Sting Ray, and hopefully you’re most prized catch! Getting on the water is the best things you can do to relieve all that holiday stress!
Until next time, ask yourself this one question; Are You Fishing Yet?