Excellent Reef Fishing in Islamorada

Fergusson1This month’s reef fishing was solid on the shallow patches. We saw a consistent Yellowtail bite in 20-25 feet of water with some last minute Grouper along the way. The Fergusson family out of Ohio brought home a nice keeper Red Grouper and Mutton Snapper along with several other fish for their first ever fishing charter. Other families went home with nice catches of snapper and enjoyed light tackle action on Lesser Amber Jack and small sharks. These are great half day charters with only a 25 minute run to the reef and lots of time for fishing.

Combination Dive/Fishing charters were fun this month with excellent conditions on the reefs and 80-100 feet of visibility on the dive sites. One family from Jacksonville speared a healthy Lionfish, put away the dive gear and went on to fill up the box with good sized Yellowtails.


The patch reef bite should be excellent again later this week as the full moon fades. Give us a call to book your trip to the reef for some solid action and great eating fish!

-Captain John Ciulla

Backcountry Fishing Report

Captain RonHappy New Year! Captain Ron here with your Robbie’s back country fishing report. One word describes Florida Bay right now… COBIA! These hard-fighting junkyard dogs of the seas are as plentiful as I’ve ever seen them. Fishing the structures where Florida Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico is as guaranteed as fishing gets of catching a monster cobia.

These fish average from 20 to 60 pounds and are great eating and highly prized. These fish follow large sharks and rays and because of the lack of water clarity in the Gulf and Bay; it pays to keep casting a bait around your hooked-up fish because these fish travel in groups. They are willing feeders and will eat just about anything that fits in their mouths, but in the Bay large live shrimp, crabs, and pinfish work best. Your guide will provide these baits but if you are using your own boat or renting a boat, Brian and Elizabeth have these in stock at the tackle shop on the premises. I have constantly caught permit, large black drum, and huge redfish in the same locations as the cobia. In the Gulf the mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel bites are great. Following the Spanish mackeral are black tip and spinner sharks. There’s nothing more exciting than watching a 100-pound shark explode on a live mackerel or blue fish suspended from a kite. Looking forward to fishing you and have a happy new year.

Tight lines
Captain Ron