Islamorada Offshore Report
This is a transition month! To put an outstanding catch together, we often have to fish for different species and use a variety of techniques - all of which are often fun and productive.
Most days we start out fishing at the Hump for tuna, then we start looking for mahi around weed lines, edges, birds and floating debris. Next, we usually end up deep dropping for snapper and other fish living around the deep ledges.
On a recent outing, we had one of those guys that was never satisfied. We caught fish all day but we never caught a fish that was big enough or that was bigger than a previous trip. We watched him complain about catching a 30 pound bull mahi. He complained about a 10 pound wahoo and a 20 inch tripletail. Most anglers are content with nice weather and some nice fish but that was not the case with this guy. Digging deep into our customer service techniques we laughed off the negative comments and made light of our good catch.
On the way back towards the marina, near the edge of the reef we hooked a sailfish and released it. It was a smaller three foot long fish and of course, he had caught bigger before - and more of them too! We listened to him complain all the way to the dock and while we were hanging his catch up for passersby to admire. Many tourists passed by that day and asked questions. Did you catch all those today? Can we take pictures of those fish? With contempt he responded as if he had a bad day. Other boats backed in to their slips and displayed their catches. None of the other boats were flying a sailfish flag. No one had a wahoo, or a limit of mahi as a center piece. He was not happy he had the best catch on the dock and was just miserable. He paid us, left and has not been back since. Oh well, we did the best we could do that day. Sometimes we have to remember an old adage. “Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they won’t be disappointed!”
Off Shore Forecast:
Look forward to shorter days, cooling water and air temperatures. Fish are migrating through the Islamorada area. Many of them slow down and hang out to eat baitfish that is often plentiful around the edge of the reef.
Bottom fish migration has proved over the years to improve as water temperatures cool. Don’t be surprised when the yellowtail, yellow jacks, groupers and snappers become more plentiful. Surface action pelagics like kingfish are here already; however they will more than likely continue to increase in number as we get closer to winter.
What we all are banking on are sailfish. We are hoping they will make a strong appearance. Last year was ok, but we have been overdue for a good push of sailfish in the Islamorada area. Maybe the moon and the stars will line up and we’ll have some great water quality and tons of bait fish for them to hang around and eat. Like good Americans all we ever wanted was more. More of everything, especially sailfish!
Flats Fishing Report:
Whale Harbor backcountry guides have been catching the mangrove snapper and snook around the outside islands in Florida Bay. Live shrimp on light-weighted jigs have been the bait to use. The snook are being caught on shrimp also but live pinfish and live pilchards have been the preferred bait. Pitching baits around mangrove Island undercut areas, points, and submerged structure have produced some impressive large snook.
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