Hurricane Irma was one big pain in the neck for us, but it’s been some great fishing ever since! We were fortunate to be able to get back on the water shortly after the storm, and I can’t think of a slow day since.
The first day out, we found a big school of bait (pilchards) off the coast. In fact, so much bait that I could see them flipping on the surface in every direction I looked. We caught so many that I was throwing over anything that did not make it to the livewell and, as I looked behind the boat, tarpon were eating everything I threw over.
We took the bait offshore and had a great tuna bite on the hump. They were hungry! Lots of fun.
We rode around to look for some mahi, but, to our surprise, there was nothing to fish. We thought we would find all sorts of debris from the hurricane, but the Gulfstream must have moved it north.
That didn’t last long because, the days to follow, a big weedline with debris formed about 15 miles out, and it was great mahi fishing day after day! I started to try other things like wreck fishing and reef fishing, just to see if anyone was home and they were biting like crazy too! Everything we tried to fish for was biting.
I think the reef fish are still so hungry from the lack of boats feeding them, that it doesn’t take long to have a huge school of snappers behind the boat with a little chum. We also had our first little cold front move through not too long ago, and, sure enough, some great sailfishing has sparked up too.
Our area in Islamorada did get some damage oceanside, but everyone has been quick to get back to action. Honestly, if you were to drive through now, you wouldn’t be able to tell much difference than what it usually looks like--minus the piles of debris on the side of the road.
I know that the guys below us took the brunt of the storm, but everyone I have talked to said the fishing has been great and that most of the boats are up and running.
We are excited for a great year, and hope that this great fishing that Hurricane Irma stirred up, keeps up!
Capt. Joe Hendrix can be reached at 786-295-2162 or 305-505-6099.
Comments will be approved before showing up.