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Fall fishing in Islamorada

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Well we are officially in our 'offseason' mode here in Islamorada, Florida Keys. Business normally comes to a screeching halt for a few months until winter time again. However fishing is still plenty good and for some it is the perfect time to come fishing. The best guides often have last minute availability, you have the ocean or bay to yourself without having to worry about people sitting on the best spots, and it's easy to shift things around or fish a more optimum time as guides have more free time. Through the end of August the tarpon bite has been fair. My last few trips we produced a tarpon 2 out of 3 days. If you put your time in you can usually produce a bite or two, though not a guaranteed thing. Mullet is still the go-to bait, you just have to find them usually early in the morning. We've also been having some luck with big goliath groupers in the gulf plus plenty of big sharks such as bulls and lemons. Chumming with dead carcasses works well here. We had these young kids out and they pulled on tarpon, big 200 lb goliaths, and a variety of sharks to 150 lbs. As we get more into the fall, the water temperatures should drop a bit which lends well to some of my favorite backcountry fishing - snook and redfish. These fish will move more and more into the deeper creeks and moats of the backcountry where they can be targetted a variety of ways. 1/4 oz jigheads with a big live shrimp are a staple bait for us, for snook with the shrimp hooked alive through the horns. Medium size pinfish are a great option too for big snook or redfish, you can float them for snook on a bobber or put them on the bottom if your anchored for both. I've caught a handful of snook the times of tried but it should get better and better and become more of the focus as things cool off a bit.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Guide Capt. Rick Stanczyk




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