Florida Keys backcountry fishing report Dec 26-31

Posted on 12/29/2012
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Florida Keys backcountry fishing report Dec 26-31
Strong cold front moved through south Florida last weekend with very strong winds on Saturday and a big drop in temperatures. We got out on Sunday morning for a half day of Islamorada backcountry fishing and boy was it cold. Headed towards the Springer bank area with water temperatures in the upper fifties. Fishing was a little slow but we managed to put a dozen Spanish Mackerel in the box and bended the rod most of the morning. Water temperatures warmed up a bit through out the week and the Florida Keys Gulf fishing fired back up. With this passing cold fronts and cooler temperatures the winter fishery here in the Florida Keys only gets better. Look for the Florida Keys wreck fishing to heat up with Cobia, big gulf Redfish and some Smoker King Mackerel making regular appearances in and around the wrecks and structure. Always keep an eye on the trap buoys on your way out for great Triple tail action.
Monday morning I headed to the Flamingo area with a family of four for their first Florida Keys backcountry fishing experience. The tide was still going out and the water temperature was 56 degrees. I put my MinKota I pilot in the water and started working the deeper edges of the runoffs. It wasn't long before I hit the anchor bottom on the I Pilots remote in front of my favorite runoff. We sat on the same place for close to six hours and took advantage of a spectacular bite. I haven't seen so many Sheepshead in a long time and most of them where in the 16 in plus range. It turned out to be a gorgeous day of incredible fishing. We caught Redfish, Blackdrum and Sheepsheads until our arms couldn't take it any more well over 100 fish. The ticket was a knocker rig and shrimp combo fished on the edge of the runoff. It looked like every boat in the area had a great bite. Same thing was going on in the East Cape Sable area fishing the deeper channels, Blackdrum, Reds, Sheepsheads and a hand full of Snook where reported. Expect this fishery to remain solid as long as the colder weather sticks around. I stopped at one of my favorite shorelines East of Flamingo on our way home to see if we find some shallow water Redfish, it didn't took long before we ran in to some nice Redfish. The fish weren't moving much but they sure were there. Lots of blind casting got us some bites and most of the fish we saw were sitting on potholes of the shoreline. Overall we had an amazing time of winter Everglades National Park fishing. It's a great time of the year to be in the park, lots of bird life and great fishing!
Fish for the Bonefish in the middle parts of the day when the water temperatures will be warmer. Look for mudding fish on the deeper edges and cuts of Oceanside flats. Chumming with Shrimp in the same deeper areas can also be productive specially with the lower water temperatures. Hope everyone had a great Christmas with lots of fishy presents and that the new year brings great fishing for everybody. Happy New Year !
Captain Juan Garcia