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Early December Islamorada/Everglades Fishing Report

December is here and it has felt like winter time on and off here multiple times in the Florida Keys.  We've had days where it's been flat calm and in the mid 80s, and days where we've had hard cold fronts... windy in the low 50s in the morning.  But both conditions have led to some incredible fishing!  The numbers of redfish in Florida Bay right now are absolutely incredible.  I've honestly never seen it so good and many of my guiding friends have said the same thing.  It's not uncommon to catch over 50 of them in a day, and you could easily get into the 100s on many days however to be honest it almost gets kind of boring at that point!  Personally for my clients after they've each gotten decently into the double digits, we usually try and move on to other things.  Snook, black drum, and sheepshead have been fairly plentiful as well especially on the colder days.  On warmer, calmer days we've still had some decent numbers of tarpon around, and there have been some triple tail and occasional cobia in the gulf. This last week I fished Ricky Walker and Paul Young from Scotland, who use to do a TV show called 'Hooked on Fishing' back in the 90s.  A couple days ago before the most recent front, we had slick calm conditions and we landed a beastly 150 lb tarpon!  We saw a good hundred or so fish first thing in the morning... they were not super active responding to our bait, which is not unusual when the water temperatures are still on the low side for tarpon (high 70s), but very cool to see none the less and it gets your heart racing for sure!  We also had a 50 lb goliath grouper,. and plenty of small redfish and some big sharks.  During the colder weather last week one day, we had a banner day landing close to 40 redfish and many of which were big boys in the mid 20 inch range.  We also had several big snook in the 30 inch range, and also landed 3 juvenile tarpon on this day as well in the afternoon when things warmed up.  Not to mention countless big trout and some few other odds and ends.  They also fished offshore with my uncle catching some sailfish in between.  So far this winter is shaping up to be pretty incredible.  All those redfish should slowly be growing and I'm hoping we'll have several good years with numbers of them around.  It'd be nice to see as the previous couple years they had really been few and far between.  Back in 2010 actually they were one of the few things we could catch back their after the incredibly cold winter that killed so many fish, and we had a couple of good strong seasons with them as they had some strong spawns with limited predators I imagine.  If you are wanting to come fishing down here in the Keys, the next few weeks are a great time to come before it gets real busy for xmas week.  January is really good fishing too and that is often when the big boys show up... big snook, big black drum, during some of our coldest days of the  year!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

P.S. Tarpon under 40 inches are allowed to be picked up for photos... we snapped a quick pick and released him unharmed without letting flop on the deck, wipe slime off, etc...  Big ones we do not remove from the water

Florida Keys Fishing
Florida Keys Fishing Reports
Bud n' Mary's Fishing Marina
since 1944!


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