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12/12/18 Islamorada run out to the Everglades during cold front!

Well we had another cold front come in a couple days ago, dropping temperatures back into the high 50s here in Islamorada and the rest of the upper keys.  The everglades of course gets a wee bit colder being much close to the mainland and away from the gulf stream, likely getting down into the low 50s.  It wasn't a crazy front however and winds stayed northerly but only at around 15 mph.  Water temperatures dropped back into the low 60s.  We've had several fronts like this already which is great for our winter time fishing in the backcountry.  For many years now we have not had much cold weather in November/ December, the majority has come in January, so it's nice to be getting a little bit early.  I also imagine it may help with some of the water quality issues we've had with recurring algae blooms we get in the summers now, as the cooler water and northerly winds should help clean things up and blow the dirty water out of the bay.  Fishing has been nothing short of stellar however.  I've heard rumors from people talking to marine biologists that many feel a lot of our backcountry fish had some major spawns due to hurricane irma.  The redfish and snook population is just out of control in everglades national park right now.  It's funny because redfish had been pretty hard to find in recent years, however right now you can go to just about any 'redfish hole' and catch them one right after another!  It's not uncommon to catch 50 or more in a trip.  Lots of small guys but they'll get bigger and should provide us great angling opportunities for years to come.  Anyhow back to the fishing report...  I got out with my dad Capt. Richard Stanczyk Sr. and wife Elizabeth Baxter for a fun fishing day.  We headed out into the 'glades early to try and hit some of the cold weather holes for drum, redfish, and snook.  We had a nice falling tide all day and were protected from the chilly wind once we got there.  Fishing was not red hot for us but the first stop we did manage a nice 20 to 25 lb black drum, and two very nice snook of 10 and 13 lbs or so!  Some very nice size trout as well plus a couple smaller drum and snook.  We spent a couple hours there so  again not a red hot bite, but the handful of quality fish are always worth the time and effort.  After that we jumped around a little, picking a handful of fish out of 2 or 3 other spots.  Not many redfish surprisingly on this day yet, though we did catch a handful on our last stop.  However on the way home we hit a couple other spots, and bagged a nice half dozen more snook in one spot, and another half dozen redfish as well.  Leaving the mainland areas we had a negative tide being at the end of the falling tide and the northerly wind having helped push the water out.  So we had to keep our eyes peeled on the way home to not get in trouble.  We decided to check one other area where the tide had fallen out hard and left the flats barren.  This type of situation often gets the redfish stacked up, as they have nowhere else to be except in the ditches where the water is a little deeper.  I'd not fished this area much, and I knew years ago it was fertile ground.  Anyways we made some casts, and low and behold we started doubling up on redfish and some nice trout too!  We didn't stay long and caught maybe 10 fish, but it was cool to see.  This fishery is so strong it's nice as it can save you on a tough day of fishing.  Hopefully it'll stay like this for a while, I think at least for our winter season we should be well off with good stocks of fish!

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

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