Islamorada fishing in July has been action packed, but it has been hot! Most of the time leaving early has helped, as often mid-day things kind of slow down due to the heat. We've had a little bit of everything going on in the everglades backcountry fishing. There has been a good bite of redfish and a handful of snook, mostly found in the shallows this time of year site fishing. However, you can often stake up and fish channel run-offs on the end of the falling tide and blind cast to catch these fish, or get up around the islands on the in tide and find them feeding as the flats get covered up. Pinfish are a good live bait to try, as well as cut ladyfish or mullet, or shrimp on jigs will work too. Eric pictured below caught this nice 12 lb red blind casting GULPs with me a few days ago! Trout, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, and jacks have been plentiful in the bays, and are a good bet for taking home some good dinner fish as well as using for bait for larger prey. We had some folks out yesterday and it was almost a bite every cast, and some good slot size trout as well as legal mangrove snappers. Shrimp or GULP artificials are a good bet here, often it's tough to get decent size live shrimp but the fake stuff will work. We had been still catching some of the giant 'sea monsters' a.k.a. sawfish while fishing for sharks, tarpon, goliaths, etc... though they are mostly gone now until the spring again. The goliath grouper bite in the gulf has been good, as well as some tarpon deep in the everglades and around the local islamorada bridges in the early morning and evenings. We had some good evening tarpon trips recently, with several mutli-fish trips and fish up to 120 lbs. Yesterday we got into some nice permit out in the gulf, catching about 8 in total which was lots of fun! Into August some of this fishing will hopefully hold up, and it's a good time of year to come as there are many less boats on the water!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk