Hopefully i'll have some fishing reports from the keys this coming week

So I’m headed to Islamorada with the family. I’m renting a 21’ boat for the week. we will snorkel a few days and hit the sandbar, but i plan on fishing a few days also. My friends have given me some tips on bait and where to go. I hope I have something cool to post next week! my friends tore the fish up there last month, but they go there every year and know where to go. Someone else on here is taking that trip soon. maybe i can help them out too.

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Enjoy your trip!

Can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

This should be awesome

Cant wait…

Hit the patch reefs up for Yellowtail fishing. Small bits of shrimp, squid or fish on small hooks and CHUM, CHUM, CHUM. If you chum, they will come. Also try free lining a grunt or some other baitfish off your stern. We actually hooked a couple of dolphins that way. I think many fish follow that chum line scent and end up finding your fish near the surface.

If you start catching Chubs, you might as well leave. They are like stray dogs and democrats, just looking for a free meal and they will not leave until the food runs out.

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We had a charter captain ride with us and what he used for the Yellow fin was rolled oats over a good rock outcrop in 30’ish feet of water. Light leader with no weight and a small piece of shrimp let drift in with the sinking oats. We also caught some Nice Cero Mackerel that we used for sashimi. We stayed at Ohio /sunshine Key and it was only about 10 miles to 500’ of water and did really great on Dolphin using a hot pink dolphin feather. Ride like heck in front of the birds and drop your lure back 150 feet in front of them. This captain would skip over a weed line and search for birds. The following days without him we hit some weed lines with no birds and did good.

Oh yea… What Dfreedom said… Chumm. The charter guy had us put two frozen blocks in chum bags tied off the back and circle the area we would anchor at a few times. said that helped get the fish excited… ?? Crazy how many would come to the hand full of oats thrown in.

Beautiful area and IMO a boat is the only way to enjoy that place. Hope the weather is nice and you have blast!

Take the boat to Morada Bay Beach Cafe, great sunset and cool atmosphere, all seafood was fresh as day caught.

  • Address: 81600 Overseas Hwy,
    Islamorada, FL 33036

Get you some ivermectin or deet spray there’s been some malaria cases reported in Florida and Texas.

Good luck catching fish and have a great time!

@DFreedom so we hit a few patch reefs today from 30-50’ and chummed up the fish but could not get them to eat. We tried full size shrimp, cut mullet, and some other small bait that was recommended. It’s crazy the fish you see but couldn’t manage any bites today. Will try again tomorrow. A few guys here said to do the same thing you said.
@Bolbie you were correct about Miranda bay! Great food and atmosphere! Appreciate the tip. It’s also very close to our condo on the bay side.

On another note, the snorkeling here is straight up awesome. We’ve been to a few reefs and will again Wednesday. I should have bought a underwater camera.


The fish can be finicky. Keep trying. It took us a trip or two before we were consistently catching fish. It is definitely a cool place.

Not sure what reefs you are near but, Hen & Chicks and Alligator Reef are pretty good for snorkeling. Sombrero is great but a little south of Islamorada.

For the reefs- when fishing with chum behind the boat- light leader, small hook and freeline bait (fresh/live shrimp or small pieces of ballyhoo) with the current…those fish see a lot of pressure, if the bait isn’t moving at the exact speed of the current they won’t bite…it’s crazy. Freespool and when your line takes off, close spool and reel. I’d also have a carolina rig on the bottom with piece of ballyoo or cigar minnow. Goodluck…I love the keys, enjoy!

…if the bait isn’t moving at the exact speed of the current they won’t bite…it’s crazy. Freespool and when your line takes off, close spool and reel.

^^^^^^^Good Info ^^^^^^

Good news is I ran into a guide at tackle shop picking up more chum. He said to mix oats with sand in balls and drop to bottom along with regular chum. Said yellowtail fishing has been tough for even him and other charters so I was worried.
I wasn’t getting skunked today though. Caught about 20 fish 2” short of keepers and a pnut mahi in 40’ of water. Don’t have dinner but at least the kids had fun. We were going to go deeper for keepers but had good feelings about the patches we found. Fish quit biting just as quick as showed up though.
Thank all you guys for the tips!!!
Hard to see in pic but the lobster at our dock come out of th rocks in the evenings.


I ain’t proud; I woulda filleted that dolphin and had me a baby dolphin sammich.

Thats a nice boat. Not to be nosey, but you cant ask how much it was for the week without being a little presumptuous.

When we went down there I towed my boat. There is so much more to do in a boat there, a ton of water not so crowded and very little land that was way overcrowded.

Nice trip, thanks for sharing the pics

There ya go!

I have actually taken my hook/bait and made a sand/oat ball around it and dropped it over the side. It makes a cloud as it goes down dissolving and gets your bait a little lower in the water column, nearer some of the bigger fish. An old guy down there told me that years ago. It worked to some degree.

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Keep youe eyes peeled, you never know

If I would have found that. I doubt you’d have been reading this today.
Retirement program…

That looks like a great time!

I would love to get down there for a week. I’ll just ask, how much to rent a boat like that??

Hate to drag a boat that far, regardless of upkeep.


Another awesome day. I’m getting better at this guys!
As far as the boat, it’s $1500 after taxes for a 22’ Cobia for 5 days. I originally did 4 days but asked for one more day at check in and she gave for free one day since I rented rods. 4 rods for 5 days was $120. You can get different boats too. A1A boat rentals. Feel free to message me for more details.

Caught different fish today and could have kept a few but didn’t.

We almost made that drive with ours but didn’t want the stress. We got cheap spirit airline tix and rented a car and boat and rods.

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