On September 10th of this year Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida keys with sustained winds in the 130mph range with gusts way over that. It was a bitter sweet feeling watching the projected path of the hurricane days before it made landfall. For one I was obviously worried about my home and property in Tavernier and on the other hand I was excited with the projected path because it would essentially clean up Florida Bay in the Everglades National Park. I was out on the water just a couple days after the Hurricane passed and it was obvious that a massive storm ripped through Florida Bay. Chunks of Mangrove islands were pushed up onto shallow flats, the water was very dirty and there was debris everywhere.
About two weeks later I had a group Trip scheduled with some returning clients and they absolutely crushed the fish. It was amazing to see how many Tarpon were around in different places that I had never seen them there before ranging from 10-40lbs. The snook fishing was also phenomenal along with some solid permit and bonefshing to go along with it. Since the Hurricane I have remained busy fishing and when I’m not fishing it seems like I have some type of project to finish up at home.
One of the great fishing opportunities to take advantage of in the winter months are the patch reef fishing. There are a series of small reefs ranging from 8-20ft that hold a great variety of species like Mutton snappers,mangrove snappers, yellowtail snappers , gag groupers, black and red groupers to name a few. All of the species I just listed are great eating a a TON of fun to catch. Also this is the best time of the year to get outside of the reef and target Sailfish and while your fishing for sailfish its very common to catch other big fish such as Tuna,Kingfish,Wahoo and Dolphin. Also in the backcountry its a great time of year to catch Big Snook,Redfish,Trout, Cobia and Triple Tail.
Business has been a bit slow for most guides in the Flroida Keys because a couple of the big resorts have been shut down since Hurricane Irma, but I can assure you there are plenty nice hotels that are open for business and need it. The fishing can be great this time of year and I have the ability to take the serious angler out on the flats to sight fish with spinning or fly gear and I also have a 24ft Islamorada Boatworks Morada 24 that we can utilize to fish way deep in the glades and even offshore. Give me a call if you are planning a visit down to the Florida Keys and I can help you find a place to stay and I will try my best to give you the best day of fishing you have ever had! Here are some nice catches after Hurricane Irma passed through the Florida Keys. Enjoy!!