3/29/13 Key Largo Patch Reef Fishing Report

Another late cold front here in Key Largo has slowed some of the backcountry fishing down.  Water temperatures plummeted to some of the coldest we have had all year.  I kept my anglers on the fish consistently throughout the day though fishing the patch reefs the last several days.  That’s the nice thing about operating a larger, more comfortable ‘bay’ style boat.  The key largo patch reef fishing gives you a variety of targeted fish.  We’ve caught nice mangrove snappers, hogfish, and porgies – all a delicacy to eat!  Smaller mutton snappers and groupers have given anglers a good tug especially on light tackle, if you can keep them from going into the rocks!  A mix of smaller yellowtail, blue runners, chubs, and grunts keep children and adults entertained too.  We even caught a few small sharks out there too.  As we enter the april key largo fishing period hopefully we won’t have to deal with the cold anymore and the tarpon fishing will pick up.  That’s what we focus on in the spring and early summer.  Fishing for them should likely pick up as the waters get warmer, once they hit 70 bites should be had, 75+ however is ideal.  A key largo night tarpon fishing trip can be very productive and those are some of the only trips I have left available to offer as almost every day is booked the next couple months.  Give me a call I’ll let you know about the fishing!

3/24/13 Key Largo Monster Fish!

Fishing wasn’t easy today here in key largo backcountry fishing.  Howling southwest winds of 25 knots!  We made our way into the bay and limited out on big seatrout though up to 20′.  Also lots of ladyfish which we use for cut bait, and a few snappers of the mangrove variety.  Shark fishing in key largo was productive lots of blacktips and blacknoses.  Though after a few of them we hooked a big 100 lb tarpon!  A welcome surprise, he stayed on the line and we chased him for a bit and eventually got him boatside.  It was great to see in the muddy water we were fishing due to the high winds, but you never know what you’ll catch when your on a key largo fishing charter so you need to get out there and try!  I’ve also got a picture here of a monstrous goliath grouper caught by a young 10 year old boy on a charter last week.  They also caught a big bull shark plus plenty of other rod benders!  The tarpon fishing in key largo may slow down for a few days as we have more cold weather unfortunately coming, but I don’t think for long and good news is after it leaves I think April the tarpon will really go off as they have been ready and waiting!!!

3/22/13 Good inshore fishing Key Largo

Had another great day here inshore fishing key largo in the backcountry and everglades national park.  We left out early and headed west where there have been lots of big fish showing up from the gulf of mexico.  In the bays we started out targeting ladyfish and trout.  Lots of fun on light spin gear, watching the acrobatic ladyfish jump and twist trying to throw the hook.  We saved these girls for bait for the big boys later.  We caught plenty of nice big trout too, the big spring time trout are here now and showing up in the usual spring/summer areas in the bay.  Gulps or live shrimp work fine, or you can try artificial if it is your fancy!  Key Largo trout fishing should continue to be a good bet.  After we had our fill of this, we set up in a nearby channel for tarpon and other big fish.  Lots of tarpon rolling and busting were seen, and within a few minutes we had one soar out of the water attached to the end of our big spinning rod – success!  My angler fought the fish for a good 25 minutes, and we landed a nice 100 lb fish.  After this we had a mystery bite, something big and powerful that just laid on the bottom but we pulled the hook.  After this we caught several black tip sharks, lost a few too that spun and jumped there way off.  No more tarpon bites, but the march tarpon fishing key largo should get more consistent now with the warm weather.  After the tide quit, we went further into the gulf and fished for triple tail.  They were swarming as they have been the last several days, we caught about a dozen in an hour.  Lots of fun sight casting to triple tail that are laying behind crab buoys, they fight and jump and are a blast on 10 lb test!  Another great day here of key largo charter fishing.  If your interested in tarpon fishing, now is the time I have some nights available still through prime season and that is often the best time to go, so drop me a line!

3/20/13 Backcountry Fishing Key Largo in the Spring

It officially feels like spring here and today we did some spring key largo fishing.  Stopped this morning to try to find some mullets as they’ve started to show up in muds in the local bays.  Unfortunately got a bit of a late start, made a few throws and got a couple which proved to be enough.  Later on ran into the backcountry for some march key largo fishing and it was lots of action.  Trout, ladyfish, jacks, the usual cast of characters and just about every bait that hit the water was a fish.  What we like to do here on some of our key largo fishing charters this time of year is save the ladyfish for live and dead bait… the bigger predators such as sharks, tarpon, goliath grouper, and even big snook and redfish love to eat them.  We happened to see some tarpon rolling near by in the channel so we decided to anchor up there and give it a shot.  Put a mullet and ladyfish on the bottom, and within 10 minutes the mullet rod bent down – big 80 lb tarpon goes flying, he’s on!!!  We chase him down and get him boatside, but he went through the leader though a caught fish with the leader in the tip, I’ve included a picture of another tarpon caught of similar size the day before.  Later we caught a blacktip also on a mullet, but no other bites and the tarpon seemed to slow down as we didn’t see them rolling, so that was the end of march key largo tarpon fishing.  We proceeded into the gulf, where we caught plenty of tripletail including several nice keeper size ones.  We run the crab trap lines out here, certain areas the fish congregate and you pitch live shrimp on a cork at them.  Lots of fun sight fishing these critters.  We did see one key largo cobia fishing on structure, but did not get him to eat before he disappeared.  Well that was the day, get on down here for some good fishing… spring is here, so are the fish, it is time!

3-15-13 Offshore Key Largo Fishing Report in mid March

The past week has been a little windy while doing our key largo fishing. It hasn’t stopped us from getting out though, we’ve stayed on the edge of the reef most days, but we did venture out further one day for some shark fishing. The yellowtail snapper bite has been pretty good overall the past week, there’s also been a few cobia when the conditions are right with good visibility, there’s been plenty of barracuda action, the king mackerel bite has been spotty, but we did have one great day with our limit of fish up to 31 lbs, There’s been a couple mutton snapper in the mix and we have been releasing lots of grouper (shallow water groupers are closed for harvest until May 1st). Remember when fishing in Key Largo that the easiest way to have a good time is to do what the weather conditions are most productive for. We also did a shark fishing charter and caught and released a big bull shark around 275 lbs and then released a giant tiger shark in the 600 lb range! If you’re ready to get out on a offshore key largo fishing charter let send me an email! It’s worth the 20 minute drive south to go fishing!

Capt. Nick Stanczyk


3/14/13 Key Largo Night Tarpon Fishing Report

Well last night was my first official key largo tarpon fishing charter at night.  Tarpon often feed best at or near sunrise/sunset, or after dark as they are more nocturnal feeders.  We do many evening trips from 4:00 – 8:00/8:30 to try to get you on the water at ‘peak’ time.  Yesterday evening was my first official key largo night fishing trip targetting them.  We fished the local bridges and had several kinds of bait including crabs, pinfish, big shrimp, and cigar minnows.  We had a couple bites early anchored at one of the bridges, one was surely a tarpon that we didn’t get a hookset on that ate a minnow, the other not sure of on a big shrimp but likely a tarpon as the drag screamed for a good 2-3 seconds on a BG60.  We did end up catching a big nurse shark and a would-be legal size gag grouper off the bottom there.  Key Largo grouper fishing is closed season until May 1.  Anyhow around 7:00 the tide was slowing and we ran a little further back to the end of the channel as the falling tide would last longer there.  Saw a few fish roll as we pulled up for our first drift.  Didn’t hook up immediately  but on drift number 3 around 7:30 we got a good bite on a crab and we were on!  A nice 75 lb fish we got several nice jumps and runs out of, and had boatside within 20 minutes.  Not a bad night with 3 bites considering we had breezy north winds and cool air, which is usually not a good thing when targeting tarpon, though the tides and water temperature were favorable.  Anyways if your interested in tarpon fishing key largo at night then let me know, March can be a great time.  This year so far the tarpon fishing has been off and on with the late cold fronts, but as you can see if the conditions are right the fish are here and you won’t know unless you go out there and try!  Drop me a line and I’ll give you an honest opinion and I don’t really start heavily night fishing until April so can be ready to go short notice if you don’t want to commit!  Give march key largo tarpon fishing a try!

Also today the winds were howling out of the north, 20+mph.  Not an easy day to fish in the key largo backcountry fishing.  We made it out though comfortably in my 20′ seacraft and hid around some islands.  Caught some very nice mangrove snappers all 12+ inches, including this 17 incher which for the backcountry is a very nice snapper!  Some great dinner and fun on light tackle.  We tried fishing some muds but it was difficult in the wind/chop, though we did anchor for the last 30 minutes in a mud and caught a handful of big ladyfish for something different before heading in.

3/10/13 March key largo tarpon fishing

Well we still have some very chilly water in the key largo backcountry for march… 64 this morning.  We fished out near the gulfs edge around some banks and got some nice size trout and a couple pompano.  Had to really work around though one spot held some nice fish that rallied briefly.  Later we went further back around the mainland for some key largo tarpon fishing.  Put a couple cut baits on the bottom and a pinfish on top.  Never had a bite off the bottom as the sharks are dormant with the chilly water… but we did hook a nice 60+ lb tarpon on a 15 lb lighter spin rod.  The fish blew up on a live pinfish, we fought him for over an hour and got him boatside.  The fish made the day on our march key largo fishing charter.  We finished the day trying to find some hungry redfish though the water was fairly mudded up and of course still chilly, so not much luck there.  But did get into a mess of ladyfish, mixed in with a few more trout and spanish mackerel – which my clients were thrilled with!  The water temperatures should be reaching 70+ here soon and the tarpon are here, they will be much happier then.  If your interested in doing some tarpon fishing, March can be very good especially for the evening fishing – shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to let you know when will be good according to tides… which actually this week has favorable ones into sunset!

3-7-13 Key Largo Offshore Fishing Report

Well it’s been pretty chilly while March offshore fishing in Key Largo the past couple of days. This week has felt more like a January week to be honest with you. The fishing trips lately have been decent, but the days have been decided by only a couple of bites! Sometimes its like that while Key Largo Fishing, you can be a hero or a zero by catching or missing the couple quality bites you get on a fishing trip. Bait was tough this morning, but after trying our 4th spot we had enough live bait to go put the kites up. After about 30 minutes we got a bite. Fortunately we hooked and landed the sailfish. I got some underwater video of the fish boatside and he swam off healthy. We tried for another hour after that but no more kite bites, so then we went and decided to catch some dinner fish. We “chicken rigged” about 15 lane snappers and after that finished off the day by releasing 7 or 8 barracuda. Yesterday we caught a few mahi and lost a few, as well as missing a pack of sailfish. Sometimes they can make you look foolish, and this group of fish got the best of us. In the afternoon we anchored down for some bottom fishing and caught a big margate, a nice yellowtail snapper, and then released about 6 black grouper, including a couple that would have been keepers if they were in season (shallow water grouper season is closed until May 1st). Before the temperatures dropped drastically the bottom fishing was good on the reef, we were catching plenty of yellowtail as well as a few mutton snapper. We also have been catching some cobia inside the reef following sting rays, about 1/2 the fish have been keepers and the rest have been throw backs. We had one monster a couple weeks ago that weighed 57 lbs! Offshore we also went deep dropping in 500′ of water, where it’s legal to keep certain deep water groupers, and we caught a nice 15 lb snowy grouper. Back on the reef we have also been having lots of fun with barracuda. We’ll probably stick it out on the reef the next few weeks for most our our key largo fishing charters, but hopefully we’ll hit up the humps for a couple days as well. So when you’re ready to go on your fishing trip shoot me an email and I’d love to get you out, it’s worth the 20 minute drive south!

Capt. Nick Stanczyk


Key Largo Cobia Fishing

Caught this massive 45 lb cobia last week in the key largo backcountry while fishing for large sharks, tarpon, and other beasts.  If your looking to target cobia, march is a great time as well as April in the gulf of mexico… many of these fish swarm on the wrecks and are much fun!  We had one tarpon bite this day too however unfortunately we did not hook him.  Key largo tarpon fishing in march should improve as the weather stabilizes and water temperatures rise.  We are in the middle of a cold front as of now which will likely slow the tarpon fishing down the next several days as well as other big fish.  However things like spanish mackerel in the gulf are possible, or redfish/snook/trout in the everglades.  Key largo spanish mackerel fishing could light right back up, I haven’t been doing it much lately but may be giving it a try this week.  We also caught a big hammerhead shark on this mentioned trip, as well as several smaller blacktip sharks, and a big 300 lb ‘mud marlin.’  You never know what you might get on a key largo fishing charter.  On this trip to we had plenty of rod bending action for trout, ladyfish, pompano, jacks, mackerel, and blue fish.  You see the ladyfish and such are good for bait for bigger things, and the trout and others are great table fare if you want to have a local restaurant cook your meal at the days end!  I’m looking forward to some march key largo fishing!