January Key Largo Fishing Report

January is moving right along and we’ve finally gotten some legitimate ‘cold weather’ for the Florida Keys.  You may laugh at what we call cold but for us it is chilly!  The temperatures finally dipped into the low 60s several times now and looks like more chilly days are on the way next week.  There has been a lot of cloud cover, wind, and scattered rain to go with it which is very unusual for us – normally the cold winter air is super dry.  However ‘el nino’ is definitely affecting us here on the southeast coast of the US too believe it or not.  The fishing has really lit up though and the usual winter time specimens that love the colder weather have been abundant.  The last couple weeks I’ve ventured into the everglades quite a few times, making the 30 to 40 mile run to the mainland creeks and canals.  It’s been a long run but well worth it.  Action has been steady most days with a few banner days of landing 30 to 40 fish!  Fishing slow on the bottom with jigs on shrimp is the ticket, as when the water temps dip below 70 the fish don’t want to work hard for a meal.  We’ve had quite a few large size snook and big black drums, with plenty of smaller ones mixed in too.  The redfish have shown up a bit too and some sheepshead are in the mix as well.  The other day we had drums up to 25 lbs, and some snook in the 10 to 15 lb range!  Other than that there has been a good mackerel bite out in the gulf with the spanish feeding on fast moving shrimp jigged on light wire.  The patch reefs have been good on the ocean side for snapper, grouper, porgy, and hogfish.  January is a great time to fish and the bugs are not too bad on the cold days in the ‘glades so it is a perfect time for that.  Give me a shout if you are in the area.  If things warm up by February the big tarpon will be showing up soon after that and we usually start catching a few as early as the first week of February!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Author: Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Florida Keys Fishing Captain born and raised in Islamorada, FL!