Turkey week fishing

Hey Everybody! It’s Captain Drew Nobregas with another Islamorada Fishing Report! Lately we’ve had some picturesque Florida Keys weather with variable winds and the most vibrantly orange sunsets that seem to melt below the water line. To go along with it, the sunny 75 degree temperatures have kept most of my cold weather clothing in storage. I had two charters in the backcountry this week and went out offshore with some friends once as well. Bait was plentiful and the fish were active to say the least.

On my 6 hour trip last Monday we ventured out into the Gulf in search of Spanish mackerels. We caught anywhere from 30-40 fish from 2-6lbs with several nice trout and snappers mixed in. Following the mackerel blitz we put out a shark rod and caught two big lemons, one of which easily made the 200lb mark. Afterwards we ventured back to a few of the islands close to the Everglades National Park boundary that produced snook, juvenile goliath groupers, and more snapper.

The one day I went offshore this week there were ballyhoos for miles along the reef-line with frigate birds, pelicans, dolphin, mackerel, and sailfish actively feeding on them. Find the bait, and you will find the fish a wise man once said. That was the classic case here. We ended up catching one sailfish with 2 more missed opportunities and some beautiful mutton snappers up to 15lbs for dinner. We cooked up the snapper that evening on a cast iron skillet with butter and complete seasoning… it was knock your socks off delicious!

Around this time every year one of our transient captains makes his way down from now until Spring time by the name of Billy Chapman. Billy is an incredible fisherman who runs a 65’ Island boatworks called “Fishbone”. Billy and his mate Parker specialize in several day trips to the Bahamas, the tournament billfish series, and come down to the Keys mainly to target swordfish and sailfish. Although most of the time Captain Billy fishes out of Ocean City, Maryland his beginning fishing roots lie here in Islamorada. Billy was a mate and captain out of Bud n Mary’s for over 20 years before having the position he is in now. He has won countless big tournaments, caught several swordfish over 400lbs., and rarely comes back to the dock without some kind of spectacular day of fishing. While he’s here, Captain Billy is booking swordfish and sailfish trips until May. To get in touch with him you may call him directly at (305) 394-5305 or visit him at Fishbonefishing.com.

Tourist season is right around the corner and many of us fishing guides will be back to our regular routines of fishing daily. Until then, it’s the perfect time to book your trip to the Keys and experience the unoccupied restaurants, roads, and waters that we have to offer. Make sure to do your research beforehand and pick a reputable fishing guide that will help facilitate the fishing trip of your dreams!

Thanks so much for reading and remember… The tug is the drug and if you chum they will come!

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