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October 2014 Islamorada/Florida Keys Fishing Report

Capt. Pete Rowney
October 23, 2014
Islamorada - Saltwater Fishing Report

Click to Enlarge Photo

Well it's mid-October and fishing has really heated up. The bait has arrived, the bait has arrived! It's a good thing because the past month was very up and down for me. Some days a hero, some days a zero. But last week I was all hero, thanks to Mr. Finger Mullet. I am so glad because something needed to change. Too many days of being surrounded by tons of tailing redfish that were moody and wouldn't eat. Sure, some of that moodiness can be attributed to fishing pressure, but when fish on every spot are responding in the same fashion, you know something is up. I know on those lockjaw days that if I resorted to soaking baits or live chumming like many guides do, my results would be different. But soaking baits isn't hunting for fish and live chumming takes the "sport" out of sportfishing. In fact, I wish guides would stop the practice of live chumming. It ruins spots. But enough of that, the bait has arrived, the water is cooling and fish are putting on the feedbag!

The arrival of the finger mullet is a cause for celebration. Finger mullet are just that, mullet the size of a finger. These mullet are not the same as the big daddies used to live bait tarpon. These juvenile mullet are mouth-sized morsels that every gamefish predator can get in their gullet, and in the Everglades backcountry that means redfish and snook. When you're on a shoreline watching finger mullet schools pushing along and being blown up and smacked by snook, you know you're in for some good fishing. The same goes for redfish. Sure, mullet muds are always a good place to look for reds, but finger mullet muds are a different story. Redfish with shoulders will be blasting finger mullet and in that dirty water, they're far easier to feed than in the clear stuff.

Bonefishing is still the same story. It's slowly improving. Key word: slowly. We're still along way to get back to what we had but at least we're moving in the right direction. Truth be told, if you can't put a fly or bait exactly where you want, in a wind, you will not be successful. This stands true with any type of sight fishing, but when you're only afforded limited shots, there is absolutely zero room for error. This is strictly black and white fishing. You can do it, or you can't. That's the reality of it.

I had a tough permit month. It seemed that every day we had to permit fish we were contending with clouds and wind. Tough spotting in those conditions but we had our shots. That's all you can hope for fishing for Mr. Rubber Lips.

Well, even though I have the day off the weather is perfect and I'm going to go chase some fish with the wife. Until next time. -Pete

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Fly fishing and light tackle guide serving Islamorada, the Upper Keys and Everglades National Park.

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121 Key Heights Dr
Tavernier, FL
Phone: 305-393-7773
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