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Upper Florida Keys & Islamorada

Capt. Izzy Donatiello
September 13, 2000
Islamorada - Saltwater Fishing Report

The dolphin fishing has been real good. Monday, I had a regular customer of mine on board, With a well full of Pilchards; we headed off shore to look for some Dolphin. The fish have been under birds and debris. At about 10 miles, we hit our first school. I put out the lures and made a pass around the birds. We caught a small schoolie and lost another. I move further offshore in hopes of locating better fish. At 17 miles, we found some nice weed and birds working. We caught a better fish, but it was alone. We kept working the area in hopes that more fish would come through. Finally, I found a board. Trolling pass it ,I seen a Tripletail and some Dolphin under it. As soon as one of the lures pass it; we had a fish on. I pitched a hand full of baits over the side and the back of the boat was full of 8 to 12 pound fish. Because of the seas, we fished only one rod at a time. When we had enough fish; we headed in. Because of the wind and seas were picking up ; I came in at Tennessee Light and ran the bay back to the dock. This has been a typical day of Dolphin fishing over the past weeks; some days they are 16 miles off and other days 30. Just look for the birds.

The reef fishing has been good as well. I have been catching some nice Kingfish and Cero mackerel, The bottom bite over the weekend was off, I think in part to the dives looking for Lobsters. The week before, I was coming in with some nice Black and Red Groupers and also nice Mutton snappers. The Yellowtail bite is good, but the size of the fish has dropped off. Last week the Mangrove Snappers made their appearance. I had them up behind the chum bag about 10 days ago, the first time this year. Saturday, I caught them in 25 foot of water, some over 2 pounds. The big fish award goes to Mike Fernandez with a 100 pound Jewfish; he wrestled up from 90 feet of water.

I haven't been doing any Backcountry trips because the weather been too hot. However, I been Tarpon fishing late in the day. The Tarpon are biting the best I seen in years. It is not uncommon to have 6 or 8 fish in the air on a four hour trip. The other evening, I had a young guy from Scotland, Land a 100# fish close enough to the highway that people on land were video tapping the show.

Take a kid fishing before school opens; book a trip with a pro.


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Light tackle sportfishing in Islamorada Florida Keys. I specialize in live bait fishing for tarpon, trout, snappers and snook in Everglades National Park. I also fish for sailfish, yellowtail snapper, grouper and dolphin in the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Phone: 305-301-2701
Alt. Phone: 305-451-2521
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