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Islamorada, Florida is the Sportfishing Capital of The World! It was established in 1944, and over the years has been one of the most famous sportfishing destinations in the world! Islamorada also offers world class inshore and back country fishing providing a bountiful supply of Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Trout, Bonefish, Snappers, Groupers and much more. In this article we will take you to a few inshore and offshore hot spots that should be very productive while fishing in the Islamorada area.
-The running water of the shallows located just west (about 1 mile) of the south bridge is a scenario that can be capitalized on by fishing early and late and finding areas that will hold fish in the bright sometimes 85 degree water. Tarpon and big Jacks and Permit will bite furiously in potholes and channels with tide running. There are some Trout and a few Biguns here and there, but most of the great action is out on the flats. There is a great transition of bait to and from the deeper areas of the Whale Harbor Channel. Look for Tarpon, Snook, Permit and Sharks to be in good supply and willing participants.
-Around Shell Key and Shell Key Bank located just east (about 1 mile) has been big on big Tarpon this summer catching 130-140 fish regularly. Permit, big Barracuda, and different types of sharks can be found here year round as well. Be sure to use live baits including pilchards, crabs and finger mullet. White and chartreuse soft plastics, and bucktail jigs are always sufficient for this area.
If you can fill your livewell with pilchards, drift and live chum with them and you'll have a lot of fun with the blackfins at the Humps. Most will be small (4-8 lbs.), but you will find an occasional 10+ lb. fish. There's something about watching the tuna tearing through the water all around your boat that's just awesome.
You can also drift, mark fish, and use vertical jigs. This is especially effective in the late morning/early afternoon when the fish are down deep. If you like Amberjack fishing, mark them on the tops of the humps, drop down a jig and hold on.
You can troll with small lures (tiny feathers with 30 lb. fluorocarbon leaders trolled far back) for the blackfins, as well. Try to troll the outsides of the flocks of birds.
You'll find dolphin and wahoo there as well, but tuna is definitely the hot bite, especially this time of year. The Humps are most effective in the late afternoon and early evening.