According to everyone I have talked to, the winter fishing in the Keys backcountry has been extremely tough. The only thing that was consistently good was fishing for Spanish and snappers out in deeper waters of Florida Bay. Some of the tournaments for snook and redfish had very sub-par catches to win this winter.
Usually in the winter you can go up into the interior shallows in the Glades and have some of the best sight fishing of the year for big snook and reds. But for some reason this year there were waves of mullet in all of these areas. And mullet tend to root along the bottom stirring up sediment and sight fishing was impossible.
But now the good news. It always seems that periods of really tough fishing are followed by periods of fantastic fishing when conditions change. When the fish are in a funk, off their normal patterns and not feeding aggressively, they tend to make up for lost time when the weather breaks. This is the one time people won't be saying you should have been here yesterday.
I really look for this upcoming tarpon season to be fantastic after the rough winter. The Blue Moon Expeditions team is already finding some good tarpon fishing up in the Glades Back Country with the warm up finally coming on over the last week. It should be a sign of really good things to come.
Look for tarpon to show up in the Glades backcountry first. The dark bottoms of the glades interiors warm up faster than anywhere else. Then as it warms more you will have tarpon laying up in protected lakes in Florida Bay. As it warms a little more they will be all along the glades gulf coast lines and even showing in good numbers in the Keys bridge channels. My favorite time of year is almost upon us!