Fishing Report 4/19/2015, by Chip Willimon

The fishing around Islamorada and the Everglades National Park has been on fire the last couple of weeks. The Blue Moon Expeditions team has been really busy running trips close to town and as far as you can go back up in the Glades. Captain Shafter has had a lot of fly clients lately and has been averaging 3 to 8 tarpon in the air per day. Think small for the tarpon flies. In the glades small black and purple flies on a 2/0 hook has been all that's needed. I think too many people think you need a massive fly for tarpon and it's just not true. The only big exception to this is when the fall mullet run is going on and the tarpon tend to be extremely size selective. In the clear waters of the keys, a small tan and pink pattern has been very productive.

The tarpon fly shots have included lots of laid up fish as well as early morning rollers. One day this week we saw pod after pod of tarpon migrating south out of the glades towards the Keys. This is a couple of weeks early for this big push of fish out of the glades but with the extremely warm April, it's not surprising. This means the fishing in and around the Keys is about to really heat up. I have 8 days straight coming up and can hardly wait.

On Captain Shafter's only spin trip of the week, they were tossing topwaters early in the morning in Florida Bay and landed a snook pushing 20 pounds! They also got the biggest tarpon of the year so far, it was pushing 180 to 190 pounds. The fish broke a rod they were testing and they had to quickly splice the main line to another rod...quite a feat with 190 pounds on the other end.

There have also been some good shots at migrating fish along the ocean side of the Keys. That fishery is about to really take off with all those fish pushing in.

As you can tell, tarpon are the star of the show and will be until Mid June. At that point the Glades will be going off and snook, redfish and permit will all take center stage along with the tarpon migrating north.