Lobster and Fishing Report for Islamorada for September 2015

This is Capt. Brian McCadie coming to you from Robbie’s in Islamorada! I wanted to give you a quick report of the summer time activities we have to offer from fishing to lobstering and spearfishing.

This summer the offshore bite for dolphin and tuna has been as good as we hoped. Lots and lots of “schoolie” dolphin which are up to about 30 inches, plus a good number of “slammer” or 20 pound-plus fish are out there right now. On a normal day we are catching between 10 and 40 dolphin in addition to the blackfin tunas. As for the tunas, the number we catch is basically dependent on how much of our day we choose to spend fishing for them. They are located on a certain piece of structure about 18 miles from shore and they bite all day long. So the longer you fish for them, the more you catch. I usually throw 5-10 of them in the box before moving on and searching for dolphin.

That being said, sometimes people just want to catch and eat tuna so we spend the whole trip doing that. The size of the tunas we catch changes throughout the year and they get bigger in the fall than the summer. We are already starting to see this trend start. In the summer the fish are 5-10 pounds but it’s still early September and we are catching them upwards of 20 and even a few into the 30 pound range. You can expect this trend to continue through November.

Spearfishing is only getting more and more popular. I do quite a bit of it and this summer was no exception. Our main targets when spearing are hogfish, grouper, snapper and lionfish. Just the other day I took a family from Pennsylvania spearing and they got 8 big lionfish, 7 hogfish and also a handful of lobsters. Other notable spear kills this summer were a black grouper about 25 pounds, multiple mangrove snappers over 4 pounds and a very nice mutton snapper who weighed in at 11 pounds. Lionfish are very easy to spear and downright delicious but they don’t get that big. This summer my customers shot the biggest 6 I’ve ever seen. 18 inches was the top dog and we had 5 more over 17 inches.

This year hasn’t proven to be a banner year for lobsters, but we are still catching them well. Opening day it took us 2 hours to get to our limit of 24 whereas the year before it took half that amount of time. Now that the season has been in full swing for a month or so the numbers are getting a bit smaller. On a typical charter you can expect to catch dozens of “shorts” or lobsters that are too small and anywhere from 5-10 keepers. Not that we couldn’t hit a mother load and limit out (6 per person) but most trips have been creeping into the double digit range for the keepers. When we lobster if you are not a certified scuba diver we snorkel in spots that are 5-15 feet deep and catch the “bugs” with a net and tickle stick. It’s a ton of fun if you like swimming and snorkeling!
I look forward to fishing with you soon! – Capt. Brian