Specialty seasons:

Permit - average 20 to 40 lbs. spawn on our deep wrecks and rockpiles in April, May, and June. Unlike the rest of the year, they are very eager to take a live blue crab or properly placed crab pattern from the flyfishing enthusiasts. All permit are released but replica mounts are available and are surely the way to go.

Shark - more sharks are seen during the month of March than the rest of the year combined. Most being hammerheads in the 6 to 9 ft. range, but we are always ready the mako or tiger.

COBIATailing condition - every year or two Islamorada experiences a condition of which the Gulfstream comes very close to shore accompanied with a stiff northeast wind it forces all pelagic fish to swim one to 6 ft. bellow the surface. Species included could be sailfish, blue marlin , cobia, dolphin, and shark. Although this occurrence is not predictable it offers some of the most exciting hands on fishing available.

Bait and Switch - Professional crews all over the world are using the bait and switch technique in bill fishing. The Gotcha practices this method of teasing a sailfish within 10 ft of the boat and having an angler present the bait. WHAT A BITE!

Sailfish - Are what everyone comes to Islamorada for in hopes of catching. With their amazing acrobatics and blazing speed these gamesters are targeted with 12 and 20 lb. spinning gear (In other words your average bass tackle) All sailfish are released with fiberglass replicas available.

Dolphin - (Mahi-Mahi) School size fish from 4 to 15 lb. Are sought after for their ravenous attitude well as their mild delicious flavor. When dolphin reach maturity, which is 16 lbs to well over 50 lbs they travel in groups of 2 to 10 fish and are the perfect sight fishing target.

Tuna - Although unpredictable, Islamorada has some excellent blackfin tuna fishing on our underwater sea mounds (humps) Tied tail to tail with any other species, the tuna will always prevail.

Snapper and grouper - Mutton snapper, yellowtail snapper and black grouper are our most sought after reef and wreck species. With the propoer conditions this can be an action packed day.

Wahoo - Known as the fastest gamefish in the Gulfstream, these speed demons are caught on live bait and spin tackle during the winter and high speed trolling with artificial lures during the summer. Their initial run will remind you why they are called WAHOO!

Amberjack - Are caught on sea mounts and wrecks up to 100 lbs. After a day of dealing with these bruisers your sleeves are sure to be too short.

See more about: permit | sharks | dolphin | snapper | grouper


Captain Mel Walker is docked at world famous Holiday Isle in Islamorada, Florida Keys.

Call him at 305-664-1540 or
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All photos and text © Capt Mel Walker