Offshore Fishing Report, Islamorada, Florida

Hey everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  It appears that the fishing is picking back up, as the Swordfish have been biting and the Mahi are starting to increase in numbers.   With the majority of the fleet fishing for Mahi today, it appeared that everyone did well and caught some really nice fish.  These fish are getting bigger as they migrate southward, and sure put on a show for our anglers, not to mention the great table fare that they bring.  Look for the Mahi fishing to continue to be good through the weekend.  The Swordfishing has picked up, but of course this is with help from the moon.  I would say that it should be decent through the weekend, but you can bet it will taper off as the moon weakens.  The deep dropping continues to be good as well as the humps.  The Tunas (larger ones) have been a bit frustrating in the inability to show themselves with consistency, but rest assured they are in the area.  There are some nicer ones on the Marathon Hump, but the sharks are so bad you can hardly get one past.  Hoping that these guys will show up on the 409 and Islamorada Humps soon, so we can get a good bite going no so far from Islamorada.  These 2 humps are holding fish, but they are smaller tunas.  There are still some Jacks and plenty of sharks around these humps as well. 

On the wrecks, the Muttons are still biting, and should continue for a while.  The night time bite has been best from the reports I have been getting, especially to the south.  Some nice Kings, Jacks, and a handful of Groupers have been keeping these areas honest too.  There have also been a few nice African Pompanos lurking these wrecks as well.  They have been pretty aggressive on the Cigar Minnows and Pilchards, so don’t be surprised if one takes your bait!

The reef has been plentiful as of late, with some decent Yellowtail Snappers and of course a ton of Mangrove Snappers.  The Mangroves are in full spawn right now, and are very hungry and willing to take your bait.  Current is the ingredient, and to get your chum behind the boat is what you are looking for.  Get a good slick going and it won’t be long before you see these guys behind the boat!  If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly.


Back Country Fishing Report, Islamorada, Florida

We have something here in Florida that Texas does not, Louisiana does not , Alabama or Georgia Do not.  What am I talking about?   Of course Snook, Lots of Snook a generous number of Snook are spread out throughout Florida and surrounding bodies of water.  Pick your Spot and chances are they are there.  The question becomes Pilchard, Pinfish, Shrimp, Artificial, or Fly, It’s all good.  A complimentive amount of Redfish are available also, and those who are willing to put in the time some are on the flats and some in the moats as well.  And the hits just keep coming with the mangrove snappers, just crazy good number of them, everywhere you go.  Not to be shadowed, the bite is still on with the Tarpon, but the chew is almost exclusively nocturnal.  Some very good reports of Permit as well, Calm weather helps everybody scouting about for them.  The numbers of Shark seem to be down, but burn the chum and keep baits in the water and they will come mostly Blacktips as of late.  Who does not like to catch those nimble, but crazy acrobats of the shark world?  I have seen and have heard reports of some really nice Cobia, very uncharacteristic   for this time of year, but hey what the hey, I will take it.  Any ways pick your poison something is biting like usual here in Islamorada.

There are lots to do and lots to catch, and Fun to have, no matter what the weather. Backcountry Fishing Report provided by Captain Ron Brack (305)393-7448, out of World Wide Sports Bayside Marine, Islamorada Florida. If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip for your adventure today.


Offshore Fishing Report Islamorada Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  What a busy week down here as the annual Lobster Mini-Season has officially begun.  There are a ton of boats running around down here, so if you are coming down this weekend, be careful.  I am sure the traffic will subside a bit, but I am sure there will be more than usual.  Just a heads up for all of you planning on making your way down.  As for the fishing, another outstanding week we have going for us here in the Keys with some really nice Mahi coming through.  Still a good number of larger fish, with some Slammers mixed in.  Looking for this to improve for the next few weeks I will say, as these guys look to really be getting the southward migration in full swing.  As these fish travel back from the Carolinas, they are going to be growing rapidly as they eat everything in sight.  This is the beginning of one of the best times of the year for these guys, as we really start seeing large schools of these larger fish.  If you are going to head out, be sure and try and get some livies, as there is a lot of bait on the weeds, and these guys are taking full advantage of it.  You can also use a #4 or #6 sabiki and catch your own right off the weed or debris while out there.  It is really easy to do, and works almost as good as or better than anything out there.  Match the hatch as the old fly guys say, well….trust me it works.  The best of this fishing has been in the 15 to 20 mile range, so it isn’t too terribly far, and look for the nice organized current edges with weed in them.  This is where they are.  Don’t overshoot it either, as there hasn’t been much out past 900 feet or so.  A little further offshore the Swordfishing report is still a little slow, but as we approach this full moon, things will pick up.  A couple of the local captains have caught a few this past week, but nothing red hot by any means.  On the humps, the westerly humps have been the best, with smaller fish on the 2 out front of Islamorada.  Hoping this changes soon, but these guys are just not sitting still, and we are getting impatient.   Looking forward to some consistency with these guys.  Still some AJ’s and Almacos on these humps as well as a lot of sharks and barracudas.

On the wrecks, the Muttons have been decent as well as the Jacks and Bonita’s.  The same with the reef with the Yellowtail and Mangrove Snappers.  Pretty decent bite, as long as there is a little current and dusty water.  Not much changing in these areas or will it until something weather related happens or we get to the moon. Well, that is it for this week! Remember, If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly.


Offshore Fishing Report, Islamorada, Florida, World Wide Sportsman

Well, another exciting week here in the Upper Keys with some incredible fishing!  The way offshore report for Swordfish is still holding on as there have been quite a few caught this week from Marathon to Key Largo.  The calm seas have made it pretty easy for even the smaller boats to get offshore and give this fishery a shot.  A few nicer fish in the 250 range were caught this week, as well as several in the 80 to 120 range.  Most of the people I have spoken with are using Dolphin bellies, but one nice one was on a large squid.  In this area of 1600 feet or so all the way in to 500 feet the Dolphin have been solid, with some much larger fish this week.  Good numbers of Slammer Dolphin, and some really nice gaffer size fish have been caught yielding some really nice catches for the charter and recreational fleet.  Looking forward to what the weekend will bring.  The moon will be here on Saturday, so we will have to see how clear the sky will stay leading up to the weekend, as the fish will be trying to eat all night.  Hopefully, we will get some cloud cover during the night, and will make for some hungry fish during the day.  Plenty of weeds out there as well, with a lot of bait on them.  I highly recommend catching some live bait if going Dolphin fishing.  They haven’t been eating the dead stuff very well, or for very long.  On the bottom, the tilefish and Porgies are still biting on the chicken rigs, so this is another option as well.  On the humps, the Blackfin Tunas are still around, but the bigger one’s seem to be staying to the west.  Smaller footballs seem to be teeming on the humps to the South and East.

The wrecks have been doing well with some nice Mutton Snappers, Jacks, and a handful of Kingfish and Groupers.  This will probably tail off a bit when the moon gets here, but the early bird will definitely get the worm.  The reef has been productive with some really nice Yellowtail Snappers, and the Mangroves are here.  The night bite for Mangroves has been INSANE, and should only get better with the moon this weekend.  The Permit fishing has slowed tremendously on the offshore side, which is typical by now, but there are still a few around the wrecks.  The Grouper fishing has tailed off as well, but if you try the deeper parts of the reef, or tight to structure you will probably get a few shots.

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly.


Backcountry Fishing Report, Islamorada Florida


Clear Skies, Calm Winds, Placid Waters….  Fish Biting.  Seems all too good to be true, and 24 hours can change a lot, but right now for the past six to ten days all is well in the fishing department.  The only thing keeping Tarpon fishing from being better is lack of bait, well at least mullet.  Maybe that is why the bite is on, and there is less traffic too, and the night bite is as good now as it has been all year!  We are still maintaining a Mangrove Snapper bite as good as many of us have ever seen.  They are everywhere (how awesome is that).  Speckled Trout on the edge of the gulf and in the shallow water on the fringes are plentiful, but numbers are down in the inner bays and islands.  Flamingo is healthy the water is clear with just enough Tanis and silt to keep the color right.  Plenty of junior sized tarpon and healthy redfish numbers on the flats and moats.  Also good solid numbers of redfish further east as far as trout creek.  Being this calm also helps everyone find Permit as well and their being caught on the ocean and flats and the gulf.  And speaking of the gulf everybody can get out there now with calm seas, Cobia, Permit, Pompano, Snapper out the Wazoo and our beloved Goliaths.  Sounds like from what I have heard the Bonefish aren’t bad either, I can picture that with the great weather.  Yall Catchem-up

There are lots to do and lots to catch, and Fun to have, no matter what the weather. Backcountry Fishing Report provided by Captain Ron Brack (305)393-7448, out of World Wide Sports Bayside Marine, Islamorada Florida. If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip for your adventure today.


Offshore Fishing Report Islamorada, Florida

Welcome back everyone to this week’s report!  Offshore fishing is still on fire, as the Mahi’s are cooperating rather nicely!  Pretty much all you want with nicer school Mahi and some larger one’s mixed in, so there is a pretty good variety on size.  The Swordfishing offshore has been pretty good as well, with mostly fish in the 80 to 100 pound range, with a 200 or 300 pounder mixed in.  A little closer in on the humps, the larger Tunas have made an appearance, so we will see how long they stick around.  For now, it appears that they might be here finally for the summer.  In the rips the Tilefish are still biting, and some really nice Porgies mixed in there with them on the shallower side.

On the wrecks, the Mutton Snappers continue to bite as well as the Jacks and Kings.  There have been plenty of Bonita’s and a few Blackfin Tunas mixed in with them.  Plenty of Sharks on these as well.  The reef has been on fire with really nice Yellowtails and Mangrove Snappers.  Some really nice Groupers and a handful of Muttons as well.  Still Ceros mixed in the chum slick with a few Bonita’s to round out the catch.

Bait fishing on the patches has been fairly consistent with a lot of Ballyhoo, Cigars, Blue Runners, and Sardines.  Sabiki rigs have been getting it done with ease, in case you can’t throw a cast net, just bring plenty of chum and sand and you will be fine.

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly



Offshore Fishing Report Islamorada Florida, World Wide Sportsman

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  Looks like another fine week of fishing here in the Upper Keys, and it should continue right into the weekend!  Everything has been hot this week as way offshore the Swordfish continue to bite!  Not a lot of really big ones, but several in the 125 to 175 range were brought in for some great table fare.  Along with this, the Dolphin bite continues to be incredible, with the fish starting to get bigger in numbers and size.  The bite ranged this week from 550 to 1500, so look for this to be a lot of fun this weekend.  The weather looks as if it is going to remain really nice as well, so get your crew together and get on out!  The deep dropping was great this week as well, as the current has slowed a little making it possible to catch some nice bottom dwellers.  The humps remain active too, with Blackfin Tunas and Amberjacks still willing to cooperate.  Plenty of sharks still around these areas as well.


The wrecks have been very productive after the moon with the Mutton Snappers, and there are still some nice Kingfish around them as well.  Plenty of Jacks of all flavors and some sharks willing to take a bait as well.  Don’t forget about the deep fish on these guys like the Vermillion and Yellow Eye Snappers…not to mention the great table fare the Porgies bring.  These guys are willing to take a piece of squid on the chicken rig, and make for some of the best eating.  Let’s not forget about the Permit on these wrecks.  There are still several schools patrolling these areas so bring a few crabs and try your luck!


The reef is setting up to be absolutely perfect for the remainder of the week as the water has started to get a little dirty with good current to the NE.  These Southeast winds in the forecast should make for some great Yellowtail fishing, and really help out with the Grouper bite.  Even a few Sailfish have started to show up this week, and we just might get a little push from those fish that have been above us.  The usual Mackerels are in the area as well, so plenty to keep you busy.


Well, that is it for this week!  Remember,  If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!


Backcountry Fishing Report Islamorada


What seemed to be endless wind, has given way to calmer days and summer is upon us warmer water , warmer everything. The fish have sustained through it all.  Although they never leave sometimes it seems like an endless abundance, and other times you can’t buy a bite.

Anyway the only thing that keeps the Tarpon from biting better is what seems like the entire ocean is full of Sargasso weed and it interferes with keeping baits in the water. All the Guides bay fishing are having no trouble catching plenty of Snapper and or Trout, lots of Snapper plenty of Mangroves at the bridges around the islands and on the wrecks seemingly everywhere.

Redfish are plenty for those who put their time on the flats. The very low water levels are pushing in some into some creeks, cuts and moats. The old Linesiders (Snook) are available, but seemed to bite better earlier in the year, but are still making a showing, and obviously will be back around to normal anytime.

Permit can be found for those who spend the time, although the numbers seem low. With calmer seas it seems more folks are straying out to the gulf and really enjoying outstanding rod bending action with jacks, Sharks, Goliaths Grouper and an assortment of fish just waiting to put a Smile on a Face.

There are lots to do and lots to catch, and Fun to have, no matter what the weather. Backcountry Fishing Report provided by Captain Ron Brack   (305)393-7448, out of World Wide Sports Bayside Marine, Islamorada Florida.  If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip for your adventure today.



Offshore Fishing Report Islamorada

Hey everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful….I mean fishing!  Actually, we have gone every day since our last forecast, and it has been great!  What a Mahi bite we have going on down here, and it slid right on through with the moon, so we are very happy to say the least.  Lots of Mahi action from 450 feet to 2600 feet.  Sets of birds are everywhere, and it hasn’t taken us long to get the job done!  Not much on a Swordfish bite the past few days with the wind being up, but rest assured with the calm winds in the forecast for this weekend, that there will be a few caught.  Deep dropping has been nearly impossible this week, as the rips have had around 4 knots of current going over them, so got to wait for it to slow down.

The wrecks have been doing well with the Muttons, as one day we caught 10 really nice one’s and some Groupers.  They were all in spawn mode, so they are finally doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Some Kings are showing up already as well, so in addition to all the sharks there is plenty to stay busy with.  The reef is still producing really nice Yellowtails, and a handful of nice Black and Gag Groupers.  Mixed in with some Yellow jacks, Muttons, and Cero Mackerels it really makes for a fun trip.

Really looking forward to this weekend, as the weather is really supposed to get nice and the fishing is really good.  Oh, I almost forgot, some nicer Blackfin Tunas moved in early this week as well, so we are hoping that this will get a little more interesting.  Well, that is it for this week!  Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321  out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida.  I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat  responsibly!


2013 Gold Cup Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament

The 50th anniversary of the longest continuously running Tarpon Fly Fishing Tournament yielded extreme competition this past week in Islamorada, FL. For five straight Days 25 seasoned anglers fought to earn the most accumulated points.

Rand Holstead and Capt. Brian Helms

Angler Rand Holstead from Houston, TX. and Captain Brian Helms of Islamorada pulled through with 3 weight fish and 9 release fish scoring 4504 points to become the 2013 Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament Grand Champions. The winning combination of Holstead and Helms coming fresh off their Hawley Tournament win proved once again that they are team that is hard to beat. Tarpon are caught, measured, and released throughout the five‐day Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament. Weight of the tarpon is calculated through a formula based on length and girth with a 70 pound minimum required to qualify as a weight fish. Release fish count if they are four feet or longer.

First Runner‐Up Angler Charles Duncan III from Houston, TX and Captain Rob Fordyce caught 3 weight fish and 6 release fish totaling 4266 points. One of those weight fish was the Largest Tarpon caught for the week, weighing in at 121.4 pounds. Second Runner-­Up Angler Julian Robertson from New York, NY. and Captain Joe Rodriguez scored a total of 4259 points from 3 weight fish and 6 release fish. Angler Michael Criscola from Fair Haven, NJ. fishing with Captain Paul Tejera caught 12 releases to win the Most Releases Category. Trophies included sculptures by Roger Fowler ( and original artwork by Jorge Martinez.

The biggest privilege of being Grand Champion is having your name added to the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament’s perpetual trophy which is showcased at World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada, FL. Rand Holstead and Captain Brian Helms will have theirs added for the first time. The 50th anniversary was an extra special week for the Grand Champions since the awards banquet was also a tribute to the history of the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament. The exclusive banquet took place at Morada Bay Beach Café where a video presentation by Waterline Media portrayed the evolution and significance of the tournament over the past 50 years.

Past anglers such as Boyd Walker were interviewed and showcased in the video while guest speakers, past Champions Glen Flutie and Capt. Steve Huff spoke to the audience about the importance of keeping the tournament alive. The 51st annual Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament will take place on June 16-­‐20, 2014.


Mako Fishing Funaments

YOU’RE INVITED!  Join fellow MAKO owners for a casual, relaxed weekend of friendly fishing competition, activities, dockside cookouts, and more.  Mark your calendars ― Sept. 19-22 in Islamorada, FL, and Oct. 10-13 in Fort Myers, FL.  Visit for event and registration details.  It’s going to be a great time!

Mako Fishing Funaments


Snook Season to Re-Open this Fall

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reviewed and discussed the snook populations on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts and decided to allow recreational harvest to re-open this September. The Gulf of Mexico snook fishery had been closed for snook harvest since early 2010 after a record setting cold snap took it's toll on the population, particularly juvenile snook on the Gulf side. Gulf recreational harvest re-opens Sept. 1, one-fish-per-person, per-day bag limit, the 28- to 33-inch total length slot limit and the two annual closures in Gulf waters, which are from Dec. 1 through the end of February and May 1 through Aug. 31..Everglades Snook

Anglers are urged to treat these truly special fish with respect and immediately return any fish that are not going to be harvested.


39th Annual Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament

Greetings from Worldwide Sportaman in Islamorada, Florida. The second event of the "triple crown" of tarpon flyfishing tournaments was completed last week.The 39th Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament kicked off with a rules meeting and dinner at Ziggie and Maddog’s on Sunday, June 2nd. The tournament had 22 entries vying for the title of Grand Champion in releasing the most tarpon over 4 feet on fly using either 12 pound tippet or 16 pound tippet. During the 5 day tournament, the teams released a total 82 tarpon despite bad weather and in virtually no light conditions.

The first day of the tournament in the 12 pound tippet division, angler Carlos Duncan from Houston, Texas and Captain Rob Fordyce, the defending Grand Champion team from last year, came roaring in with 7 releases, followed by Greg Smith, another Texan from Laguna Vista and Captain Scott Collins with 4 releases. Angler Kevin Lyden of Charleston, S.C. with Captain Greg Poland took a commanding lead in the 16 pound tippet division with 5 fish released. Day 2 produced another round for the Texas boys with Rand Holstead of Houston, Texas and Captain Brian Helms turning in a score of 5 released fish. Ned Johnson from Charleston, S.C.  and Captain Andy Thompson were next, releasing 4 fish and Steve Ward of Coppell, Texas and Captain Paul Tejera with 3 releases as well as 3 fish for the Smith and Collins team. Days 3,4 and 5 saw a big reduction in the number of fish scored for all anglers and guides. The teams of Duncan/Fordyce, Holstead/Helms, Smith/Collins and Johnson/Thompson volleyed back and forth over the last 3 days trading places up until the last day.
Rand Holstead left, Capt. Brian Helms right
Texan Rand Holstead and Captain Brian Helms battled it out on day 5 to take the Grand Champion title by one fish! The team played hard and won with a total of 13 releases on 12 pound tippet. Carlos Duncan and Captain Rob Fordyce were named Champions of the 12 pound tippet division with 12 releases. 1St Runner Up went to Greg Smith and Captain Scott Collins for 11 releases, 2nd Runner Up team was Ned Johnson and Captain Andy Thompson with 8 fish scored. In the 16 pound division, Kevin Lyden and Captain Greg Poland stayed solid and won this division with 8 releases. Angler Keith Robbins of Seattle, Washington and Captain Jared Raskob claimed 1st Runner Up followed by Sam Kaufman from Evergreen, CO. and Captain Steve Friedman taking 2nd Runner Up. John Wilson from Tampa, Florida fished with Captain Camp Walker and took the Best New Angler Trophy. Best Other Fish went to Ned Johnson and Captain Andy Thompson for a permit on fly on day one.

The Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament began in 1974 as a way to raise funds for the Guide’s Trust Foundation, a foundation created to help support the Florida Keys guides in times of hardship and disability. It’s mission has remained the same for 39 years, to help the Florida Keys guides in need.

Next year’s tournament dates are June 1-6, 2014. For more info, please contact Betsy Bullard at


The 19th Annual Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament

Islamorada, Florida Keys

The 19th Outback Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament kicked off Sunday, May 19th at the Islamorada Fishing Club. Outgoing Tournament Chairman, Pat Ford of Miami, and incoming Tournament Chairman Dr. Steve Ward of Coppell, Texas, welcomed a 20 boat field by first presenting a $3,000.00 donation to IFACT Chairman, Kara Lundgren.  The Islamorada Fishing and Conservation Trust supports local fishing and marine conservation projects as well as providing scholarships to those going into the marine resources education programs.

Ward, Lundgren, Ford

The weather actually was very good through out all three days of fishing. The Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament is a large fish tournament, meaning that the bigger fish of 70 pounds and over will score more points. The smaller release fish of four feet and over all score 200 points but do not count unless a weight fish is scored.

Angler Julian Robertson from Kerikeri, New Zealand and local Captain Joe Rodriguez ran away with day one. They scored two weight fish and two releases for 2,300 points. High points on day two also went to Robertson and Rodriguez with another weight fish as well as two more releases for a total of 3,740 points. Day three high points went to newcomer Ryan Seiders from Texas and Captain Rob Fordyce with a weight fish and a release for 1,240 points.  

Julian Robertson and Captain Joe Rodriguez took over the entire tournament winning the Grand Champion title with a final scoring of three weight fish and seven releases for 4,340 points. The team walked away with David Wirth sculptures, a custom fly reel by Tom Kapusta and a custom fly rod from Randy Towe Signature Series Fly Rods. The team also claimed the Billy Pate Memorial Largest Tarpon Award with a 108 pound tarpon. Captain Rodriguez guided Robertson to High Point Trophies on day one and day two as well as the Most Releases trophy with seven fish released.


Capt. Joe Rodriguez, Left  Julian Robertson, Right

First Runner Up Trophy went to Ryan Seiders and Captain Rob Fordyce with two weight fish and three releases for a total of 2,660 points. Seiders and Fordyce grabbed the High Point Trophy for day three as well as the Newcomer Award. Second Runner Up went to angler Rand Holstead of Houston, Texas and Captain Brian Helms with one weight fish and four releases for a total of 1,800 points. Third Runner Up was Ned Johnson from Charleston, S.C. and Captain Andy Thompson with one weight fish and two releases for 1,145 points.

The 20th Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament will be held May 18-21, 2014. For information please email Betsy Bullard at




Giant Tarpon Caught in the Florida Keys!

Greetings form Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada, Florida! Big tarpon are here and fishing has been very good and getting better.  Atlantic, bayside and channel anglers have seen lots of fish and with water temperatures rising, the number of catches has increased. This tarpon was caught by Josh Jackson, fishing with Ben Ekblom of Ekblom Fishing Charters.

264 Pound Tarpon

Tarpon in Florida must be released unless you possess a "kill tag". Estimates of their weights can be made by measuring the length and girth of the fish; length times the girth squared, then divide by 800. This formula has proved to be very accurate. This fish was released after measuring the length at 88 inches and the girth at 44 inches. Do the math and this fish weighs 264.11 pounds! WOW. Congratulations, Josh!

Fly anglers have been getting hooked up on the flats with a variety of flies. Primarily purple and black patterns early and late in the day and yellows, tans and chartreuse during the middle of the day. The palolo worm "hatch" is upon us. The full moon will provide prepared fly fishers with a bonanza of tarpon activity around certain channels for the next few days. Next months new moon should be a good time to catch the "hatch" as well. The hatch or more appropriately, "mating swarm" event is a dusk and after dark affair but a lot of anglers are throwing worm patterns during the day as well. Come on down and enjoy some of the best fishing of the entire year!


17th Annual Jim Bokor Islamorada All Tackle Bonefish and Redfish Shootout

17th Annual Jim Bokor Islamorada All Tackle Bonefish and Redfish Shoot Out

Islamorada, Florida Keys, March 12-15
   The 17th Annual Jim Bokor Islamorada All Tackle Bonefish and Redfish Shoot Out kicked off on March 12th at the Islamorada Fishing Club. With nine boats entered and anglers from as far away as Wisconsin, Texas and New York, all were excited to add redfish to this long running bonefish tournament. In the new rules, a “slam” consisting of a redfish and  bonefish combo would be the ticket to winning either Grand Champion or Runner Up Grand Champion. All other points would determine the winner if there was a tie.
   Wednesday started the tournament with clouds and wind as the boats took off from the Lorelei.  Two bonefish and eight reds made the board on day one. Thursday,  with colder temperatures, posted more fish with two bones and thirtynine redfish scored. Friday gave even a colder start to the day and high wind but the tournament was still open for anyone to win.  The tournament ended with 93 redfish scored along with only 6 bonefish.  Local angler Rob Preihs and Captain Brian Gwilliam took the Largest Redfish Award with a 28.3 inch fish as well as the Most Released Redfish  Trophy for 20 reds released.

Captain Chuck Schaftstall, middle, Jim Bokor, Sr. and left, Jeff Parrish.


The Largest Bonefish Award went to angler Jeff Parrish of Buffalo, New York , fishing with Captain Chuck Schaftstall,. Their bonefish measured in at 26.7 inches. Jim Bokor, Jr. , from Williamsville, New York, and Captain Jared Raskob took the honors for Most Bonefish Released with 2 bones on time. Bokor, Jr. and Captain Raskob also captured the Bait Bonefish Division Award. Dennis Fikes of Kingwood, Texas, and Captain Dave Borras, won the Artificial Redfish Division.
   The Runner Up Grand Champion Award went to the team of Jim Bokor, Jr. and Captain Jared Raskob with 2 Slams for 500 points and 375 points in other categories. The Grand Champion honors went to angler Jeff Parrish and Captain Chuck Schaftstall. The winning duo compiled 2 Slams for 500 points and took the champion title with 400 points.

For information on next year’s tournament, please contact Betsy Bullard at


Peacock Bass Without a Passport

Greetings from Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada, Florida! We have been having some fun in the Everglades lately. We get spoiled by all the trophy saltwater fish but occasionally, we like to get back to our freshwater "roots". Fishing the South Florida canal system can provide a fun diversion. We have an interesting array of species avialable including Largemouth Bass, Peacock Bass, Snakeheads and several types of Tilapia and Cichlids. The Peacock Bass were stocked intentionally to control the population of invasive Spotted Tilapia. In addition to successfully controling the Tilapia, the Peacock Bass did not adversly effect the Largemouth Bass and provided a wonderful opportunity to catch these beautiful and hard fighting fish without a having to travel to South America.

Peacock BassPeacock Bass 2









As you can see, this little guy ate a size 6 Clouser Minnow made with Supreme Hair. They may not be the 20 + pound monsters that destroy heavy tackle in the Amazon, but they are big fun on light fly tackle. I had been enjoying catching these 1 to 3 pound fish on a 6 weight fly rod when I noticed a 40 pound class tarpon come rolling up to the suface for a gulp of air. I have also seen some big snook in these canals as well. I decided to take along a 9 weight instead of the 8 as a second rod. Andrew's Peacock Bass

Peacock Bass will take topwater baits and flies but sub surface offerings have worked more consistantly for us. There are also a lot of Largemouth Bass in these canals as well. If you decide to throw plastic worms, you will do well with the bucket mouths but not as well with the Peacocks. You will need some insect repellant, as dusk is a great time to fish but you will receive hundreds more bites from bugs than from fish if you do not protect yourself! You should also be advised to watch where you step while fishing the banks on foot. The Everglades are famous for thier reptiles and they don't like being stepped on. You will likely have crocodiles watch you fish but they have yet to threaten us, they're just curious onlookers that add interest while fishing.


Islamorada Flats Fishing, January 2013

Greetings from Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada, Florida. This winter has been very mild but occasionally windy. While the rest of the US is getting snow, we're getting hooked up to a menagerie of fish. Redfish continue to dominate the list as the most caught spieces but baby tarpon, big snook, gator sea trout and bonefish have been doing well too. A few permit have been spotted on the flats, particularly in the lower Keys. We will see more permit on the flats closer to the spring. This time of the year we have migrating piscene visitors too. Spanish mackeral, bluefish, wahoo, kingfish, big Jack crevalle, big cobia and our favorite, sailfish are bending rods throughout the Florida Keys.

Last week we found the redfish rather skittish and tough to feed but we're sure they'll be back in the mood soon. Captian Todd Monson of Out of the Blue Charters, based at Worldwide Sportsman's Marina,  found some willing reds recently.


Capt. Todd Monson Redfish         Capt. todd Monson Redfish on FlyThe Pole/Troll Zone around Snake Bight in Everglades National Park has reduced noisy boat traffic and improved the sight fishing opportunities and Todd's clients have been reaping the benefits.













BIg spotted sea trout have been caught in Florida Bay as well. Crusing the flats, "lakes" and "mullet muds", they have been eating plugs, soft plastics, bait and flies.

Capt. Todd Monson TroutTarpon averaging 50 pounds are being caught in the channels and some canals.  Babies averaging about 7 pounds are cruising bayside coves and mangroves. There are some big tarpon in the Everglades but they have been tough lately like the redfish. Longer days and changing barometers should put them back in the mood. Seriously consider giving yourself a break from dancing with the snowblower and come on down to enjoy the warm weather and watersports wonderland that makes the Florida Keys world famous. We thank you for your interest and look forward to meeting and outfitting you here at Worldwide Sportsman in the Sportfishing Capital of the World, Islamorada, Florida!















Fish Fryer Promotion at Worldwide Sportsman

Greetings From Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada, Florida. We have been enjoying beautiful weather while most of the country has been cold and snowy.

this weekend we decided to promote our fish fryer kit sale outdoors. Sales associate Dan Ferguson volunteered to host our demonstration featuring the

Bass Pro Shops Propane Cooker with Aluminum Pot. It features a 58,000 BTU cast iron burner, 10.5 quart aluminum pot, strainer basket, 18" tall base and 5" thermometer.

This kit retails for $49.99 but is on sale for just $39.97. Cajun Injector's Turkey Gold 3 gallon cottonseed oil is also on sale for $24.97, regularly $36.99.

Fish Fryer Demonstration

Dan treated our guests to Uncle Buck's Hushpuppies and fresh Dolphin with panko or Uncle Buck's Hot and Spicy Fish Batter Mix.

They also got to sample Uncle Buck's Flaming Bass Habanero Sauce for an extra kick. Fortunately, there are frozen margaritas available at the Islamorada Fish Company,

only 40 feet away, to soothe the hot sauce burn. You just can't beat freshly fried Dolphin and hushpuppies at the shoreline of Florida Bay an a beautiful Saturday afternoon!

We're excited to see what's on the menu for next weekend.



Offshore Fishing In Islamorada November 2012

Greetings from Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada, Florida! We ahve been getting a steady dose of North winds ever since the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy grazed us. Temperatures have dropped earlier than normal and with the North winds, that means SAILFISH! These beautiful fish are one of the most sought after species in Florida waters. Once hooked, sailfish provide hard pulling, long runs with the most spectacular air shows in all of sport fishing. They can be caught by pitching live bait while sight fishing, trolling or kite fishing. They can also be caught on flies!Andrew's First Sailfish

Andrew, pictured on the right, is our newest Group Sales Manager here at Worldwide Sportsman. He caught this sailfish with Captain James Chappell of Catchalottafish Charters, based here at our marina. Since this sailfish was Andrew's first, James had the distinct pleasure introducing Andrew to the tradition of being thrown overboard after landing it.

Captain Marc Toledo of All Lit Up Charters is pictured below with a big Atlantic sailfish caught on a cool day recently. It is a rare occasion to get a picture of Marc wearing long pants! Sailfish in the Florida Keys like cool blustery weather, so be prepared for sloppy conditions to take advantage of fired up sails and you will not regret going out.

Capt. Marc Toledo, All Lit Up!

With the plentiful wind and bait, kite fishing has been the answer for consistent sailfish action. Pilchards and Goggle Eye have been the baits of choice.

Reef fishing has also been good. Snappers, groupers and Kingfish have been caught in good numbers. This Mangrove snapper showed up in Capt. Paul minning's chum line and ate a live pilchard. The Yellowtail Snappers have been eating well and filling coolers as well.

Mangrove Snapper 11/12Yellowtail Snapper 11/12














Calmer, warmer days are forecast for the next week or so. Come on down to the Florida Keys and enjoy some of the best fishing of the year. The holidays should provide great fishing on the reef and beyond for big smiles, full coolers and life-long memories. We have the tackle, bait and charter services you need here at Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada, the "Sportfishing Capital of the World".