The winter months are always unpredictable in the Florida Keys. Although I can guarantee you some of the prettiest weather in all of the United States for that time of the year, you just never know when a front will roll through and limit your fishing options for a couple days. (Above you can see a picture of a front about to roll in on us. It is an amazing sight to see!) With the fronts come north winds and temperatures in the mid 60s upward. The days after the front offer warming water temperatures and low wind. This combination can make for some of the most comfortable fishing conditions we have all year.
This past December, water temperatures struggled to get high enough for tarpon to float up in numbers where we could sight-cast them with a fly rod. However, towards the end of the month we finally had the right conditions and managed to land a beautiful, first-time tarpon on fly, for a young man from New Jersey. December was a month of firsts. We also managed to land a first-time bonefish for my good friend and client from Colorado.
Some days the weather just will not allow you to target the trophy species that some people insist on going for. Having a flexible client this time of the year is such a blessing. Although certain weather conditions may prohibit you from targeting bonefish, tarpon, or permit; there are still plenty of other fun species to target. Paul and his father fished with me just before Christmas. Unfortunately the water was still just a couple degrees off from where we wanted it to be to target tarpon. Instead of beating our heads into the ground trying to catch a tarpon, we ran to the backcountry of Islamorada and had an absolute blast catching dinner for the rest of the family that night.