Keys Fishing Surprises

By: Terry Gibson


Reading Capt. Nick Stanczyk’s offshore fishing report for the upper Keys made me smile. I've fished with him several times out of Bud N’ Mary’s Marina, in Islamorada.

How many times have we all gone fishing in pursuit of one species and lucked into something unexpected? That happens a lot in the Fishing Capital of the World, especially in the Keys, where tropical waters produce such a tremendous diversity of fish.

Recently, Nick went offshore on a daytime swordfish trip. His party fought one of about 150 pounds almost to the side of the boat when the hook pulled. But the day wasn’t over, and I bet they’ll come back to seal the deal on a giant swordfish.

I’ve fished with Nick for swords and sailfish. This young captain has eagle eyes and is poetry in motion on the deck. On the way in from swordfishing that day, he spotted a floating board that was covered in a unique species, tripletail. These fish fight hard, leap acrobatically and in terms of table fare they have few competitors.

This time of the year, thanks to the tradewinds, the Gulf Stream Current brings lots of surprise presents into fishing range. These include tripletail, pictured here, mahi and cobia, among others. If you head out offshore with a great captain like Nick, help him a keep a lookout for the “signs” that read “fish.” You will be pleasantly surprised.

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