Well 2023 has started as a warm one. It’s not even March and it’s already feeling downright hot here in Islamorada and the Florida Keys! But oddly enough the last couple of weeks have been calmer than usual in our archipelago. Usually this time of year it’s really blowing. Anyone who has fished in the Florida Keys knows that’s it’s generally windy, so this change has been nice. However, I’m hoping that wind is going to start cranking because a calm spring usually means a windy fall (In like a lamb, out like a lion) and that is not something we want. No sir, no hurricanes for me! Well, back to the fishing… With the warm and calm conditions it’s no surprise that the fly fishing for big tarpon in the backcountry has been pretty good, depending on the day. If this weather and water temperatures continue, it won’t be surprising if the big tarpon migration happens sooner this season. And while the big tarpon always get the attention, anyone who has fished with me previously knows that my favorites are juvenile tarpon and snook in the backcountry. The smaller tarpon are generally eager eaters, jump like crazy but unlike the big fish are quick to get to the boat and most importantly, quick to revive and release to fight another day. As we get into March and April I start looking for big snook. This time of year has been when customers have boated snook 20 pounds and up. That’s about as big as they get in Florida Bay and make no mistake, finding and getting one is about as hard as finding a Unicorn. But when it does happen… There is simply nothing better in my book. But then again… March is hands down the best permit month here. These fish will school up big time before heading offshore to spawn and if you hit it right, the fishing can be surreal. Other than that, our other finned friends Mr. Bonefish and Mr. Redfish have been around, but a bit tougher to find some days. I hope 2023 finds everyone well and I hope to see you down here!