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So what was it like to fish the Florida Keys after that mid-January historic cold front and the resulting fish kill we reported on this past March? Subscriber Shawn Taylor has a good idea, as he fished the backcountry around Key Largo with Captain Dave Wyss on January 31. Even then, two weeks after the big freeze, Taylor tells us conditions were less than ideal: The day started off windy with rain showers, he says, and it finished windy and cooler than normal.
Taylor says he knew before he got in the boat that the action was going to be slow. He tells us that he and his wife both offered to bait fish if the fly fishing was not productive. Not that the change in tactics did them much good, as the fish remained scarce: “My wife caught a puffer with the fly and I caught a couple of small muttons and a very small jack, all on 8-weight rods with Clousers,” he writes. “We did not do much better on shrimp, though I did hit one good fish that took me into the coral and broke off; we never saw it. We did see a couple of small tarpon roll and a small group of barracuda but we had no bites from any of them.”
Despite the slow fishing on this particular day, Taylor recommends Wyss as a guide, giving him an excellent rating in all categories except ability to communicate, where Taylor rated Wyss as good. “Dave was very pleasant to be with on the water, although, he was quiet about suggestions to us,” he writes. “When we asked if we were doing things right, he assured us that we were and that he would tell us if there was anything else we should be doing. I don’t know if he would be more helpful to less experienced anglers. You could tell that he was frustrated with the conditions.”
Taylor gives the cost of his trip as $525 for the day. Bring your own lunch and water, he notes.