Fast start, slow finish this year. ICW was where it was at winter and fall with the offshore scene on fire during the spring and summer.
What with the thermocline (cold water eddy) inshore most of the summer the kingfishing was slow but the amberjack and cobia made up for it. We had many days of limit amberjack with a few kings and even some African Pompano thrown in. The Cobia stayed on the local artificial reefs within 20 miles of the beach most of the summer and again showed up when the water started to cool back down (it finally got over 80 deg by mid July -- it is normally in the 80's by mid May) in Sept. We had a decent kingfish bite in the fall through mid November. Bottom fishing was our mainstay during the spring and summer with the cooler weather catching limits of black seabass and a lot of short grouper on the half day trips and limits of vermillion snapper, lane snapper and a few grey (mangrove) snapper over 5 pounds. Red snapper is still closed and you can't keep away from them. We even caught them trolling live bait on a couple of occasions. Right now the bottom fishing is all but closed with NMFS saying there are not enough fish in the ocean to keep a few (this is pure political BS). Things will start opening back up in April.
Redfish and speckled trout fishing was very good this fall with many trips catching over 30 trout on a half day trip (had to play the tides carefully), now the trout have slowed a bit and the reds and flounder have made a strong showing.
If you want to catch Cobia and Amberjack (live bait trolling for Jacks and Sight Fishing for Cobia) April and May is the time to fish. Kingfish, sails, mahi-mahi and striking fish should be showing in force by mid May through August. Bottom fishing for seabass, grouper, vermillion snapper, triggerfish etc will open back up in April/May and will be on fire.
Book your trips as soon as your figure out when you will be on vacation to make sure you get the days you would like to fish.
Remember, I always give a cash discount (but you have to ask for it).
Tight Lines, Capt. Guy