We hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend and are ready to get back to fishing.
There have been some sailfish off the edge of the reef in 100 to 150 feet of water. The catching is not a ball of fire right now but should pick up following the next cold front that moves through.
Mixed in are a scattering of blackfin tuna along with plenty of king mackerel. Most of the kings are in the 10- to 20-pound class. Live pilchards and ballyhoo are your baits of choice.
The Atlantic wrecks are holding good numbers of amberjack and kingfish plus some good-size mutton snapper. Use the same baits you would for the sailfish.
Fishing on the reef, the patches and in Hawk Channel has been very good, with all varieties of snapper and grouper. King, Spanish and cero mackerel fill out the catches. Porgy and hogfish have been plentiful as well.
The waters at the bridges and in Florida Bay are teeming with mangrove snapper, porgy and hogfish. Shrimp and pilchards will do the trick.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just announced two closures in federal waters of the South Atlantic. According to NOAA, these closures are “necessary to protect the resource by limiting the amount of landings that exceed the recreational catch limit.”
Federal waters will be closed to the recreational harvest of hogfish and greater amberjack. Both closures took effect just after midnight today. The waters will reopen to hogfish at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on Jan. 1 and to amberjack at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on March 1. For more information or to let NOAA know your thoughts on these closures, click over to. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
The week’s best
It was one heck of a busy week at SeaSquared Charters, with all the boats hosting guests every day, sometimes twice a day.
The captains fished on the Atlantic reef and wreck areas as well as at the Seven Mile Bridge and in Florida Bay. Our guests caught all the snapper varieties plus groupers, kingfish, hogfish and porgies. We also did some catch-and-release shark fishing for blacktips, spinners and blacknose. Daily catch pictures are at Facebook.com/MarathonFishing.
Capt. Chris Johnson specializes in offshore, gulf/bay, reef/wreck, sailfish, shark and tarpon fishing with SeaSquared Charters in Marathon. You can reach him at (305) 743-5305, http://SeaSquaredCharters.com and http://Facebook.com/MarathonFishing.