Outdoors

Tuna is the target species right now

Marathon resident Marissa Sivyer, displays two of five hefty mutton snappers recently caught on an oceanside wreck off Marathon.
Marathon resident Marissa Sivyer, displays two of five hefty mutton snappers recently caught on an oceanside wreck off Marathon.

Get your chop sticks out for sushi because there are plenty of tuna in our offshore waters. Both blackfin and skipjack tuna abound from 20 miles offshore out to the humps, with the fish in the five- to 15-pound range.

Dolphin fishing is day by day. One day, you'll find nice-size fish in good numbers. The next, you'd swear there wasn't a single dolphin in the ocean.  This fishing should get more consistent as we move into October.

There's been a slight wave of sailfish coming through in areas from the reef out to 700 feet of water. These are typically small fish weighing fewer than 40 pounds, but they're still fun to catch despite their diminutive size. Try for them along the reef in the 100- to 300- foot depths, with live ballyhoo your go-to bait.

On the reef, fishing for yellowtail snapper is very good, with the largest fish found in the 70- to 80-foot areas. But there are plenty of keeper-size yellowtails in 30 to 40 feet.

There's still a smattering of mangrove snapper on the reef and we're starting to see mutton snapper again. The muttons will increase in numbers and size as we get deeper into the fall.

Back in Florida Bay, the mangrove population is ever-increasing, with some fish approaching three and four pounds. On the bay wrecks, there are lots of jack crevalle, Goliath grouper and sharks to keep the rods bent.

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.

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