Outdoors

Big bulls sticking around longer than expected

Angler Rene Lemue and mate Fred Dillon hold a 48-pound bull dolphin caught on Capt. Steve Leopoldâ™s Yabba Dabba Doo charter boat last week.
Angler Rene Lemue and mate Fred Dillon hold a 48-pound bull dolphin caught on Capt. Steve Leopoldâ™s Yabba Dabba Doo charter boat last week.

Can you say "Indian summer?" The dolphin bit very well again last week where many Upper Keys charter boats had 20 or more fish by day's end.  

Some boats had slammers up to 35 pounds and lots were in the gaffer category. Can you say El Niño? I don't know if that has anything to do with our extended summer style fishing or not, but hey, we'll take it!  

The Yabba Dabba Doo charter boat with Capt. Steve Leopold and his first mate Fred guided an angler named Rene to a great catch of dolphin, including a monster 48-pound bull.

There were a couple wahoos caught offshore both on current edges and on floating debris.

I am pleased to announce the sailfish have made an appearance at the edge of the reef. Not gangbusters yet, but there's a few around. Charter boat Cloud Nine had five last week in a single trip. That’s impressive for early/mid-November around the areas of the Upper Keys. 

Yellowtail and mutton snapper bit for most aggressive chummers anywhere from 60 to 100 feet of water when the current was running at the edge of the reef.  

Also offshore, there were some tunas around the hump and hump areas. Capt Nick Stanczyk caught several swordfish for a half a dozen trips to the deep. His anglers even caught seven during one of the trips as action continues in the Deep Woods for anglers aboard the BnM.

Backcountry fishing is still in transition. I would have to say though Spanish mackerel have started to make an appearance west of the park boundaries.  

Tarpon have been hit and miss. Captain Johnny Johanson had a corporate group with several other boats where each had great action chumming and jigging for Spanish mackerel.  

Both snook and snapper bit as well in areas of the backcountry last week. Captain Ted Benbow guided his anglers to some fantastic redfish and snook action last week near flamingo.  

There has been lots of mullet in Florida Bay recently of mixed sizes. Tarpon will take any size right now in general, but as is common for November, it shall be on their terms Indian summer or not. Catch 'em up!

Capt. Donald Deputy has been covering the sport of fishing in the areas of the Upper Keys for 15 years. Reach him direct at firstlightyachts@yahoo.com with your personal fish tales and photos.

 

 

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