Outdoors

Tuna and snapper are abundant but the Spanish mack fishery is slowing down

The Scott group from Eldersburg, Md., is fishing a few days this week with SeaSquared Charters. On the first two days, they caught kingfish and cobia in the gulf.
The Scott group from Eldersburg, Md., is fishing a few days this week with SeaSquared Charters. On the first two days, they caught kingfish and cobia in the gulf.

Now that the winds allow us to get offshore again, we're rewarded with a very good blackfin tuna bite, with a few dolphin mixed in.

The tuna are in the five- to 20-pound range, with the larger fish being taken on live bait, such as pilchards. For the dolphin, look for birds working the water surface or floating debris.

On the reef, there's a bounty of yellowtail snapper to be caught. Fish the 80- to 90-foot depths for the biggest of the species.

Amberjacks and mutton snappers are biting well on the wrecks. And there are kingfish, too, with some really nice ones at 20 to 40 pounds. To attract the heftier kings, use larger live baits such as bluerunners and pilchards.

There have been scattered sailfish sightings. This fishery will become more consistent toward the end of the month and into April. Live pilchards and ballyhoo work best.

Fishing for mangrove snapper at the bridges and in the bay remains respectable. In addition, there are still some Spanish mackerel to be had but this fishery is beginning to show signs of coming to an end.

Further out in the gulf, there are plenty of snappers and sharks plus an abundance of cobia.

The week's best catches

The SeaSquared boats have fished just about every possible venue this week.

Offshore, Capt. Alex Bell and Steve Steenstra put their anglers on blackfin tuna and dolphin on the Blue Magic. In the gulf, Capt. Jason Bell on the SeaSquared has been catching cobia and kingfish. On the reef and wreck areas, Capt. Wayne Burri on the Wayne's World has been loading up on snappers and hogfish. And Capt. Chris Johnson focused on the bridge and bay areas to catch mangroves and sharks for his customers on the SeaSquared Too.

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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