By the time you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve caught your limit of spiny lobster (the mini-season is today and Thursday) and are relaxing with your morning cup of coffee. Rest up and head back out for some seriously good reef and wreck fishing.
Mangrove and yellowtail snappers are feeding with a frenzy. The shallow areas in 30 to 50 feet hold the most mangrove activity plus plenty of keeper yellowtails in the 12- to 14-inch range. For the larger yellowtails, hit the deeper edge of the reef in 60 to 90 feet of water.
There are still some grouper that have not yet moved to the cooler depths. Most are short, but you may find the occasional keeper red or black. On the wrecks, there’s good action for big amberjacks and jack crevalles plus a few mutton snappers here and there.
Offshore, the dolphin bite has trickled to a pick of fish, with some anglers finding a few but most finding none. And there are still some tuna mixed in, mostly skipjacks with some blackfins, as well.
The flats guides report good action on small tarpon, permit and bonefish. If you need some guide recommendations, give us a call.
In Florida Bay, there’s plenty of shallow-water shark fishing. Right now we’re catching lemons primarily, with blacktips/spinners adding to the excitement. Barracuda round out the fun catch-and-release fishery.
The week’s best
The SeaSquared boats took advantage of the awesome snapper bite on the reef. Our guests came back to the dock with mangroves, yellowtails and muttons. A couple of black grouper were in the mix.
Shallow-water shark fishing added excitement. And with family vacations in full swing, many of our groups chose our Fun Day Charter in which they combine fishing, swimming and snorkeling.
Papa would be proud: Returning Hemingway Days champs along with new friends (Fred Johnson, Dave Hemingway, Pat Lanier, John Stubbins, Michael Groover, Tom Grizzard) were hooked up fast with Capt. Kevin Wilson and Knee Deep Charters. They limited out on yellowtail snapper by 9:15 a.m..
On another outing with Wilson, the Marx family from Monroe, La., was up and off the dock before the roosters. They triple teamed up and took turns fighting an eight-foot bull shark, releasing it unharmed after 45 minutes. They finished up the catch with a triggerfish and their limit of snapper.
Capt. Chris Johnson specializes in offshore, gulf/bay, reef/wreck, sailfish, shark and tarpon fishing with SeaSquared Charters, docked at Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club in Marathon. You can reach him at (305) 743-5305, http://SeaSquaredCharters.com and http://Facebook.com/MarathonFishing.