Fishing

The reef and wrecks are where to be

The Ottomanelli family from Melbourne had a great trip with Capt. Alex Bell and SeaSquared Charters. They caught mangroves, two muttons and a bonus black grouper.
The Ottomanelli family from Melbourne had a great trip with Capt. Alex Bell and SeaSquared Charters. They caught mangroves, two muttons and a bonus black grouper.

Stay on the reef for the best fishing this week.

Dolphin fishing is experiencing its typical late-summer slowdown. We’ve had reports of boats going out 40 miles and further and finding barely anything other than 12-inch fish. The surprise has been quite a few tripletail caught on floating debris offshore. There’s been a lot of them, and they’ve been large.

Thank goodness, the reef and wreck fishing continues in earnest.

The shallow reef areas in 30 to 50 feet are mangrove central. And there are plenty of keeper yellowtails in the 12- to 14-inch range. For larger yellowtails, hit the deeper edge of the reef in 60 to 90 feet of water.

The wrecks still offer up good-size mutton snappers. And there’s good action for big amberjacks and jack crevalles. Groupers — primarily black — are a bonus this time of year.

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 this fun catch-and-release fishery.

The flats guides report good action on small tarpon, permit and bonefish. If you need some guide recommendations, give us a call.

The week’s best

The SeaSquared boats made quick work of putting limit catches of mangrove snappers together with our guests.

Yellowtails, muttons and amberjacks rounded out the catches, with a few bonus groupers in the mix. Our lobster hunters had fun while bringing back a few spinys for a tasty meal. Shallow-water shark fishing added excitement. And with family vacations in full swing, many of our groups chose our Fun Day Charter where they combine fishing, swimming and snorkeling.

Trying their luck at diving lobster and spearfishing for the first time ever with Capt. Kevin Wilson of Knee Deep Charters, Ed and Lars Lewis from Asheville, N.C., had the catch of a lifetime with a 7-pound lobster, two red groupers and a hogfish — mini-season at its best. The nice sheriff’s officers back at the Geiger Key Marina made sure it was big enough. They are headed to Bud ’N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada for the biggest lobster contest for and a prize of $1,000.

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.

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