Another week battling unsettled weather. Another week of challenging fishing.
Offshore, we have seen more dolphin showing up. Although, with the wave of cold fronts passing through, this bite will most likely slow down until the weather stabilizes, which it’s predicted to do this weekend.
There has been good fishing for blackfin tuna at the humps. Live pilchards provide the best bite on bigger fish in the 10- to 15-pound class.
On the reef, there’s a smattering of sailfish. While it’s been a pick, the cold fronts tend to spur on the sailfish bite, so perhaps we’ll see an uptick. Mixed with the sails are kingfish as well as a few blackfins here and there.
Yellowtail snapper fishing on the reef should improve following the passage of the fronts. And with the weather beginning a warming trend, this fishery should get quite good the closer we get to April. Among the yellowtails have been a fair amount of medium-size mutton snappers averaging five to 10 pounds along with the occasional mangrove snapper.
Abundant quantities of king and cero mackerel are being taken along the reef edge. And there are loads of groupers teasing anglers in anticipation of the season opening on May 1.
Florida Bay has plenty of nice mangroves. And further out in the Gulf, we’re seeing some cobia as they begin their trek northward for the summer.
The week’s best
Snappers were the order of the day on the SeaSquared boats last week. Yellowtails, mangroves and muttons. Spicing the catches were amberjacks, yellowjacks, toro and more. Lots of sharks provided catch-and-release fun fishing. The Belvin group had a surprise early-season dolphin catch with Capt. Kevin Goodwin.
Capt. Kevin Wilson of Knee Deep Charters out of the Geiger Key Marina entertained his clients from Florida and Michigan with limit catches of yellowtails and some large king mackerel.
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.