Wow! Are the yellowtails ever here! Mainly at night, but the bite is out of this world! In the patch reefs we are catching them up to a pound and a half, but out on the wrecks we are getting them up to 4 pounds on a consistent basis. And to make matters even better underneath the tails on the bottom are lane snappers, muttons and porgies. Don’t worry too much about the bait for the tails. It’s more about the tackle you fish with. You want a spinning rod with 10 to 20 pound test MONO on it and a small jig from 1/32 ounce to 1/8th ounce. That’s it, you don’t need anything more or less than that.
The mutton bite is on too. On a recent private charter we came up with 9 muttons up to 16 pounds. We fished nothing but deep wrecks with fresh and live bait.
Groupers have been a bit slow. Now that the water is warming up they are getting pretty hard to come by.
The hot scene offshore is dolphin. They are biting like crazy everywhere outside of 300 feet of water. I haven’t seen the Islamorada Lady come in with a catch that was anything less than awesome in weeks! They have mainly been catching dolphin, but tunas and wahoos have made their way into the box also.
Tarpon is also red hot. The charter boats out of Robbie’s are getting them on a nightly basis.
As for predictions, I would expect to see the tails and muttons bite like crazy for the next couple months. The mangroves will start really chewing at night after the full moon in June and July, while the dolphin will remain hot until late August. If you are coming to fish the Capt. Michael party boat make sure you bring your light spinning gear for the yellowtails!
Offshore fishing for Dolphin, Tuna, Wahoo, etc., is in full swing! Calm waters have allowed us to search for birds, debris and weed lines most effectively. Our 47″ Hatteras, “The Islamorada Lady II” managed to bag over 30 gaffers yesterday. For the past month, all of our offshore boats on the dock have managed to bring in at least 20-30 Mahi Mahi.
The charter boat, “Blue Heaven” released a Sailfish on their last trip and 2 Wahoos on the trip prior. If tuna is more your taste, the guys can bring you to one of the humps. There you will encounter 20-30 lb Black fins.
Florida Keys Fishing
Party boat fishing is going well again too! During the day trips we are able to keep all the legal groupers we have had to let go in during the closed season. Keeper Yellowtails, and nice Big Eyes have been keeping anglers busy.
The night bite has been excellent with 2-3 lbs Yellowtails on the mid-depth wrecks, every night trips produce some nice Muttons and the night before last a beautiful Cubera Snapper. Mangroves have also been showing up on the patches.
Summer is approaching and the water temperature is rising. As the water warms up more and more snappers are being found on the reef. The Mangrove Snapper are getting ready to spawn and the Yellowtail Snapper are swarming in full force.
Grouper season has opened at the begining of the month and the bite is on. This year is a contrast to last years May in which the grouper seemed to know our season and get a case of “lock jaw” on May 1st.
You can be confident that as the water temperature rises the reef will continue to produce nice catches and the Mutton will follow suite to the Mangroves and the Yellowtails that will add to our daily bad limit of snapper.