The big talk on the reef this time of year is the mangrove snappers. I am happy to say that they are actually still biting fairly well! Typically speaking the bite shuts of after the full moon in August. Well, that was over a week ago and they are still comin’ in the boat pretty consistently. It’s nothing like it was a month ago, but we are getting them quite well at night and in a few select spots in the daytime as well. Capt. Ron said that this past Thursday night they caught the limit of mangroves with 22 people on board. Also mixed in with them were lots of yellowtails and a couple of mutton snappers.
Also hot on the reef right now are the barracudas! We have been catching at least one a day, and big ones too! Just last week two of our customers caught big ‘cudas and had them mounted by Gray’s Taxidermy. The ‘cudas are a lot of fun to catch no matter who you are and how many fish you have caught in your life. They usually fall victim to a live bait on a wire leader. The best baits are what they are already there to eat… yellowtails, mangroves, blue runners, etc.
The charter boat “Satisfaction” out of Robbie’s has been doing well on the reef too. Capt. Shannon has been doing a lot of reef fishing in order to capitalize on the hot snapper bite. In addition to catching countless mangroves, yellowtails and muttons he has boated two king mackerels over 40 pounds in the last month. While he is fishing for mutton snappers on deep wrecks he always throws out a king bait as well. Lately it has certainly been paying off!
Capt. Jeff Norton on the Islamorada Lady II put together a nice catch of flag yellowtails this past Friday while the offshore fishing was slow. While most boats waisted their customer’s time running 30 miles offshore Capt. Jeff stuck close to home and sent his customers home with a fantastic cooler full of snappers and kings. No groupers were found on that trip, but that’s to be expected in the hot summer months. Our groupers in the Keys prefer colder water.
That’s not to say that you can’t catch them right now, but you are far more likely to put a few in the box in the winter months.
I would expect the snapper bite to tail off (no pun intended) in the next few weeks, so if you get a chance to come to Robbie’s and do some fish in’ in the near future I definitely recommend it.
Thanks for reading,