We found ourselves fishing in deep water more than shallow for the most part this week. I can’t say that we had any huge numbers of fish that we brought in from these areas, but we did catch some real quality fish.
We found king mackerels up to 10 pounds, mutton snappers up to about the same (at night), red groupers up to about 8 pounds, blackfin tuna up to 20 pounds and dolphin ranging from “schoolies” to a 25 pound “slammer”. The slammer was caught in 127 feet of water while we were catching porgies and red groupers. A smaller fish about 4 pounds came right up near the boat and ate a live grunt thrown from the upper deck. While we were fighting that fish the big boy came right up within 10 feet of the boat before eating a whole ballyhoo on a kingfish rig. The fight took about a half hour, but it would have been much longer if we hadn’t pulled the anchor and chased the fish down. Normally you don’t really have to chase dolphin, they tend to come to the path of least resistance, but the current was very strong that day and the fish was about 150 feet away from the boat using his big body as a planing board in the current making it almost impossible to gain any line. The options were to tighten the angler’s drag and put more pressure on the fish, all the while hoping not to break the line, or to pull the anchor and chase the fish. We chose to go after him and it paid off.
We have been catching those big blackfin tunas for a few weeks now. We only get one or two a week but they sure are nice to put in the box when we get a chance. A friend of mine who fishes outside of Conch Reef and Pickles Reef has been catching the heck out of these same big tunas using live bait in a similar fashion to how many Key’s fisherman target sailfish.
Back on the reef the yellowtail bite has been very good when the current is moving to the Northeast but pretty slow when it’s headed Southwest. Also it seems as though the bite is much better in the morning than the afternoon right now. 60 to 80 feet has been the hot depths. The patch reefs have been very unproductive due to very clear water. Patches are fantastic fisheries when you can’t see the bottom. But if you can, it can get pretty tough.
The barracudas are all over the place right now too. If you find yellowtails schooled up most likely there is a cuda nearby waiting for a meal. We had two lucky anglers catch big cudas this week and elect to have them mounted by Gray’s Taxidermy. Since we are a registered Gray’s agent at Robbie’s we can make the process of getting your trophy mounted very easy.
Capt. Ron has been absolutely slaying the yellowtails at night! He hasn’t had a chance to go see if the mangroves are biting yet because the ‘tail bite has been so good he can’t leave the wrecks he fishes for them. In my opinion the mangroves aren’t really there yet anyway. It’s another few weeks before they really start spawning hard.
We would like to welcome a new charter boat into the marina! The vessel’s name is “Satisfaction”. It’s a 32 foot SeaCraft center console. It cruises at about 30 knots and is licensed to fish up to 6 people. It happens to be owned by the author of this report and captained by one of our Robbie’s alumni. However, anytime requested I will love to hop on board and show someone the reef/wreck fishing trip of their lives! The rates of the boat are comparable to the other center console offshore boats in the marina: $700 for half day, $800 for 3/4 day and $900 for all day trips. As a summer special, however, night snapper trips will be $500 for five hours. We will be targeting FLAG yellowtails, mangroves, and BIG mutton snappers. The contact number for the boat and business is 305-393-2029. Feel free to call anytime.
Thanks again for readin’,