Hello everyone and welcome back to this week’s report! The weather this week has been pretty decent, with a little wind on Wednesday, but it appears that it is shaping up nicely for the weekend. The forecast is calling for 10 Knots out of the East to Southeast, and should make up some really nice Dolphin fishing conditions! We all know that a successful day of fishing is very dependent on your ability to be “dialed in” on catching bait. This week has been great, as there have been lots of live baits around for us to catch. Whether it is Cigar Minnows, Pilchards, Blue Runners, or Ballyhoo there has been a definite surplus around the bait patches and shallow reefs. Even the weed lines offshore are starting to produce “hook bait” sized Blue Runners and Yellow Jacks. Having the ability to gather up the bait has made life much easier on the offshore scene without a doubt. So, how has the fishing been this week? Absolutely fantastic! The Swordfish ledge has been producing Swordfish this week, with some fish in the 100 to 200 pound class from the North end of the Wall, all the way south to outside the Ups and Downs. The bite continues to get better as we get into summer, and should get even better as we approach the late summer/ fall moons with September and October being the prime months. Dolphin and Bonita strips and bellies have been the best baits, but I am sure most anything will work. They generally aren’t too picky, as we use these more for durability than anything. Squid will work well too, but it is much easier for them to knock the bait off the hook with the squid than it is with the other. The Mahi bite has been excellent this week, with a lot of really nice fish making their way to the docks. The live bait has been the best way to go as these guys are gorging themselves on the abundance of Flying Fish, and the normal “weed line” baits that are out there. The magic depths have been 800’ to 1700’ all up and down the line. There are some fish in the shallower depths, but the majority of them have been on the smaller side. Good numbers of them though if you are out in hopes of just catching a few schoolies for dinner, so you shouldn’t have to run too far. The deep dropping in the broken bottom continues to be good, with good numbers of Tile Fish, Snowy, and Yellow Edge groupers as well. Be sure and stay on top of the new regulations where these guys are concerned, as the limits have recently changed to only one Tile and one Grouper per vessel. The humps continue to produce Blackfin Tuna and Amberjacks, although the Amberjack bite seemed to slow down considerably this week. Good numbers of feather Tuna on the Islamorada Hump, as well as the 409 Hump. The best of the Tuna action has been on the Marathon Hump, as there are some size large Tunas there, but the Sharks have been really bad. Live baiting with Pilchards while live chumming has been decent, but if they aren’t coming up then drifting a live bait down to where they are holding has been doing pretty well. This really puts you in the “shark zone”, so be prepared to deal with the tax collector.
The wrecks have been pretty good this week with the Mutton Snappers, and even a few nice Groupers. I wouldn’t call it a “sure thing”, but there have definitely been a handful of fish around. Some Almaco Jacks, Jack Crevalle, and Bonita hanging out there as well. I even heard of a few larger Blackfin Tunas patrolling the deeper wrecks, so it would appear to be a little action in these areas as well. The reef was a bit slow early in the week as the current was up into the wind, but today’s report was just the opposite. Three different reports I received all stated the Yellowtail fishing was excellent, and the big Mangroves were mixed right in there with them. A few Mutton Snappers and Groupers to add a little icing on the cake, and made for a few really nice catches. This is definitely something to look forward to for the weekend!
Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!