Welcome back everyone to this week’s report! This week has been a little windy to say the least, but there is at least a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The winds are starting to come down, but the rain is coming down much faster. It appears as if that circling low over the Bahamas has infiltrated our area here and is dumping all over Southeast Florida. Not much fun for us here with all this rain, but it is the Keys and it rarely ever rains all day. Hopefully, the rain window will open during the time that we wish to fish!
On a fishing note, the Swordfishing this week was non-existent with reports from anyone I could find as the winds made the travels to the grounds a bit too treacherous for even the biggest boats. This final Super moon should have been a great moon to fish on, so hopefully the rain will stay away to get some of the back side of it. Not looking to promising, but we can always hope. The Dolphin fishing has began to tail off, but we are starting to see signs of larger schools of fish, when we do find them, with nicer ones in it. Reports of Mahi all the way up to New Jersey, so this season may last a little longer into the fall as normally anticipated. The Blackfin Tunas have been pretty consistent lately, and some much nicer fish on the live bait. The Pilchards have been a bit scarce, except for a couple days last week, but if you can get out at night and anchor on the reef in 35 to 60 feet of water they are pretty much everywhere. You can catch these guys with a net or spend the time and Sabiki them with the #4 green sabiki rigs, and fill your wells. Most all of the common reef spots have them. Just put a bag of chum in the water, and you could probably catch your limit of Mangrove snappers at the same time with the same Pilchards you are catching on a knocker rig on the bottom…it’s a 2 for 1 special! Don’t be surprised to find a Nice Mutton or Yellowtail Snapper in the mix as well.
The wrecks, well, they are still there and teeming with sharks, and only a few King Mackerel to this point. There have been a lot of Almaco Jacks, Crevalle Jacks, and a few Amberjacks around as well with even the occasional Mutton or Grouper. Actually, we have had some pretty good luck getting the bites on these guys, but the Sharks have proven worthy opponents. These areas are about to fire up, we just need the water temperatures to drop a little, and let these guys move back into the Florida Bay and Gulf. I am thinking in a month or less. Don’t forget about the Yellow Eye Snappers and Vermillion Snappers around the deeper wrecks. They make great table fair, and are somewhat easy to catch with some squid and a chicken rig. They are fun to catch as well, as great to eat, and are on the “beginner level” of techniques so anyone can do it.
The reef has been really consistent with lots of nice Yellowtails, but these nicer fish really seem to be congregated to areas where the commercial boats have been feeding them heavily. Not a big surprise, but they are definitely bigger fish in these areas. The bottom bite has been a bit slow, but we have managed to pick up a few nice Cero Mackerels and Kings while doing so. The sharks have been relentless here as well, so it’s just part of fishing on the reef in the late summer and early fall.
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!