Spring is our fishery’s way of saying, “Let’s Party”!
First and foremost, we celebrate the opening of grouper season in the South Atlantic on May 1. Black, gag and red grouper will hit the docks in great numbers this month. If the catches we’ve seen just prior to the season opening are any indication, it won’t be surprising to get grouper over 40 pounds.
Snappers on the reef
Also on the reef, the yellowtail snapper begin to spawn, which makes for some of the best flag fishing we see all year. Flags are yellowtail in the 20- to 24-inch range. Every year on the SeaSquared we manage to get at least one or two in the 26-inch-plus class, weighing six or seven pounds – absolutely huge for this species of snapper.
Adding to the May snapperpalooza are the mangrove, which are also forming their annual congregation on the reef. Most of these are large, mature fish in the four- to seven-pound category.
Permit on the wrecks
The mighty permit hang on the higher profile wrecks, with many going 25 to 40 pounds and the occasional specimen exceeding 50 pounds. Permit are highly sought after in the Marathon area and a true test of your angling abilities.
Tarpon at the bridges
May is when the tarpon are at the peak of their run at the Marathon bridges from Bahia Honda to Long Key. On an average four-hour outing, you’ll see a couple hundred tarpon rolling, and the chances of landing the fish of a lifetime are very good.
Shark fishing is outstanding as their migration peaks in May as well. If you have the desire to tackle some of the largest sharks we have – tigers and hammerheads – now is your time.
Oh yea – the dolphin run is in full swing and, again, with some giants coming through the Marathon waters this month. Blackfin tuna and wahoo add to the offshore action. And, you might even get a few straggler sailfish as they migrate to the west to spawn.SeaSquared Charters Marathon Florida Keys 305-743-5305
Capt. Chris Johnson is a member of the Yamaha National Fishing Team and specializes in offshore, sailfish, reef/wreck, gulf/bay, shark and tarpon fishing. He and his wife, Christy, own and operate SeaSquared Charters out of Porky’s Bayside Restaurant and Marina in Marathon. You can reach them at 305-743-5305, http://SeaSquaredCharters.com and http://Facebook.com/MarathonFishing.