Marathon Florida Keys Monthly Fishing Forecast for June 2011

Without doubt, June is my favorite month to fish in Marathon!

Whether your fishing goal is a hard fight or a great dinner – or both – the waters of Marathon in the Middle Florida Keys offer abundant opportunities.

Pelagic species offshore

Trolling offshore and at the humps will elicit arm-wrenching contests with dolphin, blackfin tuna and wahoo, all of which pour through the Florida Straits this time of year.

Other techniques work as well for these pelagic species.  Keep a lookout for any kind of floating debris that will undoubtedly hold dolphin and wahoo and try butterfly jigging at the humps for blackfin tuna.

Snapper fishing on the reef

On the reef, the snapper fishing is at its absolute best in June as these fish are at the height of their spawning season.  Flag yellowtail snapper plus large mutton and mangrove snapper are thick and aggressive.

When it comes to snapper fishing, “He with the most chum wins.”  Due to the 80-plus degree water, chum flows at a rapid pace.  Therefore, you need plentiful amounts to get the snappers feeding aggressively in your slick.

Once you have attracted the snappers, use fresh baits such as ballyhoo, blue runners or live shrimp.  Frozen baits will work as well – ballyhoo, silversides or glass minnows.  The snappers are in such a frenzy they are not terribly fussy about the bait, but it pays to have a variety available in order to determine their preference of the day.

Grouper and more on the wrecks

The wrecks and artificial reefs hold outsized mutton snapper and amberjack as well as hefty black and red grouper during June.

For the grouper, large live baits such as blue runners, grunts or large pinfish will do the trick.  Be sure to be equipped with stout tackle as some of these fish approach 40 to 50 pounds and require quite a bit of muscle to get them out of the reef before they break you off.

Tarpon at the bridges

Tarpon in the 60- to 100-pound class are still streaming through the bridges.  This will continue in full force at least through the first two weeks of June and slowly taper off by the end of the month.

Sharks, permit and more in Florida Bay

If you can’t make it to Marathon for the tarpon season, shark fishing will fulfill your need to tug on big fish.  Shallow water shark fishing on light tackle is great sport for anglers of all ages and abilities.  Quite common in a four-hour adventure are double-digit releases of lemon and blacktip sharks up to seven feet and greater.

Thousands of permit spawn on the bay wrecks in June.  These strong, stubborn fighters will give you a real run for your money.  In the same areas, you will also catch mangrove snapper, gag grouper and perhaps a bonus cobia or two for the dinner table.

Marathon in June

Your Marathon fishing experience in June can be as hard-core or as fun-filled as you wish.  Some choose the iron man fishing adventure, combining a full day offshore or reef trip with an evening tarpon trip.  A shark encounter is tons of fun for families and kids of all ages.  And, nothing spells “Florida Keys vacation” better than a half day on the reef with tasty snapper and grouper rewards for dinner.

Until next time … tight lines!

Capt. Chris and Christy Johnson, SeaSquared Charters, 7 Mile Marina, Marathon Florida Keys, 305-743-5305

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