Captain’s Blog – February 23, 2010 – Marathon Florida Keys – The typical winter mixed bag is showing on the patch reefs and channel humps.
From every variety of snapper – lane, mangrove, mutton, and yellowtail – to grouper of all kinds, hogfish and loads of Spanish mackerel, the list goes on and on. The Middle Keys are also seeing a decent number of cobia, so keep your eyes peeled for these brown bombers. These fish are not of the small sort. Most have been between 30 and 50 pounds.
I had 7 charters last week and took them all to the patch reefs for awesome fishing! Every group had a limit of mangrove snapper along with nice yellowtail, lane and mutton snapper. Tasty hogfish spiced the catch for many. Spanish mackerel and kingfish also dominated. Bluefish and jack crevalle added to the arm-bending.
Naturally, all my anglers caught loads of grouper, with the trifecta of red, black and gag being quite common. Due to the current ban on grouper, all were released. I’m certainly looking forward to the season reopening on May 1!
I also took my in-laws and teenage niece, visiting from Long Island, out for a quick 90 minute trip, and they were amazed at the number of fish they caught – more than enough for a couple of dinners!
I think I spent as many hours cleaning fish as my anglers did fishing! Between writing articles and catching 40 winks here and there, I am brining and smoking the mackerel as a courtesy for my clients.
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