It’s been a long four months of painfully releasing lovely and delicious grouper, but the wait is over as the season reopens on Sunday.
2nd Annual Florida Keys Grouper Tournament
A great way to celebrate is the 2nd Annual Florida Keys Grouper Tournament, sponsored by the 7 Mile Marina and Captain Hook’s Marina inMarathon. Winners take all in rod-and-reel and spearfish divisions for red, black and gag grouper. Entry fee just $100 per boat up to 6 anglers, $50 for adult divers and $35 for junior divers. For details, call 305-395-0546 or 305-743-2444.
The tarpon bite is red-hot, with all the bridges, cuts and passes chock full of the silver king right now. As these venues become increasingly congested, be sure to practice your best boater’s etiquette so everyone has a safe and successful experience.
The offshore dolphin bite has been good for some and not so good for others. Some of the largest fish of the year should be coming through the Keys in the next few weeks. You can expect a number of fish to exceed sixty pounds.
On the deeper wrecks, the mutton snapper and amberjack are still biting. You can also try for grouper on the wrecks using larger live baits, such as blue runners and grunts, but be sure to have your big tackle ready.
The yellowtail snapper bite remains good on the reef with lots of medium size muttons spicing the catches.
In the bay, the mangrove snapper bite is respectable and you will find grouper there as well. Catch-and-release shark fishing has been on fire in the shallow sandy areas. There have been mostly lemon sharks, with some bulls and hammerheads showing, and all measuring upwards of seven to eight feet. Great sport on light tackle!
This week’s catches
The SeaSquared spent the week tarpon and shark fishing, with a few snapper thrown in for good measure.
Shark fishing adventures on the SeaSquared produced double-digit landings of lemon and bull sharks ranging from five to eight feet in length.
We had our youngest ever shark wrangler on board this week. With a little help from his dad Craig, three-year-old Anderson Williams from Alberta Canada did a great job getting a lemon shark to the boat.
Tarpon trips at both bridges saw releases of fish from 60 to 130 pounds for anglers from upstate New York and Canada.