Captain Chris Johnson, SeaSquared Charters, Marathon Florida Keys, January 26, 2011
Prepare to be prepared!
Last week we touted the weather for settling into a normal seasonal pattern. I guess we can toss that hype out the window!
With the constantly changing weather conditions of late, anglers need to have Plans A, B and C ready at all times.
Sailfishing has been described as slow to good, depending on who you talk to. It looks like there will be a push of blue water in the Middle Keys, which should produce better results in the coming days.
The one constant throughout the Keys right now is the kingfish bite. There are plenty of kings in the 20- to 25-pound range eating a variety of live baits, such as pilchards, blue runners and ballyhoo.
There have also been quite a few good reports of cobia on the color change. The largest one I heard of was a 73-pounder taken in Islamorada. You can look forward to this action continuing through February and into March.
Snapper on the reef
The reef bite for all variety of snapper remains very good. The yellowtails are being caught in the 35- to 60-foot depths, while the mangroves are more prevalent in the 20- to 30-foot range. The muttons are mixed throughout the water column not excluding the wrecks and artificial reefs out to 250 feet.
We are also starting to see a fair showing of African pompano and larger, 40-pound-plus size amberjack on the wrecks.
Variety on the channel humps
The channel humps and inside patches are producing the usual assortment of snapper and other panfish, such as hogfish and porgy. Good numbers of cero and Spanish mackerel and rather large kings are in the same areas.
Mangroves and Spanish mackerel in the bay
On the SeaSquared
Two thirtieth birthdays brought three buddies to the Florida Keys for some great fishing!
Grant Goodwin and John Drymon, from Batesville AR, and their friend, Chris Lewis from Chico CA, spent two days fishing with Capt. Diego Cordova of Flat Out Charters in Marathon. They caught mangrove snapper, mackerel and ladyfish.
The trio spent their third day of fishing with me on the SeaSquared and they were looking to set their harms to hurting. We hit the reef and the guys caught five large king mackerel ranging from 15 to 30 pounds. It is all headed for the smoker.