Marathon Florida Keys Weekly Fishing Report, Capt. Chris Johnson, SeaSquared Charters, March 30, 2011
King mackerel in Hawk Channel
In Hawk Channel, the mackerel bite has been very good with kings and Spanish the predominant players. There have been some exceptional king mackerel catches in the Middle Keys with a fair number of fish in the 40-pound range. Live blue runners and large pilchards are your baits of choice for these silver sprinters.
Here come the pelagics!
The sailfish are really beginning to make their presence known beyond the reef. Many Captains have reported seeing them tailing as well as showing under weed lines with regularity.
The dolphin are making their annual appearance with lots of schoolie fish right now and the occasional gaffer mixed in. Most of the action has been at 200 to 500 feet, although I’ve had some reports of fish caught as deep as 700 feet.
Trolling weed lines has been the best option. But, as this fishery continues to build, looking for birds will pay off big dividends.
Yellowtail fishing on the reef
On the reef, yellowtail fishing has been spotty with adverse conditions affecting most areas. However, the patch reef bite has remained good with lots of mangroves and legal size yellowtail showing in the slicks everyday.
Bay and gulf fishing
In the bay and gulf areas, cobia fishing remains good with some nice ones in the 20-pound class along with mangrove snapper, Spanish and cero mackerel. On the shallower wrecks, the mangrove bite has gotten good with lots of 14- to 16-inch fish for the taking.
Shark and tarpon fishing adventures
The week’s best catches
The SeaSquared hosted nine separate groups last week from Florida to Wisconsin and just about everywhere in between. We fished offshore, the reef, the Seven Mile Bridge and the bay. Our anglers caught gaffer dolphin, blackfin tuna, mangrove and yellowtail snapper, Florida pompano, hogfish, porgy and all the mackerel species. Two groups went shark fishing and released numerous lemons up to about 6 feet in length.
The Al-Saghir family from Jacksonville FL
The Foust family from Winslow IN with rods bent during their Florida Keys Shark Fishing Adventure
The Kazdan family from Weston FL
The Marter family from Pinconning MI
The Marters enjoy their catch cooked at Porky’s Bayside BBQ
Six-year-old Aaron Weisman from Tampa with his big porgy