We’re starting to see a trickle of dolphin offshore under birds and floating debris. Schoolies mostly right now, but we’ll have larger fish and more consistent catches in the coming weeks as the dolphin make their move south.
Out at the humps, there’s good action on blackfin tuna in the 8- to 12-pound range. The best devices are small, dark-colored lures trolled way back as well as butterfly jigging down deep.
There’s been a profusion of sharks out there so, when you hookup, try to get your tuna away from the humps as quickly as possible.
Amberjacks aplenty, as well as mutton snapper, are hanging on the wrecks. Use pinfish and small bluerunners for the AJ’s and pinfish or live ballyhoo for the muttons.
On the reef, the yellowtail snapper bite remains very good when the conditions are in your favor. Most fish average 15 to 18 inches, with the best action in Marathon in the 45- to 60-foot depths.
While the mangrove snapper bite is slowly fading on the reef, there are still plenty of muttons in the slicks for those fishing with baits large enough to interest them. We recommend drifting a live ballyhoo on a 1/8- to ¼-ounce jighead back in your chum slick.
Keeper size grouper are beginning to make a showing on the reef, and this action will increase as the water temps continue to cool.
The patches are loaded with the usual variety of keeper size yellowtails, mangroves and some very nice size cero mackerel. While the standard assortment of baits will work for the yellowtails, live ballyhoo will do the trick for the mangroves and ceros.
In Florida Bay, the most consistent action is on the grass banks and near-shore wrecks where the mangrove bite is excellent. Chunks of fresh-caught ballyhoo work best, although shrimp or chunks of fresh-caught pinfish will work if there is no ballyhoo.
The week’s best catches
Sharks, sharks and more sharks. The crew of the SeaSquared has been doing a lot of shark fishing.
Enjoying the action were Darla and Gene Kropski, from Monroe NY, Steve and Kim Drelick along with Scott and Cindy Lewis, from Plaistow NH, the Sharkey and Schlichte families from Hollywood FL and, finally, a group of feisty ladies from Marathon.
Click here for pictures of all of this week’s great catches and smiling anglers!September 25, 2013 Capt. Chris Johnson SeaSquared Charters Marathon Florida Keys 305-743-5305 Capt. Chris Johnson is a member of the Yamaha National Fishing Team and specializes in offshore, gulf/bay, reef/wreck, shark and tarpon fishing with SeaSquared Charters out of Porky’s Bayside Restaurant and Marina. You can reach him at 305.743.5305, http://SeaSquaredCharters.com and http://Facebook.com/MarathonFishing [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Phone’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]