This past week, the fishing most definitely benefitted from the cooler weather pattern.
The rainy, windy conditions may have keep some at the dock, but those who ventured out in search of sailfish were rewarded for their efforts, as the sailfishing was excellent in the 150- to 200- foot depths. Pilchards remain the bait of choice, but goggle eyes and small bluerunners work also.
There are still some blackfin tuna here and there. What they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality, with most fish in the 15- to 20-pound class.
Inshore fishing on the patch reefs and in Hawk Channel is also exceptional right now.
All of the snappers are prevalent – lane, mangrove, mutton and yellowtail. There are also plenty of hogfish and some porgy. But, the bonus these days are the cobia.
Last week we told you about the cobia following the snapper to the back of the boat. This very thing happened Monday for Capt. Jason Bell on the SeaSquared. Luckily, he was alert to the possibility, and our angler landed a nice, 30-pound cobia to top off their limit of snappers.
The cold water in the Bay has moved the mangrove snappers to the bridge areas, so you don’t need to go far for some fun fishing with tasty eats at the end of the day. You may pick up hogfish, porgy and yellowjack in the same areas.
Although we weren’t in the Bay, we had reports this week of some good fishing for Spanish mackerel.
The week’s best
The Mauer group, from Wisconsin, braved the chilly temps to fish two days with SeaSquared last week. On the first day with Capt. Jason Bell on the SeaSquared, they landed three of five sailfish hooked. Day two was spent with Capt. Alex Bell on the Blue Magic, and they loaded up on yellowtail, mangrove and lane snappers.
The rest of the SeaSquared trips were spent in Hawk Channel, where our anglers caught all the snapper species, sheepshead, margate, hogfish, porgy and bonus cobia.
January 19, 2016
Capt. Chris Johnson
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Capt. Chris Johnson specializes in offshore, gulf/bay, reef/wreck, sailfish, shark and tarpon fishing with SeaSquared Charters in Marathon. You can reach him at 305-743-5305, http://SeaSquaredCharters.com and http://Facebook.com/MarathonFishing.