School size Dolphin are still being caught from the reef out to about 15 or 16 miles. Pretty much no charters are going more than the hump area these days, so on a calm day one could hit it big farther offshore. The Blackfin Tuna on the hump are on and off with the running of the current. Some charters have been getting Pilchards and chumming up the larger Blackfin with “livies” then tossing a bait out on a 20# spinning rod for the larger Tuna. Captain Mel on the Gotcha out of Holiday Isle aka Post Card Inn boated three nice Tuna in the teens (weight) before the Sharks shut things down. Captain Paul on the Reef Runner hit the Tuna as well and trolling feathers boated a dozen Blackfin.
There were a few Sailfish caught and released this past week. Captain Jack on the Southern Comfort out of Whale Harbor Marina released a Sailfish on Monday. The anglers on the Southern Comfort also got a limit of King Mackerel and a Mutton Snapper. Captain Don Reichert on his 27 foot “Fishin’ Mission” did the Yellowtail thing and caught sixteen of the tasty Snapper for his clients. Up shallow in about 30 to 35 feet of water the Cero Mackerel are swarming. These speedsters come in and vandalize the Yellowtail chum once in a while mostly cutting of the 12 # monofilament used on the Yellowtail. In this situation just throw a jig with a little wisp of light wire to get the Mackerel hooked up.
Gulf and Bay
The good news is the Spanish Mackerel are here. The “Macks” are close to the boundary of the Yacht Channel, so do not go too far out into the Gulf to find the Spanish. Mixed in with the Mackerel are Mangrove Snapper and Seatrout. Captain Lou Brubaker had a nice mixed bag of fish for his customers from Palm Beach County from Gulf waters. There are packs of Bluefish swimming around slamming the baitfish. These Bluefish are being chased by Lemon Sharks and makes for great excitement when hooked. When anchored and chumming do not be too quick to relocate if the action wanes, as the chum will pull in fish all day if you are patient.
Fish, Backcountry and Flamingo
Captain Dave Borras who runs out of the Lor e lei in Islamorada has been looking for Bonefish this past week with family and clients alike. Dave reports finding the Bonefish each day and even getting a few to eat a cast Shrimp. The Oceanside according to Dave has been more productive. There are still some Tarpon around of the smaller variety. Schools of the juveniles are swimming up on backcountry flats, but are spooky and stealth is a must when trying to get one to eat a bait. Fishing the channels between the islands will yield Sharks and there are lots of good Mangrove Snapper there too.