Due to numerous emails about the "practice of Dolphin fishing" I would like
to make the following clarification.
The fish we are referring to as dolphin, as it is called in the Keys and
south Florida, is a fish, also known as the Dorado and
Mahi-Mahi. This is not the Dolphin mammal.
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Dolphin catches remain very good with the Mahi
being caught from 350 feet out to 750 feet of water. The Islamorada
hump area has been giving up some good catches of Blackfin Tuna. The
Tuna action drops off as the sun gets high in the sky and of course
with lots of boats present. There are some big Dolphin, but mostly
school size fish from 4 to 8 pounds make up the bulk of catches. The
5th annual Ladies Dolphin Tournament winning team was the Islamorada
Beer Company with the large Dolphin weighing in at 45.6 pounds.
Captain Billy on his Vera Vita out of Whale Harbor Marina fished a
six-hour trip and wailed on the school Dolphin big time ending up
with thirty Mahi to fillet. Captain Glen on the Gonefishin V had two
slammer Dolphin weighing in the thirties. Captain Easy with Captain
Bruce Anderson also had a couple Slammer Dolphin one trip last week.
Yellowtail Snapper fishing is quite good all
along the reef from Tennessee up to Conch reef. The yellowtail are
being chummed up to baits drifted in the 60 to 70 foot depths. Look
for some Mutton and Mangrove Snapper to be in the catch also. There
have been a few “summer” Kings caught, but with most charters being
offshore it is tough to get a handle on how substantial the King
Mackerel populations are. Bay boat guides are fishing the patches
and getting good catches of Snapper, Porgy, Hogfish and Grouper.
Gulf and Bay:
Not much has changed in this venue recently. The
Trout and Snapper action is good to great with the Snapper being
more aggressive than the trout as the water warms. Just drifting and
jigging is the method for success for the Trout and Snapper. Tarpon
and Sharks are in good supply where the bay meets the gulf and live
or dead baits will do the trick. In the Gulf, there are a few wrecks
and plenty of areas of live bottom or reef bottom that are holding
Snapper, Grouper, Trout, Sharks and the occasional Cobia and Permit
also. When in the gulf in depths of ten to fifteen feet keep an eye
on your depth finder and look for the dark line that shows hard
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
It is fair to say that the Tarpon is still king
in the shallow water areas. The channels in the Islamorada area or
back in Flamingo hold plenty of Tarpon. In the Islamorada area fish
darkness or low light for the best shot at a Tarpon. Back in the
Flamingo area find the tide change to spur the bite. Captain Skip
Paxton went in search of Bonefish one day last week and got his
client shots a few on fly. Captain John Gargan has been Tarpon
fishing evenings and getting lots of action chumming and dead
baiting. Look for Permit around the overseas Highway bridges and
give them a shot by drifting a small live crab in the tide. And of
course, Seatrout are pretty much all over the Flamingo area
especially on and around the banks that bump up against the Gulf.
Capt. James Chappell's Fishing
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Hello everyone, and welcome
back to this weeks report! Excellent fishing this week here in the
Florida Keys, as the offshore fishing is on fire! Lots and lots of
Mahi's swimming through right now, and about everyone I know already
has a full freezer! Not a lot of monsters, but plenty in the 4-7
pond range with a few around 8-12 pounds. Large schools of fish as
well, so once you find them it doesn't take long. 450' to 750" seems
to be the sweet spot, and pretty much all you want, so get on out
there and put some in the box! The Sword ledge was fairly productive
this week with a few nicer fish being caught over the 100 pound
mark, and some really nice ones to the North. Looking for this to
pick up as summer gets underway. The humps are the same with BFT's,
AJ's, Almaco Jacks, and Sharks, and the deep dropping in the rips is
still pretty solid as well from what I'm hearing, but we haven't
done much of that lately. The wrecks and deep reef were a little on
the slow side with the Muttons Spawning, but they didn't seem to
really "get going" the way we wanted. I think it's a week late so
this week could be the week. They were definitely late last month.
The reef Snapper bite remains solid with Yellowtails and Mangroves,
although the current has been heavy they are still biting. Looks
like the winds are going to pick up Saturday, so keep an eye out for
the changing conditions. Thanks for reading everyone, be safe!
Capt. James Chappell