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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Bluewater action is heating up and Dolphin
catches are good. Last weekend the tournament winning Dolphin in
the Nick Sheehan Memorial was a 59.5 pound Bull Dolphin. There are
plenty of Mahi being caught in depths from 500 to 900 feet of
water. There are school size fish, but also plenty of nice gaffer
size fish in the teens in weight. Captain Don Reichert on his
“Fishin Mission” out of Whale Harbor Marina gaffed four Dolphin over
25 pounds one trip. There have been Blue Marlin and Swordfish
caught this past week out of the Islamorada area as well. As for
the Blackfin Tuna, they are on the feed as well. The Islamorada
hump is the place to be, just make it early as in right at first
light because the traffic on the hump will end it all and of course
fish a week day if possible.
The word is that all along the reef the
Yellowtail Snapper action is great. The Yellowtail limit is ten per
person with a minimum length of 12 inches, but the size of the fish
averages much larger that what one would have to measure. Also the
Mutton Snapper are roaming along the reef bottom cruising through
the live bottom just outside of the rock. One technique is to
anchor in the sand and drop enough anchor line to get into 60 or 70
feet of water and fish the Yellowtail. Then move the boat out deep
about 90 feet and drop baits to the bottom on 20# spin or 30#
conventional tackle for the Muttons. A fresh ballyhoo plug on a 5/0
hook is the bait of choice for the Muttons.
Gulf and Bay:
A great Gulf report came in from Captain Lou
Brubaker. Captain Lou fished the Gulf wrecks Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday. Lou tells of great action on Cobia each day. The Cobia
inhaled Pinfish and also jigs on 10# spinning gear, the same tackle
as used for Seatrout. Also in the mix were Mackerel, Trout, Jacks,
Pompano, Bluefish, Tripletail and Permit. A few hooked fish such as
Trout and Jacks were inhaled by the aggressive Goliath Grouper.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
It is still all about the Tarpon. With the
incredible Mullet run going on the bait of choice is of course
Mullet. Although the bite does not always come and some guides
think that it is because of the great amount of forage, i.e.; mullet
available for the Tarpon. Can they get fed up? Also many Tarpon
are being caught on dead bait. Captain Dave “Big D’ Atkinson has
been fishing evening trips and catching Tarpon from 60 to 140
pounds on cut Mullet or Dolphin bellies laying on the bottom of the
channel. In the backcountry Captain John Gargan found a honey hole
full of willing Snook, Redfish and Drum catching and releasing
respectively, 6, 25 and 4 of each.
Greetings once again from Islamorada, the "Sports
Fishing Capitol of the World"! This is the fishing forecast of the
father and son team of Skins and Fins Charters, Captain Ted and
Captain Donnie Benbow. We fish out of the Holiday Isle Marina at the
Post Card Inn in down town Islamorada and here is our fishing
Tarpon Tarpon Tarpon! The Spring and Summer is all about Big spawning
Tarpon. There are many ways to fish for these big silver beast. In the
mornings Captain Donnie and other local fishing guides like to get up
a pole there steathy poling skiffs in just a few feet of water on the
flats around the Keys. Using a 10 to 12 WT fly rod or light tackle
site casting crabs and shrimp. This method is more for the skilled
Angler and is a very rewarding way to catch these great sportfish.
Live baiting for monster Tarpon is my favorite way fish for Poons.
Going out on the sunset trip 4-8pm is a great time of the day to fish
for them. Drifting live mullet the first part of the season then
switching to crabs later in the season. Suspending the baits under a
float while fishing your bridge of choice and prove to be most
Flats and Backcountry fishing: Red fish in shallow water 1 foot or
less, some Snook, laid up Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish. In the
Everglades National Park, Black drum, Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout in
Big Numbers. WE like to rig a DOA CAL Hook in the chartrues color with
a DOA CAL bait in the pearl white with a red tail. You can put the
line right to the hook or under a DOA noise making cork. May and June
is also a great time to catch Big Sharks in the Everglades, Bulls,
Spinners and Lemons.
Offshore/Deep Sea: Dolphin will be in full swing! May through the end
of the summer the Dolphin will be here. Trolling behind the Charter
boats while the Captain is up in the crows nest looking for that magic
dabre or weed line. Once they find the bright colored fish they start
casting pitch rods to them and it is game on!. There will also be some
Blue Marlin, Hammer Head Sharks and Tiger Sharks.
Reef/ Wreck: Talking To Captain Josh Moreira, He tells me that as the
waters get warmer, the Vermillion Snapper will turn on. Captain Josh
runs the Party boat out of Robbie's Marina called the " Captain
He is also expecting a good bite of Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper
on the full moon and yellow tail Snapper. Grouper open on May first as
well. Remember, the professional Mates that work on the Offshore and
Party boats work for TIPS. They work from Sun up to Sun down to make
sure you have a great day on the water! Please take care of them.
Well that's the way we see it, want to give it a try? Give us a call.
Till then, this is Captain Ted and Captain Donnie Benbow asking you to
"Keep it in the Shallow Grass"