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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Captain Brian Cone on his Contagious boat out of
Robbie’s Marina got into some Dolphin in the deep last week. The
Islamorada Hump is the destination for action on the Blackfin Tuna.
Some charters are trolling jap feathers, and some are cast netting
live bait prior to making the run to the hump. The live bait may be
Cigar Minnows or Pilchards and are used to chum up the Tuna. The
process is to cast a “livie” to the where the Tuna come up and bust
on the free roaming live baits. Another method is to slow troll
Ballyhoo through the choppy water created by the deep ocean current.
If you do not have live bait sculpt a strip from a Bonito belly or
Mullet and drift it in the vicinity.
Captain Robert Mathias released two Sailfish on
the reef last week. Captain Paul on the Reef Runner caught a limit
of King Mackerel and one nice Tuna on the reef also. On the Kay K IV
they got into the Kingfish and Bonito, Tuna and a Mutton Snapper. On
another trip the crew on the Kay K IV released a Sailfish. Many
small boat captains are fishing the shallow reef we call the
Patches. This habitat in 10 to 25 feet of water has been productive
big time recently. Captain Juan Garcia had a ball in 20 feet of
water catching Porgy and a variety of Snapper and releasing a few
Grouper. The charter boat Early Bird had a nice catch of Yellowtail,
Mutton and Mangrove Snapper with a few small Sharks thrown in.
Gulf and Bay:
The Spanish Mackerel are still going strong in
the Gulf. The Spanish offer arguably the best light tackle fight
going and unless you are spoiled by all the fantastic eating fish
available here in the Islamorada area, they are good table fare.
Along with the Mackerel in the Gulf, one will catch Seatrout, a
variety of Snapper, Grouper, Ladyfish, a variety of jacks, Cobia and
Sharks, just to name a few. Look to the lines of trap buoys and find
Tripletail. Be careful not to leave any line or hooks on the trap
lines or buoy.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
There have not been many reports from the Florida
Bay area, but the word is the catching is very good. Captain Freddie
out of Smugglers Cove Marina had a banner day in the backcountry
last week. Fred said they caught lots of Snook, plenty of Redfish
and a Tarpon on a full day trip last week. Freddie baited his quarry
using Shrimp and Pinfish. Captain Charlie Tindall was back there
somewhere Permit watching. On a slick calm pre-front day Charlie
found the motherlode of Permit. The ultra-spooky Permit were
floating in the slick calm and offered a great “fish watching
Capt. James Chappell's Fishing
Provided by Catchalottafish Charters
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Hello everyone, and welcome
back to this weeks report! Some crazy weather we have had here in
the upper Florida Keys this past week. Although the weather has been
crazy the fishing has been pretty good. A little bit Of everything
is around right now, making for an exciting day. Some sails, Mahi,
Tuna, and wahoo Have been around, as well as plenty of reef fish!
It’s been an exciting start to winter no doubt, and we hope that it
only gets better. The weather for the weekend looks pretty good, and
should make it nice enough for everyone. Looking forward to seeing
what the weekend brings as we start the 55th annual Islamorada
Sailfish tournament! Hey the fish will cooperate for everyone, and
just a bit more for me and my crew.....Ha ha ha ha! Well, that’s it
for this week! Check back with us next week to see what’s going on
in our little piece of paradise! Have a safe weekend everybody, hope
to see you out there!
Capt. James Chappell