Florida Keys Fishing Report week of 4/16/18
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There have been a few catches of Dolphin offshore, but no big push as of yet. Captain Brian Cone caught two Mahi in the teens in weight on a current edge last week. Captain Chuck on the Dee Cee boated a few nice Dolphin one trip also. The Blackfin Tuna on the humps are biting good. Captain Paul on the Reef Runner got into the Tuna on the Hump one day boating a dozen.
There is good action on the reef with Sailfish and Yellowtail Snapper the highlight. The Charter Boat Early Bird released three Sailfish last week. Captain Billy on the Vera Vita out of Whale Harbor Marina had a great day on the reef with a box full of Yellowtail Snapper to show for it. There are Permit on the reef wrecks, so always have a few crabs in the live well just in case you want to throw at the Permit. It is recommended using a twenty pound spin outfit [for the Permit] with a short length of light fluorocarbon leader on the terminal end. Use a small sliding lead just to help cast and sink the crab.
Gulf and Bay:
Well, as they say, “all good things must come to an end” and that applies to the Spanish Mackerel in the Gulf. The Spanish Mackerel has been a great fishery for years and pretty reliable too. The Mackerel are for the most part far and few between now and guides are waiting for the Seatrout numbers to increase. The Trout have been anywhere from slow to great the past week. One thing is that there are some very large Trout around, ranging twenty inches and above. The Trout have been found in the western bay around Sandy Key and the banks that border the Gulf. Drifting and bouncing jigs is the method used by most. On the nice days the Tarpon are in good supply. Guides are fly fishing them, but mostly the big Silver Kings are caught on live Mullet under a float.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
It is pretty much all about the Tarpon for many guides these days. Fishing the island channels the Tarpon are thick. Captain Vinnie Biondoletti has been cast netting Mullet and baiting Tarpon most evenings. Captain Skip Neilson has been also catching Tarpon on live bait in the channels. Captain Freddie out of Smugglers Cove caught two Tarpon one trip and when a third bite came he said the fish was not acting like a Tarpon. At boat side the fish was a Cobia of 38 inches. What a bonus. Captain Jeremy on the A Lil Tail fished Flamingo briefly one trip last week and released one Snook.