The Keys


Florida Keys Fishing Report week of 8/27/17
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Bluewater fishing for Dolphin has gotten even better in late August. There are still plenty of school Dolphin to be had and they are better size lately. There are also more gaffer and slammer size Dolphin to be had. Captain Chris on the Dog House out of Whale Harbor Marina had a great day on the Dolphin with a 36 pound Bull. Captain James Chappell on his Catchalottafish charter out of World Wide Sportsman Marina had a 40 pound Slammer to his credit one trip last week. The Floridian out of Whale Harbor Marina had a rack of big gaffer size Dolphin with one slammer on Thursday. Captain Benny Spaulding on the Play baby had family out on a morning trip and had ten nice Blackfin Tuna in the ten to 15 pound range and a couple of gaffer Dolphin in the teens in weight.
The Yellowtail Snapper action is still good. It will be best to fish early before the sun gets too high in the sky. Look for lots of fun with the Cero mackerel in the Yellowtail chum slick. Cast jigs on a short piece of #2 wire and work them erratically. It is time to begin to look for some King mackerel in depths of 90 to 200 feet of water. The Charterboat method is to slow troll live baits deep. One other method that will also produce King mackerel as well as many other species is to deep jig. Using a two ounce bucktail jig, crush and limber a Ballyhoo and fix it to the jig using three hooks in tandem on the jig. Free spool the offering down and then jig it back to the surface.
Gulf and Bay:
Out to the west the bay is producing great action on Mangrove Snapper. Drifting the grass lakes and dredging a jig through the foliage on the bottom will make for a great bite of Snapper. Some just use a twister tail and others will fix a Berkley Gulp bait to the jig. No need to chum, as the Mangrove Snapper are simply voracious in this hot water. The Trout may surprise you and join in, but the Trout are far and few between in most areas other than in the very northern area of the bay. There will be some willing Tarpon and Sharks in the channels along the banks near the Yacht Channel.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Some guides are fishing the mainland shoreline and island moats with good action on Snook and Baby Tarpon. Captain Gary of Ivory Keys charters has been getting into just such action this past week on Pinfish and Pilchards. There is good action on Tarpon in the evening in many of the channels in the Islamorada area. If you have a full day to devote to fishing run out to the Cape Sable area and be ready for anything. Along the beaches and in the canals and creeks there will be Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Drum, Trout and lots of other rod bending fish such as Jacks and Ladyfish.