Florida Keys Fishing Report week of 6/11/2018
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The second week of June provided plenty of Dolphin for charters and tournament anglers alike. Most of the Mahi caught were of the “school” size, meaning from 4 to 8 pounds. That size is what the charter guys refer to as “lifters”, meaning no gaff is required to put the fish into the boat. Charter boats such as the Southern Comfort out of Whale Harbor Marina racked twenty or so Dolphin for a day catch and even bay boats such as Captain Juan Garcia’s 24 foot “Beatsland” cleaned up with nice catches of Dolphin in the Bluewater. Captain Don on the Kay K IV was in the process of baiting a school of Dolphin when they turned their attention to a different species and caught a 60 pound White Marlin. One local Dolphin Tournament attracted 395 anglers and the heaviest Dolphin caught was 28 pounds.
Even with the good Dolphin action some opted to stay close to home and fish the reef. The Indigenous out of Bud and Mary’s Marina had a limit of Kingfish and a 15 pound Blackfin Tuna. Captain Billy Chrisman on the Vera Vita fished the reef and boated a nice bunch of Yellowtail Snapper. Captain Paul on the Reef Runner caught some King Mackerel and had a few Dolphin swim up in 150 feet of water too.
Gulf and Bay:
In the western area of the bay, adjacent to the Gulf, the Trout action is good. Captain Lou Brubaker fished a father and son out near Sandy Key and caught a load of Trout putting just enough in the cooler for dinner. There are some nice Mangrove Snapper taking the jigs offered to the Trout out there too. There are Sharks and Tarpon in the channels that drain the huge expanses of shallow water out to the west, so look for a good bite on the tide changes in those channels. The Mullet are very plentiful in that area, so live Mullet or even a fresh dead chunk will prompt a bite from either Tarpon or Sharks.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Captain Fred out of Smugglers Cove Marina reported getting into some Redfish and Snook in the infamous Snake Bight channel last week. Captain Bob Baker found some Snook and Redfish pitching baits into a mainland drain creek out west of Flamingo. Islamorada guides have been putting the full court press on the Tarpon last week, fishing all hours of the night and corners of the day. The Tarpon action was everything from sensational to where the heck are they? Or as they say, “from a hero to a zero”. That just shows that the Tarpon have a mind of their own and even with conditions that look good, there can be that unknown variable that puts them off. Guides have been baiting the Tarpon with Mullet, Crabs and chunk baits, mostly in the channels.