The Keys


Florida Keys Fishing Report week of 6/12/2017
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Bluewater action is pretty much at its best right now for Dolphin. There are catches of Blackfin Tuna and Wahoo mixed in on a dolphin day. A few captains are even doing some deep dropping after getting all the Mahi needed and catching Porgy, Snapper, Grouper and Tilefish to add to a great days catch. This past weekend the Third Annual Skippers Dolphin Tournament was held and was a great success. As many tournaments these days teams weigh the top three Dolphin to find a winner. This year’s event was won by the boat Executive Decision out of Ocala, Fl. Their three Dolphin weighed a total of 63.3 pounds. The largest Dolphin of the event weighed in at 34.4 pounds. There were 71 teams and 315 anglers in the Tourney.
With the great Dolphin fishing, there are relatively few boats staying on the reef. Reports from half day charters tell us that the Yellowtail Snapper action is still good. It was reported by one captain that the Yellowtail were tough to get with a current against the wind one day last week. We did have a few days of strong west wind with two days of torrential rain, but it is the tropic’s and its summer, so the rain is to be expected. A few backcountry guides fished the patches just inside the reef in ten to 20 feet of water on the calm days. Catches consisted of a variety of Snapper, Porgy, Hogfish, Jacks and undersize Grouper.
Gulf and Bay:
The few calm days in the Gulf were productive with good Snapper action on live bottom areas. There are a few Trout on those spots too. Back inside the bay the Snapper and Trout are numerous and willing to inhale a jig as the boat drifts over the lush grass bottom. Mixed in with the Snapper and trout are Ladyfish and jacks. Tarpon action is good in the channels and up on the banks out to the west side of Florida bay.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Most of the attention is on the Tarpon these days. Close to home all of the channels in the Islamorada area are holding Tarpon and this is probably the best time to try for Permit. Out back in the Flamingo area and out to Cape Sable the Tarpon are on the feed. Live bait, dead bait and artificials including fly will do the trick. Good catches of Snook have been reported by those who fish the island moats and shoreline area of the mainland. Casting Live Shrimp, Pinfish, Pilchards and even some plugs have been doing the trick. And of course, the bread and butter fish the Snapper and Trout are readily available at many spots in the backcountry.