MARATHON, Florida Keys — With the warmth comes scattered thunderstorms. The dolphin action has been really great, but the mile traveled doesn’t seem to be letting up. The majority of the dolphins have been ranging from 20-35 miles with some scattered from 12-15 miles as well. The big dolphins are out there, mainly on five or less birds moving fast to the west. This time of the year you will find large flock of birds, but if you’re looking for that trophy you wont find them under the large flocks of birds. Instead, smaller flocks of birds from two to five birds are all you’re looking for. When you find those larger flocks of birds you will find mostly skipjack tuna and blackfin tuna. Now they are great fun for the family but don’t get too close, they spook really easily. I like to put my baits way back. This will help you get your baits over the busting fish without your boat spooking them down.
Sword fishing has been really consistent. Mainly small fish around 100-150 pounds but usually someone gets one over two hundred pounds almost daily. That’s fishing though you just never know when you’re going to get the big one. The deep dropping has been pretty consistent too. We have been getting snowy grouper, tilefish, queen snapper, yellow eye snapper, rosefish, barrel fish, and the ever-elusive mystic grouper. The currents have been good running about 1.5 to 2.5 kts, which is great for deep dropping. While we have been deep dropping either for swords or bottom fish we have had plenty of dolphin swimming up to the boat. So while your dropping keep a couple of pitch baits ready when those dolphin show up.
The yellowtails have been very consistent with some larger fish eating more regularly. When fishing for the larger flag-yellowtail you might only be able to fish one rod at a time. These larger fish are wearier of lines in the water. It’s not the hook that scares them, it’s the line you have in the water. So use new line, because the older line refracts light and causes the yellowtail to see it with ease. The muttons have been biting and it seems everyone in Marathon has been cashing in on this. It has taken longer for the bite off of Marathon to arrive but it’s here now. When a species takes longer to show up they will tend to be around longer than in other areas, which got the bite earlier.
Watch the weather and I’ll see you out there!