MARATHON, Florida Keys – Here we go again, the cold has started leaking into the Keys giving us 50-degree temperatures. Thinking back all the years I have lived here, I have never witnessed the degree of winter temperatures as we have seen the past two years. The notion of global warming just makes me mad as it has been very clear that what ever research that has been done, has been done wrong. You tell me, records are falling all over the northern hemisphere, as these guys are still defending their inaccurate work they call their research. I have had many calls for the early dolphin run that we used to get during March and April, but I really have to say that we won’t see it this year. Last year was the beginning of this cold trend, and the dolphin didn’t have a good run till the very end of April. But I do believe we will keep our excellent sailfish season into April and if you fish further offshore the sail fishing should continue to be good into May.
This week was a bit rough, which limited the amount of people that should have been out there. Fishing in 4-6 foot seas on the reef and wrecks I was able to keep my clients thinking about their next bite instead of their stomachs. The wrecks were very active with muttons, groupers, and amberjacks. Using vertical jigs and live bait you were very likely to stay very busy with multiple double headers and line screaming off of the fifty pound spinners I use for dropping. I find that most people are more comfortable with spinners and you can let beginners who are enthusiastic about fishing get experience with a fishing combo that is user friendly. I had a charter this week where catching blue runners became a challenge for them, but after filling the well with blue runners they were able to try for the big ones on a little bit bigger tackle. After bouncing around out there we lost two anglers to seasickness, but the other two caught some slob amberjacks on a lighter combo. Women especially, find lighter tackle easier even though it might take longer to land a big fish, you need to have some common sense to understand that most women are not as strong as men and to use heavy tackle with strong drags is just not going to happen. So next time when you are out there dropping for amberjacks and other bottom fish, give the lady a spinner and make her day.
The reef has been ok, yellowtails have been biting somewhat, but the lack of current has really affected the bite. They have been hitting softly and closer to the bottom due to the dirty water and lack of current. Yellowtails are funny sometimes, but it makes complete sense. If the water is dirty the yellowtail will not come up high in the water column for the one reason, they need to see the bottom. If they have a hard time seeing the bottom they will hold deeper in the water column. Sometimes when they are really hungry they will come up and go down, never staying on top. When your school of yellowtail won’t come up, you will loose more fish due to their ability to find something to wrap your line around since they are so close to the bottom. They can be smart by swimming towards the boat but diving deeper as they find something to hang you up on. The other reason when the yellowtails get hard to get to the boat when they are deeper in the water column is that the threat of being eaten by sharks and kingfish increases with every ten feet down in the water column. As the fish struggles on the line the kings and sharks are able to pick these fish out and eat them with ease. Even dolphin (flipper) will take their fair share of your fish while you’re out there yellow tailing.
Sail fishing has been ok, with some captains getting 3-7 releases, and capturing some big kings in the 20-30 pound range. Lots of schooling kings from 8-12 pounds have been swarming around some of the wrecks in 130-180 feet of water. Using vertical jigs, live bait and dead bait has been working really well. You can also get out off the edge of the reef and troll with down riggers or weights and have a blast catching kingfish. They might not be very good to eat, but I do enjoy catching them. They are one of our sportfish that most people overlook. If you use the right tackle these toothy critters are sure to pull hard and test your tackle, especially if your using light tackle. Fishing foe kings in the Kite is so much fun. This is by far some of the most exciting way to kingfish as they skyrocket twenty feet into the air with the bait in their mouth. If you have ever bass fished using top-water plugs, the excitement you get when the fish busts your floating lure making a big splash and surprising you at the same time drives these fisherman to stick with it. The same thing with kite fishing for kings, the aerial attacks and the strike is the number one reason for fishing this way.
Have a great week, and get out there and have some fun. Try something new this week, and try kite fishing for kings while we have the weather for it.
Tags: amberjack fishing, blue runner fishing, Capt. Dave Schugar, dolphin fishing, Florida Keys Fishing, florida keys fishing charter, king fish fishing, kingfish fishing, Marathon fishing, reef fishing, sail fish fishing, sailfish fishing, sharks, Sweet E'Nuf Charters, wreck fishing, yellowtail snapper fishing