MARATHON, Florida Keys — After getting back from the Bahamas, I was booked everyday for just about the rest of the month. We started off the week with some dolphin fishing, which wasn’t how I left it. All we could find were illegal dolphin. After running out as far as 40 miles only to find some smaller fish, we decided to do some deep dropping. Since there wasn’t much current we were dropping five pounds of lead to 1200 feet of water and holding nicely. We caught eight rose fish and four barrelfish in five drops. That was pretty good fishing. On the way in we encountered some more small dolphin and skipjack tuna.
The next day we went wreck fishing. We caught five amberjacks and three muttons. The muttons seem to biting from 140-180 feet of water. They weren’t biting great but we did miss quite a few other fish, which could have been other muttons as well. We tried heading offshore again for a few days only to catch a few schoolies, which were legal to harvest. The bite at the hump was slow, too; lack of current seemed to have hindered all the fishing.
I went yellow tailing only to have the lack of current hinder that as well. So we went mutton fishing and caught a few muttons from 15-20 pounds. We also got our fair share of amberjacks too. While we were yellow tailing I dropped some pinfish to the bottom. The bottom bite was active. We caught two goliaths from 30-70 pounds, a Nassau grouper weighing in at 25 pounds and plenty of five-pound mangrove snappers.
Towards the end of the week I heard of a few big fish being caught or seen, but not much. The large schoolies have been numerous east of the Marathon Hump from 1100-1300 feet of water. Basically all you wanted if you wanted to travel that far to the east. Most of the fish have been reported from Holiday Isle to Caloosa Cove.
The mangrove spawn is just starting, so get out of the heat and fish at night from 25-70 feet of water. Lots of bait out on the reef too, so you might want to bring your cast net or sabiki rigs.