Marathon Fishing Report: June 2015

Mutton Mania!

mutton snapper for June Marathon fishing reportThese past few weeks the black grouper bite was absolutely stellar and now we have entered into the mutton spawn where large bio masses of mutton snapper will be gathering on reefs and wrecks. Every trip this week has produced big muttons and happy clients.

I have been fishing wrecks and reefs from 104’-180’ of water while power drifting or anchoring. I find anchoring I am able to produce more but sometimes it is just as productive power drifting. As conditions change so do our tactics. I am always changing the types of bait I use, dead or alive, and different rigs as well because conditions change and when they do the bite changes. I generally use long 30’ leaders in heavy current and shortened leaders when the current drops off. Depending on currents I will use 3-24 oz. of lead to hold bottom.

My leader test can vary depending on what kind of structure I am fishing. I will use light leaders where the sandy spots are clean of debris, because some wrecks have broken up from hurricanes and are scattered all over the bottom around the main structure. Where the wreck has broken up I will use fifty pound floro and on the clean wrecks I will use leader as light as thirty pound test.

I mainly use fifty pound braided rods for fishing these wrecks and reefs because it shows the bite better than monofilament, and so that I can get away with as little weight as possible. I find that it is better to use the lightest weight possible because when the mutton snapper picks up your bait and tugs on the weight he will be less likely to drop it before he gets hooked as it might if it were heavier.

grouper for Marathon fishing report in JuneThis week has been great, easy fishing. Anchoring and re-anchoring, as your location is very important. When anchoring you may have to re-anchor a few times till you gauge the current and wind right. When wind and current are close to equal strength the anchoring becomes very tricky to get right. One minute you are sitting perfect and the wind could let up a few knots and you could swing 100’-400’ away from your spot. But if this happens don’t re-anchor right away because muttons are continuously swimming around the structure or up and down the reef looking for food and avoiding predators.

Sometimes if the fish are moving around a lot you may be alright with the swing, but after an hour with no bites I would adjust your location. If the wind is fluctuating a lot it may be better to power drift instead of anchoring. This week I re-anchored on average about three times in each spot I fished because of the fluctuating wind velocity. When you have four or more people onboard it may be best to anchor but with fluctuating wind speeds you might be more productive power drifting with two people.

Fish caught on June fishing charter in Marathon FL for reportI have yellow tailed this week a bit with great success. Fishing the deeper water I have been averaging two pound yellowtail and some groupers and muttons. But mainly when fishing for yellowtail I stayed focused on them to keep up with their pick habits. Yellowtail snapper can be some of the pickiest eaters when the water is clean and warm.

Using plenty of oats and chum we can lead them to believe they are safe. But in fact they were not, as my anglers were pouncing on them by changing bait constantly and following the school. Sometimes to get the bigger yellowtail my clients had to fish one rod at a time, but catching one every ten minutes vs not catching any because of one too many lines in the water is a winner in my book. While fishing for yellowtail I would let the rest of my clients fish the bottom for muttons and groupers, where they did fantastic. I had many days where we were limited out by 11:00AM on grouper.

Don’t forget to book me in advance this summer as most of my days are taken a month in advance, I will have a few days available.

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