Offshore Fishing Report: Catching the Rarest Fish in the Keys

This past week we fished 40 miles west of Key West for yellowtail and grouper.  The bite was on for the yellowtails.  We placed a block of chum in the bag and it wasn’t five minutes when we were pulling in our first flag yellowtail.  We had blue runners about five pounds swimming around the boat busting on fry which was an incredible site to watch.  During the summer the snappers are spawning and fry are all over the place and this brings in other fish that feed upon them.  For about three hours we caught jumbo yellowtail and then we finally got a bite one the bottom rod.

The bait was violently hit which then turned into a battle for my client Tom.  He fought this fish for nearly 45 minutes and then we caught a glimpse of what it was.  We thought it was a shark, but we were close, it was 15-foot sawfish, one of the rarest fish in the ocean.  This impressive fish is practically a dinosaur.  The saw like bill has one-inch teeth sticking out of it was almost six feet long.  The massive body measured four and half feet wide and it was as long as the transom of the boat with is 15 feet.  Very cool sighting, most people will never see one in the wild, and this is the second one we have caught in two years.

After sweating out gallon of water we decided to move and try some deep water for muttons and scamp grouper but we never hooked up.  We got a few bites but never connected to any of them.  There is a ledge out in 250 feet of water out there, and we marked fish all over it, but with no current the fish were not being cooperative.  After about two hours of no bites be decided to anchor back up on a yellowtail spot and stay there the night.  It was getting late and we caught a few more yellowtails and one large red grouper.  As the sun started to go down we started to cook dinner, which consisted of grouper on the grill, grilled asparagus, garlic pasta and some rum. You’ve got to have the rum.

The following day after breakfast we headed to the shallow banks on the inside edge of the Gulf and fished for red grouper.  It was like clockwork, dropping down dead gogs, and live grunts we were limited out in a couple of hours.  At this time we decided to head back to Key west for a fun filled Fourth of July.  Watching the fireworks from the boat while we ate bubba burgers, yellowtail ceviche and garlic pasta with a mozzarella, tomato salad.  After the fire works the boat next to us had a cannon, which they fired off and it was deafening.

After the Fourth, we headed to Cay Sal Banks, not getting too close because that would be illegal.  You have to check in before you can enter Bahamian waters.  There are areas where you can troll and deep drop where you are not actually in Bahamian waters.  You have to stay 12 miles outside any land.  Unfortunatly, there aren’t any places to check in over here, you would have to go 150 miles to check in, but the Cay Sal Bank is only 50-75 miles away in the opposite direction.  While we were over there we caught about fifty barracudas on the troll so we tried deep dropping in 1200 feet of water and caught 10 black snappers and one forty pound misty grouper.  After that we headed home which is over three hours from there.

With one day off, I had a guide trip with a great bunch of people — Mike, Jack, Max, Wyatt, and Spencer.  We had a goal to yellowtail fish, but with no current it was hard fishing.  After about three hours and two spots we decided to go mutton fishing.  It was a good thing that we did, because we caught five muttons and lost at least five others.  They guys had a great day and some excellent fish for dinner that night.  We fished a wreck in 180 feet of water and it was on — we got bites every drop with many double hookups.  The bite was on and if you are looking to catch some of these big mutton snappers this is the time to get down here.

Come on down! The weather is hot as the bite.  And to all of you who are worried about the oil, don’t be! There is no oil and there isn’t any likelihood of oil in out near future.  Listening to the news I found out that they might be able to cap it this weekend, keep your fingers crossed.  If the oil does make it to the Gulf Stream it will most likely pass by the Keys out as far as twenty miles, so if it does come this way the reef shouldn’t be harmed.  Of course we never know what the weather will do so we still got to keep our fingers crossed that they will be able to contain this spill before a hurricane around the corner scatters it all around.  Stay informed about what’s going on down here and keep my web site on your favorites.

Hope to see you down here! Come on down while the fishing is good!

Book a Fishing Charter with Sweet E'Nuf Charters Today!

Ready to make your own Florida Keys fishing memories? Check out the latest photos and stories from our most recent fishing charters in Marathon FL to see what's biting and what kind of adventure to expect.

Or call 305-610-4778 to book a charter now.