Offshore Fishing Report: Going Deep And Scoring Big

MARATHON, Florida Keys — Boy the fishing has really gotten red hot down here.  My buddy David Rogers from Colorado has come to fish for the week but we were only able to fish one day and dive one day before the wind picked up and forced us off the water.

We had a game plan of Florida Keys deep dropping fishing to get some tasty critters from deep.  Most of the morning we were hitting some of my usual snowy grouper spots, but there was no current.  When deep dropping from 600-700 feet of water we need current to stimulate the fish.  We hit 4 spots with no luck.  I finally made up my mind to go deeper and find some current.  I headed out to my barrel fish spot where we finally found some current; it wasn’t a lot, but it was enough.  We made two drops with a barrel fish on each drop.  Barrel fish is like eating grouper, but a little more firm.  I prefer to freeze these fish before eating to tenderize the meat.  My clients consider barrel fish one of the best fish they have ever eaten.  We caught one around 20 pounds and the other was close to 40 pounds, which is a jumbo.  Dave likes to take home multiple species so that he has an assortment of fish to eat over the winter time where in Colorado most of the water is covered by ice.

After we had enough of barrel fish, we were headed east to find some current further inside as we looked for dolphin.  We found a barrel floating with loads of baitfish underneath it.  It looked very fishy and so we threw some bait in the water and as soon as it hit the water, the baitfish (Baby Almaco Jacks) tore up our baits.  Dave was actually catching them with a bare hook.  Shortly after a few jigs with the butterfly jigs, five dolphins swam past the boat.  We pitched some live bait and the biggest of the five ate the bait and we were on.  We pitched more live bait, but they seemed to be not interested.  We tried every trick in the book, but we were only able to catch three of the five fish, but since they were big dolphin we were ok with that.  The weights of these dolphins were from 15-20 pounds and this size fish has a very good yield of meat.  We were able to get almost 30 pounds of fillets off of them, which is a considerable amount of meat.

It was starting to get late, so we headed back to fish the Marathon wrecks close to shore to see if we could get a few muttons before heading home.  We were at the right wreck because as soon as the bait hit the bottom we were on — nice ten-pound mutton.  Before the end of the drift, we dropped down another bait and scored another ten-pound mutton.  It was so cool! I love it when the muttons bite this well.  We made another drift and yielded one about 20 pounds.  With a box full of fish we headed home for some cocktails while I filleted the fish.  Fishing couldn’t have gone any better this day…a nice snowy wouldn’t have hurt anything, but I guess they will be waiting for my next trip.

Are you looking for a great time to come down to the Keys?  I would recommend that you come on down during the fall! The weather is changing and can cause some rough days, so when booking your vacation, be sure to book your fishing trips early in your vacation — that way, if we experience some bad weather, we can reschedule later in the week.  Fishing is great this time of the year with many different types of fish to catch, and the heat is dwindling away, making it quite refreshing to fish. 

The fall is the time when our swordfishing gets red hot.  We catch more fish over 200 pounds this time of the year than any other.  I offer day and night time swordfishing charters for these giants of the deep, so keep that in mind when you are booking your trip.  The sailfish are starting to show up!  It is only a matter of time before we go gung ho for them and the smoker kings.  Sweet E’Nuf Charters specializes in live bait and light tackle fishing.  Lets go fishing!

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