Wreck Fishing Charters in Marathon, Florida Keys

Wreck Fishing Charters in Marathon, Florida Keys

Wreck & Reef Combination Fishing Charters are designed for a full day (8 hours), but can be offered in a half day (4 hours). This combination trip is great for the whole family and the hard core fisherman. In most cases this trip starts off on the reef catching yellowtail snapper and depending what time of the year it is grouper as well. Then I will take us out to the deeper reefs and wrecks with depths ranging from 100 feet-250 feet of water. Depending on conditions and fishing patterns there are two methods of fishing I will apply.

Anchoring Up to Fish the Wrecks

The first is anchoring, where I anchor the boat on these wrecks and deep reefs and we fish the bottom for large snappers like muttons or cubera snapper. We can also catch many other species such as cobia, african pompano, amberjacks, jacks other, and giant yellowtails (flags). When anchoring we will also fish top water for pelagic such as wahoo, kingfish, tuna, sailfish, and dolphin when it’s applicable. The time of the year will determine which of these pelagic we could catch. When anchoring it may take a few times to get the boat positioned right as currents and wind will make it hard to predict where the boat will finally rest. It is very important to be close to where the wreck is and when conditions change we will re-anchor to stay close to the wreck to optimize your fishing time.

Very much like the reef fishing wreck fishing is bottom dropping in deeper water. In this deeper water we use longer leaders and heavier weights to hold the bottom because usually the deeper water tends to have more current and heavier weight is a necessary. Because of the bigger weight we make our leaders very long, anywhere from 15 feet to 30 feet is the norm. So spacing each rod far apart is necessary to keep tangles from happening, but it is fishing there are going to happen, we just want to limit the frequency of the tangles. And just as when we are reef fishing live baiting on the surface for pelagic can be very productive on wrecks certain times of the year. At certain times we will add just a little bit of lead to these top water lines to fish the mid water column where the fish may be hanging during certain times of the day like mid-afternoon when it gets hot and bright out. While on these wrecks live baiting all over the different depths we sometimes will live bait chum with pilchards to gather the pelagic behind the boat. It can be very fast action at times.

Power Drifting the Deep Wrecks

The second is called power drifting and I tend to use this method on the deepest of the wrecks as anchoring would be very difficult and time consuming to get situated just right. In the deeper water we will catch the same fish as if we were on the anchoring spots but we are limited to two bottom fisherman at a time to keep tangles from happening. When fishing the deeper wrecks I change the bottom rig a little bit and it helps insure the bait from dragging the bottom and the possibility of getting snagged. I make a three way swivel out of two swivels and two beads, with one of the swivels holding the weight as the leader goes to the other swivel. This allows the weight to slide when you get a bite and the fish doesn’t feel the weight and at the same time makes the bite more noticeable when it happens so far down. This is also why I like to use braided line so that the bites can be felt at these deep depths.

Because braided line has no stretch you can feel the live bait on the line moving around and normally this is an advantage because you can feel the bait getting nervous from a predator getting ready to eat it, kind of like an early warning system. At times the fish are not on the shallower wrecks and in order to catch fish we need to fish the deeper water. It can be just as productive fishing with two people in deeper water as it is with more lines in the shallower water anchored. You will just have to trust me to make the executive decision to make that call.