Bluewater catches remain pretty good for most anglers looking for Dolphin. The Mahi Mahi have been found fairly close to the reef and out to twenty miles. Charters fishing the Islamorada hump have gotten in on a good bite of Blackfin Tuna. The Blackfin range in size from little “footballs” that are two or three pounds to some good ones up into the teens in weight. The footballs are usually caught by trolling small black and red jap feathers a hundred feet or more behind the boat. The better Tuna often are eating live baits that are either slow trolled or by tossing a bunch of free baits to get the Tuna busting then to toss a hooked bait into the melee. Captain Mel Walker on the Gotcha out of Post Card Inn had a good day on the Dolphin and got a Wahoo also.
The Yellowtail Snapper is still the prime target for reef anglers. Captain Don on the Kay K IV reports that the bait stealers like Filefish and Blue Runners are really making it a challenge to get the drifted bait to the Snapper. With perseverance and some creative chumming, you can still have a good catch of Yellowtail. There has been some good action on King Mackerel also. The Kingfish are in depths from 120 to 180 feet. Captain Lou Brubaker reports a good time had one evening as he fished after dark on some inshore patches and got into some nice Yellowtail, Mutton and Mangrove Snapper.
Gulf and Bay:
With school back in and “H” season in full swing, the charter business has slowed down. If you like solitude, take a ride out to the Gulf and you may not see another boat all day. In the gulf carry live Pinfish, Crabs and Shrimp for bait and take 10, 20 and 30-pound tackle, as the possibilities are endless. Anchor and put a commercial block of chum overboard. In short order, you will know whether to stay or relocate. The baitfish will come up into the chum slick and the Snapper, Jacks, and Trout will bite pretty quickly. If not take a ride and do it again. Set a Pinfish or crab out under a float and any number of species may take that bait also. Look for Sharks, Cobia, Permit and other fish to swim up behind the boat to inspect all the fuss.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Guides are reporting good action on Tarpon in the evenings by soaking chunk bait on the channel bottom. In the Flamingo area, Captain Fred out of Whale Harbor Marina had a great day with lots of variety. Fred reports releasing Snook, Redfish, Drum Trout and a Tarpon one-day last week. Captain Charlie Tindall took his mom Cherri fishing on her birthday last week and Cheri an accomplished fly angler released two Bonefish and a Tarpon.