Key Largo Patch Reef Fishing Mutton Snappers and Mangroves
Capt. Ryan Van Fleet
February 12, 2018
Key Largo - Saltwater Fishing Report
With the wind cranking from the east I have been taking clients shallow patch reef fishing for Mutton and Mangrove Snappers when we can not get outside the reef. Ed returned to fish with me this year and brought his younger son Zach along for a 2-1/2 day patch reef trips. A 1/2 day is all you need on the patches off Key Largo and Tavernier.
I like use ultra light Shimano Sustain 2500-5000 series reels matched with ultra light weight St. Croix rods for Muttons and Mangroves when fishing the patch reefs. Since clients are casting all day I want them to have the lightest set up possible. The Shimano Sustain is a beast of a little reel for patch reef action.
For bait we started with live shrimp then switched over to small live pilchards after the mangroves quit on shrimp, after they quit on pilchards I got them fired up again on fresh cut ballyhoo.
Fishing the patch reefs off Key Largo and Tavernier is great fun especially when the big Muttons are fired up and eating. Mixed in with the Muttons and Mangrove Snappers were small lemon sharks and cero mackerel.
Key Largo Fishing Forecast:
Look for the Black Fin Tunas to show up over the next couple weeks. Reports of the yearly Blue Fin and Yellow Fin Migration along the Florida Keys Reef line are coming in. This short migration window has been happening for years, social media blew up. If you want your shot fish Conch or Alligator on a hard east wind day. Goggle Eye off the Kite gets them.
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