Capt. Ralph Delph
May 24, 2010
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report
WOW! A week of 20 to 25 knot winds and now, 25 to 30. For those brave enough to fight the winds and seas offshore, large dolphin have been their reward. Many DOLPHIN from 25 to 60 pounds have been taken this past week. Run and gun on the frigate birds have been the consistent producers of the larger fish. SAILFISH, BONITO and BLACKFIN TUNA continue to be in good supply, however, KINGFISH action has slowed to a near stand still. Along the reef, YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER seem to be in fair supply, however, bottom fishing has slowed as the waters begins to warm. MUTTON SNAPPER are beginning to gather for their spawn, coming up on this full moon in May. Crabtree of the NMFC has warned us that the MUTTON SNAPPER is "next on the list" of species to be seriously controlled in spite of many years of poor management, with a 10 fish per day bag limit and allowing the sale of this species during the spawn. Keep your eyes open for some extreme measures of control on this fish in the near future. GROUPER fishing on the deeper reefs is off, in spite of a 4 month closure. So much for "SCIENCE". Fish have tails and sometimes they swim here and sometimes they swim there. But I digress. Hopefully the bottom fishing will be better next season.
The Gulf of Mexico has been very good for the BLACKFIN TUNAS this year and remains so, however they are a good 60 to 70 miles out at this time. BONITO are numerous behind the shrimp boats but have been yielding to the tuna quickly. Large MANGROVE SNAPPER, some to 7 or 8 pounds have been numerous around structure and large LANE SNAPPERS along with GAG GROUPER have been in the bags as well. GOLIATH GROUPER continue to be a nuisance around the wrecks and will take their share of your catch.
The main migration of TARPON has started and the action has been good. Live baiters have been having good luck and 8/0 circle hooks have been doing the job. The harbor has been good as well as the channels and flats. The beige toad fly, has been producing tarpon during the high sun conditions and the orange and yellow Stu Apte has been working well early and late light conditions. PERMIT and BONEFISH have been good as well.
That's it for now. Tight lines and good fishing
Captain Ralph Delph
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