Big Dolphin Off Of Marathon-Florida Keys
Capt. Bob Brown
May 10, 2009
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
Spring is a great time to catch big Dolphin in the Florida Keys and this spring is holding true as well with some large Mahi coming to the dock this week all up and down the Keys. The Dolphin tournaments have seen some fish as large as 45lb hitting the docks. A 70lb fish was reported to be caught in Islamorada and some 50+ size fish coming in from Marathon and Big Pine Key areas. Some larger fish have been around the 15-18 mile offshore range, but most of the larger fish have been out 22-30 miles. The edge of the gulfstream current has been pretty far offshore leaving the smaller fish inshore under birds and the larger fish out in the current. Look for moving, dipping gulls or frigate birds diving to the surface for the big fish. Also under floating debris is a good place to find fish but seem to be holding mostly school fish lately. Some nice sized schools of smaller fish have been anywhere from 8 miles offshore on out. Right around the 600-650ft range is a good area lately to find schools of smaller fish if you do not want to roam farther offshore lookin for bigger fish. Some nice Wahoo have been in the mix lately as well mostly around floating debris. Blackfin Tuna have been hanging around the offshore seamounts mostly and some Skipjack Tuna have been hanging on the edge of the Wall where the Swordfish action has been heating up lately. The breezy conditiong all last week made it a bit difficult to get out to the swordfish grounds, but some boats have braved the conditions and have been rewarded with some big swords up to 250lb!
On the inshore scene, there are still lots of Sailfish working their way by the Keys. In the final pro series tournament off of Miami last week there were boats catching as many as 27 sails in a day. This action has filtered down to the Keys as well, but not in the same numbers lately as the current that has been in close to shore off of Key Biscayne has been far offshore off the middle Keys this week. Even though, there have been boats catching several sails in a day up and down the middle Keys mostly in shallow water along the reef edge in 50-110ft. Some fish have been chasing Ballyhoo on the reef off of the 7 mile bridge this week as well. If you want to target sails this time of year try to coincide with the outgoing tide at the bridges...
Tarpon action remains red hot at the 7 mile and Bahia Honda bridges this week. The silver King is ruling the inshore anglers scene and there have been good numbers of fish working around the bayside flats kind of far off the bridges on the incoming tide. So if it seems like there are no fish around at the bridge, try drifting farther off out into the Bay on the incoming tide and look for rolling fish. If you find fish on the move out in Florida Bay, try getting out in front of thier path and pitching live blue crabs well in front of the way they are moving. Live mullet will work too, but seem to spook the fish in calm conditions if you are trying to cast a large live mullet into the path of moving Tarpon. The outgoing tide seems to be the hotter bite right at the bridges lately so check the current chart before proceding to the bridges. Long Key bridge has been hot around the bayside flats near Conch Key as well as at the bridge. Fish like to move up and down the banks during the different tides. Best way to find them is look for rolling fish and move up current of them and let your baits drift back in the tide. Mullet is king here at Long Key bridge but a pinfish will do the trick here as well.
Bayside wrecks are still producing a few Cobia but most have made the move up the coast for the season. Some large Permit have been on the offshore wrecks however, so make sure you have a few blue crabs in the bait well if you are heading out into the Gulf to do some wreck fishing. Goliath grouper have been out there as well and some nice mangrove snapper have been aournd the inshore bayside wrecks. Some large sharks have also been around the wrecks and near the islands 7-12 miles northwest of Marathon. If you would like more info on fishing in the Marathon area and middle Keys area, check out our web site. Good luck in all your fishing adventures!
More Fishing Reports: