Florida Keys Summer Fishing Recap
Capt. Jason Long
September 20, 2012
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
Summer of 2012
Saturday, September 22, marks the official end of summer and the beginning of fall. You may not be able to feel the change of seasons as you would up north (it sure feels like summer still), but cooler temperatures and a change in the fishing are right around the corner. In the weeks ahead I will discuss in depth what you can expect to catch when we get into October and November, but this week I wanted to look back on the fantastic fishing summer of 2012, highlighting some of the memorable catches aboard the Best Bet.
Summer offered excellent offshore catches of Mahi Mahi (Dolphin), including this 50-pound bull caught by Katy Clearly of St. Petersburg, Florida. The prime Florida Keys dolphin season heats up in the late spring and early summer, slowing down as we get into the fall months.
The blackfin tuna action was red hot throughout the summer out on the Marathon and Islamorada Humps. Trolling, jigging, and live baiting produced the best results, with plenty of big fish caught in excess of 20-pounds. Tuna can be caught year-round in the Florida Keys so you still have time to get in on the excellent tuna action.
What a summer it was for mangrove snapper fishing! We had several incredible trips aboard the Best Bet boats during July and August where the entire boats limited out in less than two hours. Mangrove snapper fishing was best on the patch reefs from 20 to 30 feet of water, with the nighttime spawn bite also producing great results from 40 to 60 feet. Mangroves are readily available throughout the year and offer an exciting light tackle challenge for anglers of all skill levels.
Tropical Storm Isaac came and went without a fuss, but he sure stirred up some incredible fishing on the wrecks. After the storm we had incredible trips deep dropping for muttons and grouper.
A quick look ahead…
While we say goodbye to most of the dolphin, we look forward to the awesome fishing that lies ahead in the fall and winter months. Some of the pelagic fish you can expect to catch as the temperatures cool are cobia, sailfish, kingfish, and more—and don't forget that the reef species are available throughout the year for snapper and grouper.
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