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Grouper Biting.... for now....

Capt. Bob Brown
October 21, 2008
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report

New Regulations might soon totally cut off sport fishermen from taking any Grouper from Keys waters, but for now, they are biting in the middle Keys area. Fishing has been excellent for Snapper and Grouper on the deep reef area from Duck Key to Bahia Honda Key. Some good patch reef fishing in the 25-40ft depths has also been going on. In this depth range, you can catch plenty of Grouper, just not many keeper sized ones. With the size limits rising and bag limits shrinking, it is obvious that the science of Grouper reproduction has been a mystery to the governing bodies of fishing regulations for some time. Now they are talking about a total closer on all species of Grouper which sucks for sport anglers who like to take one home from time to time for food purposes. But I am all for what ever it takes to get the species back to the levels it once was before the fish traps of the late 70's and 80's wiped out lots of the breeding sized fish. If the researchers could have just figured out that those big cages would wipe out so many fish so fast, they might have not allowed them in the first place. But man there was plenty of Grouper to eat back then in the restaurants! So for now, we can keep the occasional black and gag grouper and hopefully they will find a balance that would give us the ability to keep one or two. Snapper seem to fare better in the reproduction game as we have plenty of those to catch and eat here in the Keys. Seems like snapper fishing can be fantastic at times and has not seemed to slow in recent years like the Grouper. The one success story of moritoriums has been the Goliath Grouper which has come back from near extintion to a healthy poputlation in the Gulf waters and even in Atlantic waters of the keys. In fact many gulf wrecks are hard to find a snapper any more as the big Goliath goupers tend to keep a spot cleaned off and are becoming an nuisance so to speak because of the species they have replaced on the wrecks. This could be the way for the other species to make a dramatic comeback too, so I am all for it if they think it will work.

Offshore fishing has been excellent for Dolphin off of Marathon in the 7-15 mile range offshore with some excellent catches hitting the docks recently. The only thing we need is more people wanting to catch some of these fish as there is a bit of an economic slowdown happening here in the Keys. Less people fishing means better fishing for those who do go fishing so make your plans now and bring another person along if you need help paying for the trip! We have plenty of hotel rooms available this time of year!

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Light tackle sportfishing for Sailfish, Tarpon, and other sport fish in the middle Florida Keys. Since 1980 Capt Bob has been putting anglers on the big fish! Offshore, reef/wreck, Gulf wrecks, and Tarpon fishing. Live bait specialist, tournament winners!

Contact Info:

Sundance Sportfishing Adventures
PO Box 504345
Marathon, FL 33050
Phone: 800-282-1712
Alt. Phone: 305-289-1542
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