Happy New Year and Great Fishing in 2013!
Capt. Jason Long
December 27, 2012
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
While 2012 was an excellent year for fishing in the Florida Keys, early indications are that 2013 is going to be even better. Beyond the reef we're catching mixed bags of hard-fighting pelagic species, including sailfish, wahoo, dolphin, tuna, and kingfish. Target your pelagics between 100 and 300 feet of water, working current edges, weed lines, and color changes, as well as on the deep wrecks. Whether you are live baiting, or trolling lures and dead baits, make sure to fish your baits at various depths. Put a few baits out on the surface, and fish your other baits down deep throughout the columns.
Captain James Simcic took this cool shot from the water of a sailfish caught on a bucktail jig and released unharmed off Marathon!
There's really been no specific pattern to what we've been catching offshore in that 100 to 300 foot range. One day the tunas will be busting, and the next day we'll find packs of sailfish and dolphin. That's what's so exciting about the offshore fishing this time of year. There are a variety of fish you can catch all within a short boat ride from the dock.
When you've had your fill of offshore fishing had back in for some excellent snapper, grouper, and mackerel action. The cooler temperatures have made for great fishing from the bridges, to Hawk Channel, out to the deep reef.
On the deep reef, the yellowtail snapper bite continues to be excellent when the conditions are right. If you find the wind and current going in the opposite direction don't hesitate to pull up your anchor and move closer to shore. You may find conditions more favorable on the patch reefs and closer to the bridges where the strong currents can act in your favor.
Speaking of the patch reefs, the mangrove snapper bite has been excellent and we're starting to get into packs of those big wintertime fish upwards of five pounds. Fish live pilchards on jig heads, and use light fluorocarbon leader, matching line strength with the clarity of the water. We're also catching some nice grouper on the patch reefs, but keep in mind that grouper season CLOSES on January 1. So you only have a few days left to get on the water and take home tasty grouper filets!
Two nice mangrove snappers caught at the Seven-Mile Bridge with Captain Jimmy Gagliardini aboard the High Caliber in Marathon.
At the Florida Keys bridges we're also experiencing an excellent mangrove snapper bite. Fish the pilings during both the incoming and outgoing tides using pilchards, shrimp, or small pinfish on jig heads. The bridges are extremely active this time of year and it's not uncommon to hook into a keeper grouper and hard fighting jacks while fishing the bridges as well.
Over in Florida Bay, the redfish action has been red hot close to home, and on the deep Gulf wrecks the cobia fishing has been nothing short of spectacular.
Your Best Bet for the Week Ahead: Have a wonderful New Year!
Happy New Year from Best Bet Sportfishing! We hope to see you on the water in 2013.
The Best Bet Sportfishing fleet is located on the Sadowski Causeway (Mile Marker 54) in Key Colony Beach. To book a trip visit www.bestbetsportfishing.com, or call Captain Jason Long 305.395.1376.
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