Key Colony Beach Charter Boat Report: 11.12.12
Capt. Jason Long
November 12, 2012
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
Strong winds kept many boats from getting offshore last week, but they didn't prevent anglers from reeling in excellent catches closer to home. On the reef, the billfish flags have been flying as more and more sailfish are showing up each day! It's still a little early for the large schools of fish to arrive, but if you spend time working the edge of the reef out to 300 feet of water, you'll have a great shot at hooking into one of these amazing fish.
Bob from Maryland, fishing with Reverend Big Dawg, aka, Captain Mike Biffel (http://bigdawg1.com/), caught and released this beautiful five-foot tiger shark while fishing the reef.
Also in those same depths, the big kingfish have been screaming lines off reels all week. For targeting kingfish, as well as the cero mackerel that are showing up as well, put out a spread of live pilchards or live ballyhoo, and fish your baits at various depths wherever you see a current edge or color change. Another way to target those big smoker kinds is with lively baits, such as a blue runners or goggle eyes, fished on a kite. It's a quite a thrill to watch your kite bait get slammed by an aggressive king, and you may also hook up with a dolphin, sail, or cobia as well.
On the patch reefs, large mangrove snappers (over five pounds) have really turned on of late. Most of our big fish were caught fishing with pilchards on jig heads between 20 and 40 feet of water. When you're fishing the patch reefs match the weight of your jigs to the current and the depths. You don't want your bait just lying on bottom, nor do you want it swimming up and out of the bite zone. Take a variety of jig sizes out with you, and adjust accordingly.
Also on the patch reefs, the yellowtail snapper bite has been very consistent. Just remember not to fish too many flat lines at one time. Not only do more lines in the water tend to spook these notoriously line-shy fish, but it can also create quite a mess on those windy days when your boat is swinging back and forth while anchored. I like to use two rods at a time maximum, often using only one rod when the fish are being finicky. More lines in the water do not always mean more fish—especially when it comes to yellowtailing.
Alan Knowlton of Maryland caught this nice 30-pound kingfish aboard the Best Bet II.
As I mentioned, high winds kept many of us from venturing offshore last week. Hopefully this week will provide some calm days and we can head out to the Humps in search of our blackfin tunas. If planning on tuna fishing this week I suggest planning your trip for early in the morning, or later on in the afternoon. Often the bite is best at dawn, before the other boats arrive, and at dusk, when most of the boats have already gone home. Pick a day that looks calm, load the well with pilchards, and make the run. You should be in store for some top notch tuna fishing. Also make sure you have a few ballyhoo rigged and ready for your rides to and from the Humps as well. There are still some big dolphins (mahi mahis) out there in the blue water.
Finally, I'd like to congratulate Captain Nick Borraccino (www.nickborraccinosportfishing.com) and his lovely wife Lindsay on their recent marriage!
Your Best Bet for the Week Ahead: Reef Fishing
The patch reefs have been excellent for snapper fishing (mangroves, muttons, and yellowtails), and more and more of our wintertime pelagic species (sailfish and kings) are showing up each day!
The Best Bet fleet is located at Key Colony Beach Marina at Mile Marker 53.5, next to Sparky's Landing Restaurant. To book a trip visit www.bestbetsportfishing.com, or call Captain Jason Long at 305.395.1376.
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