Marathon, FL Keys Fishing Report 2.13.13
Capt. Jason Long
February 13, 2013
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
Still searching for the perfect Valentine's Day Gift? How about giving your sweetheart the best gift of all—a day of fishing in the Florida Keys! Nothing screams romance like yelling at your husband to "WIND" as he's fighting a big tuna to the boat, or assisting your wife by sticking the gaff in her wahoo. It's an experience both of you will surely enjoy and want to do again!
Now on to the fishing…
I don't have too much to report offshore, other than that the sharks have been pretty aggressive out on the Humps. This is not uncommon for the winter months and something you have to factor in before making the ride out in search of your blackfin tunas. Just be warned that there's a good chance most of your larger fish are going to be eaten by sharks before you can get them to the boat, which isn't a good for you or the fish. Your best bet is to troll feathers or lures on the surface which allows you to target more of the smaller fish that you should be able to get to the boat before the sharks can get a free meal.
On the edge of the deep reef we continue to see more and more sailfish as well as big kingfish. The sailfish bite still isn't red hot yet in the Middle Keys, but if you put your time in site fishing from 20 to 60 feet of water, or live baiting and slow trolling on the edge, you should get a shot at raising one or two sails. It's still not quite active enough that I would commit a full day to sailfishing, but it's a great way to mix up your trip by spending half your time fishing the reef or wrecks, and half your time chasing sails. As far as the kingfish bite, we're catching most of our larger fish between 40 to 100 feet of water, with some nice hookups on the wrecks as well. Look for both the sailfishing and the kingfish action to improve over the weeks ahead.
On the reef, the yellowtail snapper bite continues to be excellent in depths of 60 to 80 feet. The water has been clearing up so you'll need to go pretty light with your fluorocarbon leader. Try and find the right line strength combination that is light enough to entice the bites, but strong enough to keep the fish from digging you into the rocks and breaking you off. Also on the reef, the big cero mackerels continue to provide a lot of fun on light tackle. Don't forget to take along light wire leader and spend some time targeting these drag-screaming fish.
The Sailfish bite has been inconsistent but if you put your time in you should get a shot at raising a couple of sails.
Closer to home, the bridges have been heating up for big mangrove snappers. Bridge fishing is a great way to spend a half-day on the water catching a tasty dinner, and also allows you to get on the water on those windier days. Fish the pilings using live pilchards on jig heads, with best results coming on the incoming and outgoing tides.
Over in the Florida Bay, the mangrove snapper bite has been good from seven to eight miles back fishing in the grass. Target your mangroves with small live pinfish or pilchards, or fresh cut pinfish and ballyhoo. You should also get into some nice speckled seatrout action, which can be best targeted on live baits and using Berkley® Gulp Shrimp.
In the backcountry waters of Everglades National Park, the redish action remains red hot. Fish the flats and the deep creeks, and you should have a shot at landing snook, jacks, sheepshead, and black drum as well.
Your Best Bet for the Week Ahead: Spend the Day on the water with your Sweetheart!
Spend a fun-filled day with your loved one fishing in the Florida Keys. Then cap it off with a delicious dinner of fresh fish that you caught together!
The Best Bet Sportfishing Fleet is located at the Key Colony Beach Marina (MM 54- Sadowski Causeway), just before Sparky's Landing Restaurant. To book your trip call Captain Jason Long at 305.395.1376, or visit www.bestbetsportfishing.com.
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