Marathon - Florida Keys Fishing Report
Capt. Bob Brown
December 27, 2009
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
Winter is here in the Keys, and the migration of winter species is in full swing after we recently had some more seasonal temperatures to help cool the local waters. The Mackerel family has made it's presence known this week in grand fashion. Large numbers of Spanish Mackerel are inhabiting Florida Bay right now from 7-15 miles North of Marathon. The bay bite has been down right rude with limit catches no problem on Spanish. Chumming over the grassy flat bottom in 9-12ft of water has been the key and the Spanish show up in no time. A couple hours of this hot action is all most anglers can handle before they are ready for a sandwich and a drink! The larger cousin to the Spanish, the King Mackerel has also been roaming the bayside with some monster smoker kings coming in from the inshore wrecks! One brought in to the 7 mile marina here in Marathon today was 42lb! Several other big Kings have been hitting the docks all over Marathon and Key Colony Beach with some big brute Kings coming in from the deep reef edge off of Marker 20 south of KCB. Plenty of Cero Mackerel have been covering the oceanside patch reefs as well. So if you want some drag ripping, slashing fast action, hook up with some Macks in the next couple months.
Plenty of Sailfish are still here off of Marathon also. Yesterday we fished with the Wilkins family from the Atlanta area and 15yr old Alex caught a nice sailfish, her first! We broke the line unfortunately on two others on a half day trip. We also saw a total of about 20 sailfish chasing baitfish and free jumping around the area. And we chased birds for a couple hours as they were dipping all over the area on Ballyhoo that the sailfish were spooking up to the top and were balled up into tight schools. Some Sailfish were also caught by live baiting Pilchards and Blue Runners the past few days near Sombrero Light in 70-130ft of water. Today the dirty water moved in however and slowed the bite on Sails a bit, but all week was hot up until today and some boats still caught Sails today even in the dirty water. That could change overnight, so the bite should continue to be excellent for the next couple months or more.
Other than the Mackerel on the reef, there have been good numbers of Yellowtail Snapper biting all up and down the line. Largest fish have been in the 55-85ft depths. Smaller "patch tails" have been biting extrememly well in shallower waters and some nice grouper have been coming in also. Some big Mutton Snapper have also been coming in from the reef and from deep wrecks on the Atlantic side of Marthon.
The Cobia bite has also been productive out on the outer gulf wrecks for boats willing to make the 20+ mile run out to the outer wrecks. Some of the spots out 30+ miles have just been phenomenal. Some Cobia up to 45lb have been coming in to the local docks from out in that area.
Fishing should continue to be excellent here in the middle Keys. If you would like more info on fishing here in Marathon, check out our web site. Good luck in all your fishing adventures!
Capt Bob Brown, Jr.
More Fishing Reports: