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Marathon Sailfish Bite Hot!

Capt. Bob Brown
January 1, 2009
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report

The sailfish off of Marathon and the middle Keys are finding the shallow reef to their liking lately. The local charter fleet has been finding the sailfish sneaking up onto the reef to feed on unsuspecting schools of ballyhoo that have been blanketing the reef from Duck Key to Big Pine Key. Seeing the 'showers' in as shallow as 20ft where the ballyhoo roam has been common and charter captains and others have been taking advantage of this phenomenon. Because the baitfish showers and bird activity that is attracted by the feeding sailfish easily give away the location of the sailfish, anglers have been successful catching saifish all week. Captains have been finding the sails in packs at times getting multiple hook ups and releases in short periods of time when it happens. All this will continue as long as there is a supply of Ballyhoo for the Sailfish to feed on, and Sailfish in the area. Since this is peak time of year for Sails in the Keys, I don't see the action cooling off any time soon. There have also been some Sailfish caught from the 120 -250ft levels lately as well while live baiting with Pilchards or Ballyhoo.

Click to Enlarge Photo


The reef bite has been excellent when we have had a decent current latley. On the 'Sundance'on Tuesday we had 25 large mangrove snapper off the shallow reef to go with a bunch of King mackerel a nice Red Grouper and a Sailfish to finish off the day. Then Wednesday the current quit on the reef and the bite was slower. When this happens, don't be afraid to move inshore and try some of the humps in Hawk's channel. This can improve your fish box if you are targeting Snapper of Grouper. There always seems to be a current in the Channel as it is tied more to the tides than the reef area which seems to be tied more to the gulfstream.

Mackerel are everywhere in the Keys and the hard fighting critters are chewing up baits on the bayside of Marathon at a high rate of intensity. The Spanish Mackerel bite has been from 7-14 miles out lately, making for a nice short run to the hot bite. The Snapper fishing in the bay has been decent as well as some good bayside catches have been hitting the docks at the 7 mile marina. Cobia are hot on the gulfside wrecks from 16 miles out. Cobia should be moving through the keys bridges and onto the oceanside soon if they are not already showing up there. I have yet to catch one this season on the ocean side, but the bayside action has been excellent!

If you are intrested in fishing in the Marathon or middle Keys area, check out our web site for more info. Good luck in all your fishing adventures!

Capt Bob Brown, Jr.

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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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