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Marathon, Florida Keys

Capt. Bob Brown
October 25, 2000
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report

This time of year the nice sized Mutton Snappers and a variety of Grouper species can be found just off the reef edge here in the Florida Keys. Recently, some large Mutton Snappers in the 15-20 lb. class have been coming in from depths of 115-200ft. To find Muttons, look for a small break in the bottom contour or a little "fuzz" on the bottom on your fish finder. Or you could work around oceanside wrecks. Then drop a small live bait to the bottom with a fairly long mono leader. I use 50-60lb. test leader when working a reef area and 80-100lb. when fishing wrecks. My favorite live baits are Pilchards and Pinfish and the smaller the Pinfish the better. Muttons will also hit on live Ballyhoo and small Blue Runners. Sometimes jigging works good over wrecks and plugs will also entice large Mutton Snappers along the reef edge. But live bait is your best bet, and will also produce a few large Black, Gag, and Red Groupers. I like to use a leader of as much as 20 ft. long when targeting Mutton Snapper, but you can get away with much shorter leader for Grouper. Largest Mutton Snapper ever brought in on the "Sundance" that I actually weighed, was 24.5 lb. We catch lots of 10-20lbers and see a few over 20 at times.

Sailfish action has started to heat up a bit here off of Marathon, and will continue to improve over the next couple months. Look for the Sails in 80-200ft. of water along the reef edge. Also, a few Dolphin are still hanging around but are mostly spotty and showing up just about anywhere just off the edge of the reef. King Mackerel are also on the increase along the Marathon area reef edge, mostly in about 50-150ft. depths.

Yellowtail Snapper have been showing up in good numbers lately in the 60-100ft. range, but have been a bit hard to catch during the full moon in the daylight hours. Lots of large predators (Sharks & Cudas) lurking around also, causing the 'Tails to be a bit skittish. Some nice Grouper have been coming in off of the patch reefs and humps in Hawk's Channel lately also. Lots of undersized Cobia also showing up, which is a good sign for the future! Also, some Amberjacks and Mangrove Snappers showing on the patch reefs on the oceanside.

The bayside wrecks have had good action on the Mangrove Snapper and a few Cobia. Also, lots of Barracuda, Jacks, Grouper, Permit and a few sharks and Jewfish showing on the wrecks gulf-side as well.

The flats fishing has been very good for Bonefish and Permit lately, and a few Tarpon still showing up at the bridges and around the Bayside flats.

Lots of great fishing is on tap this fall & winter in the Marathon area of the Florida Keys. Come experience it with us and enjoy the catch of a lifetime!

Good luck in all of 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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