Swordfish Biting Offshore - Sailfish on the Reef
Capt. Bob Brown
January 6, 2009
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
Billfishing is IN right now in the Keys and the inshore/offshore double punch right now is happening! Offshore the Swordfish bite has been good this week. Several boats out of the 7 mile marina have been out there targeting Broadbills and they have been rewarded with some great eating Swordfish after long battles. The largest I heard of this week was a 312 lb fish caught by Capt Willy O'Connel on the 'Reel Easy'. But there were lots of smaller Swords caught out there also. Best areas are off the edge of "the Wall" south of the 7 mile bridge and just past the west hump SE of Marathon where the depths drop to over 1800ft. Seems like the edge of the wall from 1400-1900 has been the target area lately.
On the inshore scene, Sailfish have been harrasing the reef baitfish all week with multi fish packs cruising up into shallow water munching on Ballyhoo. Look for the baitfish showers and have some live hoos ready for pitching to the hungry sails. If chasing baitfish showers is not your thing, try slow trolling some live ballyhoo just offshore of the areas where the sailfish have been showing up on the reef. They tend to swim up onto the reef to do some munching, then back off the reef where they feel safer in 80-120ft of water. There have been some nice color changes to work lately as well just off the reef in anywhere from 220ft in to 60ft. Due to the gulfstream meandering 20+ miles offshore this week, the current has been going west or non existant most of this week, which makes it a bit harder to catch sailfish. If the current was ripping to the east, I am convinced that the bite would be outrageous since there seems to be lots of sails around.
King Mackerel have been around as well all over the Atlantic reef area and around deep wrecks. Nice Cero Mackerel have been hanging out on the patch reefs and big Mangrove snapper have been chewing up the patch reefs as well. Yellowtail have been a bit slow due to the current being so slow, but will heat up with the next cool front that is sure to move some water around and cause some current.
Bayside the Spanish Mackerel continue to dominate the open water scene around wrecks and the deep grass flats. Goliath Grouper, Cobia, and some large Kings are showing up on the offshore bayside wrecks. If you would like more info on fishing in the Marathon and middle Keys area, check out our web site. Good luck in all your fishing adventures!
Capt Bob Brown, Jr.
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