Marathon, Florida Keys Offshore and Inshore Report 10.9.12
Capt. Jason Long
October 9, 2012
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
Greetings anglers! Hopefully you got a chance to get out on the water last week and take advantage of the excellent October fishing that we have been experiencing up and down the Florida Keys. If not, don't put the rods away. The bite is still going off, and with our inshore and offshore fisheries still offering a bounty of both summer and wintertime species, there's no limit to what you might catch!
On the flats, the big bonefish are tailing at the hearts of both fly and light tackle anglers looking to get their shot at a trophy. October is legendary for being one of the best months for chasing once-in-a-lifetime grey ghosts in the Keys, and it's also prime season to get a shot at a big permit as well. Hook up with a local Florida Keys flats guide (we have the best in the world down here), and let them put you on the fish.
(Jeff Reilly of Telluride, CO with his first bonefish. Expect schools of big bonefish to push onto the flats over the weeks ahead).
In the backcountry, the redfish bite continues to be fantastic, with the snook fishing starting to heat up as well. In addition, the warm waters have the resident tarpon active and aggressively feeding on surface flies and soft plastics, providing loads of fun for all ages and skill levels.
On the reef, the yellowtail snapper bite has been excellent from 60 to 90 feet of water, although on one trip aboard the Best Bet last week the bite shut off when a pack off hungry kingfish moved in to feed on our flag tails. If you plan to yellowtail this week make sure you have a rod rigged with wire and ready to pitch at a smoker king. The big kingfish are starting show up in good numbers on the reef and beyond the edge.
On the patch reefs, the mangrove snapper bite remains consistent in depths of 20 to 30 feet of water, with best catches coming on ballyhoo, pinfish, and pilchards fished on a jig head. Speaking of bait, there's been no shortage of it. The ballyhoo have been thick as thieves on the reef, and the pilchards have arrived and are flashing in the shallows as well.
(Sailfish are starting to show up in the Upper and Middle Keys).
Offshore, we're starting to see a few sailfish push in just as we're seeing packs of late season dolphin on their way out. Last week there were good catches of dolphin throughout the Keys in the 10 to 25-pound class, and there are still fish out there to be caught. Just don't wait too long as they may not stick around much longer.
On the humps, the blackfin tuna bite has been very good at times, with fish from 10 to 20-pounds being caught live baiting, trolling, and on butterfly jigs. Just keep in mind that the sharks can get bad this time of year. If the toothy critters start eating all your blackfins it's best for you, and the fish, to pack it in and try something else. One alternative is to make a few deep drops for swordfish. The Florida Keys daytime swordfish bite continues to be red hot, and right now you have a very good shot at hooking up with one of these amazing fish!
Your Best Bet for the Week Ahead: Take advantage of the fantastic October fishing!
October is a great time to fish in the Florida Keys because of the variety of fish you can catch both inshore and out in the Atlantic. Stop by the Best Bet Sportfishing fleet located at Key Colony Beach Marina (Sadowski Causeway) and see what's biting today!
To book a trip with Captain Long please call 305-395-1376.
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