Fish We Catch

Fish We Catch

Enjoy the waters of the Fabulous Florida Keys where the fishing is great anytime.

COBIA show up in the Gulf Flats around wrecks and rockpiles  from October to December and then again in March and April when they are frequently found around the color change if you’re looking for sailfish.  Cobia are usually caught using spinning tackle or conventional tackle using 20 – 30 pound line.  Live bait, jugs, squid and popping plugs are the baits of choice.  Cobia are often found following leatherback turtles, whale sharks and bull sharks all year long – they are great fighters and excellent eating.

GROUPER come in many varieties but the ones we fish for the most are Blacks, Gags and Red Grouper.  They are available year round but October, November, December and March, April, May are the prime months.  We fish for grouper from about 40 feet of water in the Fall to 250 feet of water in the Spring.  Grouper are very aggressive fish and need to be aggressively fished.  We use live bait deep jigging and sandballing, using 20 pound spinning line for deep jigging and 100 pound braid for bottom fishing where you can catch mostly reds and gags in the gulf.

SNAPPERS

MANGROVE SNAPPER are available year round with their prime time being March and April for wreck fishing and May through August.  The full moon nights in June, July and August are a great time for mangrove snappers as these are the spawning months and we fish the Atlantic towards the late afternoon and evening.  Fast action spinning tackle in the 12 to 20 pound line class is perfect.  These fish run one to four pounds.  Live pinfish, pilchards and cut bait work great when used in ground sardine chum and chum balls.
MUTTON SNAPPER are available year round with April, May, June and July being the prime spawning months when we fish the reef in the late afternoon and evening.  They are seen in the Gulf and inshore during late September through December.  Spinning and conventional tackle in the 12 to 30 pound line range works great.  Live pinfish, thread herring, ballyhoo and pilchards work well and for dead bait, use knocker rigs, cut bonito, mackerel or squid.  We also sandball in deep water, about 200 feet, when conditions are right.
YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER are also available year round with the Spring and Summer months a week before the full moon being the best time.  We fish for them in 20 to 130 feet of water with the bigger tails, called flags, in 90 – 130 feet.  We use ground sardine chum along with a sand mix, glass minnows and pieces of bonito – live pilchards fished in the chum really spice up the bite.  The best tackle for this seems to be 12 to 20 pound line.

KING MACKERAL are one of my favorite fish to catch.  They are always available, take super long runs and can be caught on all types of tackle including fly rods.  Kings will chum up on block chum and go absolutely nuts when chummed with live pilchards.  We also use blue runners, threadfins, cigar minnows, diving plugs, jigs, flies and topwater for spectacular bites.  The best tackle is spinning and conventional 12 to 30 pound line and 9 to 12 weight fly rods.  The fish range between 10 to 50 pounds with some bigger ones always around.  For the most part, they show up in early December and hang around until mid-April but there are also some who stay year round.
WAHOO are a fast, long running fish.  The first run is usually 100 yards or more with the fish almost always coming back to the boat.  You need high speed reels, either spinning or conventional, with 20 to 30 pound line.  I usually use an eight foot shock leader of 40 to 50 pounds of monofilament with a 36” piece of 60 pound hard with and s single or double 6/0 hook.  Good live bait is pilchards, threadfin herring, blue runners, bullet bonito and my favorite, speedos.  Wahoo usually show up on semi-calm days near the full moon in November, December and January.  They range in size from 30 to 75 pounds and are super fun on light tackle.
DOLPHIN are found offshore in our warm waters most of the year. They are common to 30 pounds and can grow to much larger weights. This is one of the fastest growing fish in the ocean and are thought to live no more than 5 years. Swimming speeds for this beautiful fish are estimated to be upwards of 50 knots. Dolphin spawn in warm oceanic currents throughout much of the year and feed mainly on flying fish, ballyhoo and squid.