OFFSHORE: It is all about Yellowtail snapper right now. Bring plenty of chum blocks. The snapper fishing on the reef is hot. This Saturday’s full moon should start a great snapper spawn. The fish spawn over a few nights so fear not if you can’t get out on the first night of the spawn. The dolphin have started coming around again in the afternoon.
Bottom Fishing: The go-to fishing venue remains the reef, where the snapper and grouper bite is red hot. Yellowtail snapper of all sizes are abundant. Fish ranging from just keeper size to as big as 25 and 26 inches are making their way into fish boxes throughout the Keys. Great Yellow tail action on the gulfstream in the afternoons and Friday night trips. Light tackle is essential to catch the larger flag ‘tails, as they are much more wary than their younger siblings are. A good start is 12- to 15-pound test with 15-pound fluorocarbon leaders and No. 2 or No. 4 hooks. Baits such as silversides, glass minnows, filleted chunks of ballyhoo or peeled shrimp all work to entice bites.
TARPON FISHING: We saw many tarpon roll in the 20-40lb class all around us but they passed on the live bait and lures. I’m sure if I we gave it more than just the two hours we tried we could have done better. Only one hookup. I look forward to fishing with Aaron again. Permit on a Tarpon fly is a great experience, especially when it happens within minutes of fighting a Tarpon with the same fly!