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Dry Tortugas Trip

Recent offshore fishing reports from the Florida Keys region.


Dry Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

We all agreed the next morning that none of us had ever seen such a long, hot bite of such consistently BIG yellowtails! Even Ed, who fishes for yellowtails a lot in the Bahamas, was having a hard time remembering such great action over in the islands.

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Little Torch Key Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: punchdog

It was getting to be early evening so we decided to troll back in and saw a frigate at about 600 feet. Followed him for a short while and a schoolie mahi hits a lure. As we are bringing him in 3 or 4 big mahi are following. Avery, who is 12, grabs a pitch rod, puts a pinfish on the big circle hook, tosses it out and hooks the 47 inch cow. About 20 minutes later, good gaff shot and it is in the boat.

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Deep Dropping and Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We set up a drift, and put down some bonita chunks. First pull up 3 roses, we were ecstatic! We did two more drops with 3 rosies each time. Afterward we continued to troll and found a nice log in 650 feet. This was loaded with schoolies, most of them were right at 20 inches but we landed 5 that were 22 plus inches. Many were thrown back to get bigger.

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Dinosaur Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: SeaCarrII

Around 12:30 pm, we came up on a frigate tracking fish from about 30 yards up, with bait splashing below. Followed him for a few minutes, and our two trolled ballyhoo got hit. About a 30 pound cow jumped and spit the hook, but this bull came aboard after a long fight. It hit a green skirted ballyhoo in 670 feet, about 17 or 18 miles out.

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First Phin in the Box

Florida Sportsman member: SonarSup

Looked for weed lines and birds and didn’t find any. A lot of sargasso patches but no distinct weed lines to troll up and down. I trolled around 5 knots when I hit the 330 foot mark my drag started screaming. About 5 minutes later my wife and I got the fish in the boat. 20 pound 40 inch first dolphin for my wife and I!

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Big Pine Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: AMPED

We went out to about 625 feet today, East of Big Pine Key & West of Sombrero Light. We caught some really nice phins (triple header), some peanuts which were tagged and released, average size wahoo, a black fin tuna, and some cudas. Left at 8am and was back by 3:00 pm.

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Mahi in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: CatchDog

Forum member CatchDog has been on the dolphin off of Marathon. Catching many fish trolling naked and skirted ballyhoo between 630 and 750 feet. The big bull was taken on a blue and white islander.

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Tearing up Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Reef bite has been ok when the current cooperates. Been having some fun catching and releasing Permit. Got to do some grouper fishing on Sunday May 4 for the first time in along while. First drop we took a nice black grouper for dinner!

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Gettin’ Jiggy in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

On Saturday we took out Greg, George, Eric, Jomal, and Lynn and released 32 amberjacks all between 30 and 75 pounds as well as a dozen almaco jacks and banded rudderfish. These guys are a group of vertical jiggers from Miami and loosely refer to themselves as the “Miami wrecking crew”.

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Lower Keys Cobes

Florida Sportsman member: Bill Welder

We kept the first 3 and released number 4 and passed on number 5. We could have taken more.They ate whatever we threw at them. My clients also kept about a dozen yellowtails between 18 to 20 inches. Sharks are thick. We leadered a large Bull shark after a 45 minute tug of war. Only saw 2 Sportfishers all day.

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Tavernier Slammers

Florida Sportsman member: youngguns2

Found a nice bucket with bait but no mahi, then came across a nice piece of bamboo with heavy mono tied to it with again lots of bait and a triple tail but no mahi. Kept running southwest till about 11:30 am when we spotted a hawk heading down on the water in 750 feet and it was chaos from then on. With only 3 guys on the boat, we got covered by 3 large slammers, hooked all 3 fish but ended up landing the bull and the smaller cow.

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Awesome Trip on the Yankee Capts

Florida Sportsman member: LitiGATOR

The mate gaffed the fish and a beautiful mutton hit the deck. I don’t know if Juozas had ever caught one before, but I believe it was his first on the Yankee. At 10-years old, on his first trip out here. That’s impressive. You couldn’t wipe the smile of his face.

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Lower Keys Reef Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Apnatic

Decided that was enough mutton meat for us so we headed in a little shallower to a wreck in 100 feet to get some tails. After sandballing for about 45 minutes we had as much as I could keep and give away to a few buddies.

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Little Bit of Everything Out of Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

The deep dropping has been spectacular when the conditions have been right for it. Mostly a mix of queen snapper and nice blueline tilefish with some snowy grouper mixed in. I think I’ve probably seen more queen snapper this winter than I have in years. The queens and bigger tiles have been in 600 to 800 feet of water while there have been yelloweye snapper, and some nice vermillions in the 400 feet depths.

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Staying in the Fish on the Yankee Captain

Florida Sportsman member: cameronsleep

Capt Greg motored us to a canyon with current. Golden tile fish, barrel fish and numerous other fishies appeared, then the highlight, queen snappers! I was lucky and nailed on of the largest of these beauties, almost as big as the one I caught last summer. What a climax to the trip! About eight or ten were landed, including one that came unhooked and was floating away. Greg got us to reel in and went on a recovery mission. You don’t abandon a beauty like that!

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Deep Dropping Off Cudjoe Key

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

We only had a few hours due to prior commitments but we ran out deep and rigged up while we figured out the drift. We made one pass over the structure, adjusted and quickly into the next pass it was game on. Jeff, with some help from Bugsy, got to work.

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Big Blackfins off Big Pine

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Forum member piner_wahoo Caught some monster blackfin tuna on live bait in the lower keys recently. Some anglers can’t decide what is better, the fight of these awesome fish, or the filets!

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Going Gulf Side

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

Was a little bumpy on the south side when we left the dock, so I was glad that we were headed to the Gulf. Stopped by the airport marker to get some Pilchards for the live well, and they were there. After sabiking some up we headed for the Gulf. Sad to say that we didn’t find and Cobia, but conditions were awesome. Flat calm seas, clear skies.

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Down South Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Bill Welder

Just looking for birds, we stumbled on a weed line that was clean on the north edge and ran for a couple miles on the edge of the Ups and Downs. We were in 575 feet at daylight and never saw another boat. Only a fool would troll that deep this time of the year for dolphin. Gentle breeze changed to the east and the bite was over. We were back by 11AM. Mark and I ended up with 8 dolphin to 24 pounds.

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Sails and Tails

Florida Sportsman member: SaltwaterSportswoman

The bait used today were goggle eyes. While drifting we fished the bottom rod and hooked up to some mutton snapper and small sharks. We also caught some yellowtail snapper on the patches. The first sailfish came up on one of the baits mid-day and had a successful release. The next sailfish came up on the long bait about 30 minutes later and unfortunately unhooked during the fight.

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Great Way To End The Year

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

Paul, the angler who caught it paid his dues big time for this one. He stayed out and got soaked for over an hour fighting this fish on 20# spinning tackle. With the rain pouring down and some pretty big waves breaking over the stern while we where backing down. I was afraid we might lose him overboard one time.

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Wintertime Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

My wife and I went to the reef yesterday morning on Christmas Eve. We went 1 for 3 on wahoo. Fish were eating in 190 feet of water. Caught on red/black on the down bait over dead ballyhoo, trolling 7 knots. Got the one we wanted!

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Big Pine Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: dihrd

Most of the fishing has happened from the protection of land. We have caught lots of small to keeper mangrove snapper, and grouper around bridges. Some of the best spots have been deep holes in channels where we have caught good numbers of muttons and red grouper with several keepers.

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Reef Fishing Off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

The next time the bottom rod when off, I knew that I had a real fish. When I finally saw “pink”, I no doubt grinned as it was my favorite fish, a nice Mutton Snapper. I netted him and he measured out at 19 inches. The fish box instantly got a lot better looking!

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“Grouper Bombs” Off Tavernier 

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

The black grouper bite continues to produce for my clients who want to target them. Finding them between 60 to75 feet. Took A couple guys from Missouri last week in for a short reef “meat” trip. They made one request prior to the trip, catch a black grouper for dinner. Caught a mess of tails then switched over to dropping “grouper bombs”. Went 1 for 3 then headed in with a grouper for dinner.

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Putting A Legend On The Fish

Florida Sportsman member: CaptainGeoffrey

Today we had a real treat, Captain Tred Barta on the boat. We caught 15 tunas, handful of medium Mahi, and a sail!

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Tallying Up The Tile Fish Down South

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewel

Yesterday afternoon we targeted Wahoo without success. Today, with reports of slim pickings on pelagics offshore, light winds and little current we kept the trolling gear in the racks and opted to deep drop. 6 tilefish later we headed home after a successful ‘Plan B”, 27 inches being the biggest.

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Keys Offshore Producing

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Thursday I had another group of repeat clients from Denmark. Trolled for a little awhile but these guys like reef action more than chasing tunas and dolphin. Tails were chewing for them on Wednesday night. Seas were slick and we had good current. They were of pretty good size. Not spring time quality but still good looking fish.

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Upper Keys Flags

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

The day started off really rough with a storm moving through. We tried to stay away but all it did was ruin the time we had to fish. We decided to run through it and get to some spots. We started chumming and here came the trigger fish. Once we were able to get past them we had the yellow tails coming over the sides. Finished with 17 tails and a few had some real good size to them. Made for a good dinner that night with friends visiting from Ocala.

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Big Keys Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Clients have had “grouper” fever of late, No muttons or yellowtails, just grouper. So we did the grouper thing again on Saturday morning. Had a couple from Iowa first time fishing in the Keys. The fish were beating them up but they stuck with it. Was going to switch them back to Yellowtail fishing when McKayla made one last drop for her “picture” fish. Heard her scream, thought something was wrong. She put the heat on this fish. Caught the fish in the middle of day. We put the fish in the box and went home.

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Snapper Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

Today I was out on the Yellowfin 42 again, with the girls. These girls are fishing fanatics they will fish all day long and want to reel in every fish that they hook big or small. We got to today’s spot and the current was running fast to the north, caught one yellowtail before a big yacht went right across the chum slick. We left for another spot 3 miles away in 68 feet, we anchored there and saw a small boat with two guys fishing about 200 feet on the east side of where we anchored. Instantly I knew when these girls got going and start catching fish the neighbors were not going to feel to good. It was a perfect day with the correct conditions, even though I would of preferred a little less current, and the fish started coming over the gunnel

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Mutton Spawn

Florida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

I was out today from south Key Largo, we headed to Tavernier, I put the yellowtails behind the boat in 65 feet and the current was so slow they would not eat. The barracudas however, would eat as soon as wee hooked a fish. My customer got a nice mutton on the bottom As I caught about 15 ballyhoo, then we were set for the mutton bite in deep water we headed north 10 miles or so and got to 150 feet deep in a spot marking good fish on the bottom so we anchored. after a few minutes, my customer hooks up with a nice black grouper that fought real nice, I pulled him in the boat, then began with the high fives and pics. After the celebrations were over back down we go with another ballyhoo and a good north current. He hooked up to a nice mutton next after pulliing him in his son hooks up and its another mutton. We got a hand full here and time ran out,but they where happy to get dinner for a couple of days….

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Tavernier Mutton Mania

FLorida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

We headed straight out to the deep as we had a load of goggle eyes and ballyhoo. We headed north and anchored in 140 feet, put down a bait using a 24 oz lead and it was barely holding as the current was ripping north. We put down another line on the other side with a 28 oz weight and ended up catching two muttons The current was getting stronger as time went by, we got out a 32 oz weight and it was just too much for these guys to feel the bottom while keeping the weight there, So I decided to go back south and hit 60 feet, for some yellowtails and bottom fishing there. We got to the spot and the yellowtails came close behind as I was chumming heavily. I put two guys on the bottom rods and as one of them started fishing for the yellow tails the fish pushed back and the muttons started to bite on the yellow tail rigs with a small hook and 12 lb test. The first mutton, just couldn’t be turned as he ran for the bottom, another 6 made it to the boat though, as Jeff put the pressure of the rods to work turning the head of the fish towards the boat as they all took some drag.We also released an undersized black and lost the usual fish to the rocky bottom, they had a great time and all took turns catching fish overall a great day on the water until next time tight lines


Lower Keys Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this break in the weather pattern we’ve had since the end of May and taking advantage by staying primarily offshore. There have been dolphin everywhere each day from 300 feet. and on out to the wall. I haven’t seen too many larger fish, but some 15 to 20 pounders are still being caught with an occasional 35 plus being heard of. Lots of blackfins still scattered around as well [...]

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Tavernier Bull

Florida Sportsman member: COJE PEJE

My buddy and I cleared Tavernier Creek about 7:30 and headed out to find that the forecast was actually on point. We found a decent weed line in 400 feet of water and began trolling. We hooked up with a nice cow which we boated, and caught 2 more schoolies on the troll. At about 10:00 we got hit hard, and a huge bull jumped out of the water. Seconds later the cow takes the other bait and starts running, but soon after jumps shaking her head and spits the bait. After a 25 minute fight, we finally landed the bull which ended up weighing 44 pounds.

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Islamorada Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

I squeezed one more trip in yesterday before bringing the boat back to Lauderdale to prep for Bimini. Based on our recent trips I decided to focus on 650′ of water and see what we could find. We were rewarded almost immediately with a nice cow.

These fish were very finicky and we had to follow them for extended periods to get a strike. They were gorging themselves on flying fish and had tuna sized flocks of birds over them. We could shadow the fish at trolling speed and watch them lazily cruise by the boat. They’d turn on pitched baits but not hit and then casually swim from bait to bait in the spread. It was frustrating but at the same time very cool to watch the fish for an extended period of time. Finally after following one fish for nearly an hour (and having a “run & gun” boat give up ) we got the largest dolphin of the day to eat a pitched ballyhoo.

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Key Largo Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Chewdog2121

Finally got the opportunity to get offshore and chase all these dolphin everyone is talking about. Water temps were 77-78 degrees and a solid SE Wind at 13 mph. Well, we had to work, but managed to put together a respectable haul. It was a bit sloppy, call it a solid 3-4 feet at times, some a bit more. We shot out to 900+ feet briefly, but ended up pushing back in to the 300-450 foot zone. At least there was broken live grass in this area and lots of terns. Anything past 500 feet was pretty desert-like, no grass, debris, and minimal bird activity out there. Once we came back in, we picked up the only frigate we saw all day, along with a tern working hard to the southeast. The flying fish were flying! We casted live bait into the activity and hooked up a nice 30-lb cow

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Mahi Off Cudjoe Key

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

We headed offshore and after talking to a few others on the radio, we decided to drop in and start trolling at 350 feet or so. Almost immediately we hooked and landed a schoolie that was about 25 inches. At about 450 feet the rigger popped and we had a much better fish, call it 38 inch fork length. We continued south through the ups and downs with reports of the occasional fish in the second 600 feet. Sure enough, a way back goes off and another 38-40 inch fork comes in. We continued to troll and on the way back in at 600 feet we hook up again and put another 40 inch fork Mahi in the box.

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Key Largo Grouper and Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: gtpvette

Finally got out yesterday and the wife and I had a really nice day! We ended up running in about 1PM as a couple of Storm clouds were moving in. We were in 120′ Grouper were really biting. Our one Red went the better part of 15l pounds. I Hated putting him back. Water was flat and clear.

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Lower Keys Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

After getting through the windy/rainy/lightning filled Friday I was excited for the “predicted” calm(er) Saturday. It of course wasn’t to be and with a small craft advisory hanging out we decided to give it a little time to lay down. We finally left the dock at 11 or so and got on the water. It was still pretty sloppy but calmed down a fair amount while we were out there. Very fishable, just had to drive carefully. The plan was to head offshore and get some people their first AJ’s. The fish were very cooperative and readily ate the jigs we presented.

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Offshore & Patch Reefs/strong>

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Have not venture offshore in awhile, but here is what I know. Bigger Tuna on the Islamorada Hump and the 409 Hump showed up. Phins are being caught on the southeast wind. Pick and choose your days. 300-600 feet. Guys got on them late yesterday, right place at the right time. Pick your sick days on the southeast wind. Few wahoo. We lost one yesterday on the edge in 130 feet on the tide change. Chewed through #7 wire. Fished 85 feet for Yellowtails yesterday, few fat flags, but the water temp. is hoovering around 73 degrees fahrenheit. Few sails cruising the edge. Kingfish bite was on with the cold.

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Lower Keys Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

The offshore bite is there, but not rock solid. Wahoo have been caught but not in any serious numbers. The tunas are out as well but it seems the most reliable bite is coming from live chumming early in the morning. I’ve been playing around with the early tarpon on light tackle that have been showing up and they’ve been pretty co-operative. As long as the wind is from the north it’s pretty nice out front. Here are some pictures of a baby goliath we got on the reef, a nighttime tarpon release, my good friend Capt. Joe and his recent wahoo catch, and a picture I like that I took of bahia honda today.

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Staying Busy in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We’ve had some great fishing down here in Islamorada this week. Today we had a beautiful catch of mutton snapper and kingfish. The kings haven’t really shown up too good this winter, but today we had a nice bite of fish from snakes all the way up to 30 pounds. We also caught some really nice muttons. Both the kings and muttons were taken on live cigar minnows. If anyone wants to know where we caught them, all of the muttons were caught right in the corner of the mouth. There’s also been some really nice dolphin lately. This 46 pound bull was caught along with a 27 pound cow on friday in about 250 feet of water.

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Patch Reef Windy Day

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Got out this morning with Capt. Troy and Capt. Jason to do a little windy day patch reef fishing. Kept 2 Nice Muttons for dinner. Bite did not let up. Lost a few mystery fish. Good day.

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Muttons in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: rwood

We caught a lot of muttons, blackfin tuna, red grouper, had a sailfish on the line, kingfish and more. Incredible trip. We left Key West at 7:30am and got to our first spot at 9am. First spot was good with a couple of muttons. We then moved to another spot that was solid action. At one point one of us was fighting a sailfish, another was fighting a blackfin tuna and the other was hauling in a mutton[...]

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Mutton Snapper off Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Got a late afternoon start today so I only had a couple of hours to get some fishing in before the cold front pushed through, did not feel like chasing phins. Decided to stay in close & look for mutton snappers and groupers. Had one dead bonito for bait. At about 2:30 PM the fish fired up, caught two heavy lifters. After putting the second one in the box, it was time to go as it was starting to get ugly looking off towards the west, not to mention the Bonito meat was gone and the Cudas were thick around the boat. [...]

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Dolphin & Blackfin Off Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Grabbed 3 conventional rods & 1 spinning rod today, no ballyhoo rigging. Just going fishing. Keeping it simple paid off today. Fish were chewing. Got to love the Southeast wind in December. We were working a weedline that had been picked through pretty good early in the day by other boats, spotted a lone frigate bird about 2 miles off the weed line, set the course, then hooked a tuna under the frigate then up came the dolphin. All the drags started screaming. Had a serious fire drill going on, but it was a hell of a lot of fun! The fish did not want to stick around the boat, so we stuck under the Frigate bird for another 2 fish then started to move back in, had enough fish. Caught 5 at 2:00 PM, that was a enough for us. [...]

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A Bit of Tavernier Patch Reef Action

Florida Sportsman member: Augie3000

Fished a patch in 15 feet, inside of little conch reef using shrimp and ballyhoo plugs. Caught a few short muttons around 10-12 inches, a red grouper about 1 inches, a couple keeper yellowtails and this pretty nice short black too. We only fished for a little over an hour at this spot and there was good action. I’m sure there were some keeper groupers down there we just didn’t find them. Water was very clear, light winds under 10 mph from the ENE , and almost flat calm with a tiny bump. Very light current.[...]

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Thanksgiving Dry Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: kilsong

My fishing report might be different from others because I concentrated on jigging on this trip testing/experimenting tackle as I own a tackle shop specializing in jigging and popping.

I am an addicted grouper jig fishermen and I knew I could catch many groupers on jigs on the trip.
But I really wanted to catch black grouper on jigs as I haven’t done it before. Also, I wanted to catch mutton snapper on jigs and figure out what kind jigs work best for them. But, the most important objective of this trip was to know whether jigging actually scare off mutton snapper as some mutton snapper bait fishermen claim [...]

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Patch Reef Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Wind was gusting pretty good from the North early Friday. Did not want to mess around chasing Sailfish offshore as my guests just wanted to bend the rod & catch dinner. Set up in 90 feet, but sea sickness took its toll shortly after the hook was set. Went with Plan B and hit a couple of my favorite patch reefs and rockpiles in 15 feet to 20 feet of water that hold nice snappers in the winter [...]

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Fat Keys Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: flagfishing

Started of with a beautiful day with winds under 7 mph. Joined some friends for a day of bottom fishing with Captain Jack with Two Conchs Charters. He put us on a reef and we hit the mangroves and yellowtail snapper. Then we headed out to deeper waters for the big boys. We caught four fat mutton snapper to complete the day. Thanks Captain Jack for a great outing!

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Big Pine Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

We headed out Saturday afternoon before the winds started on Sunday. My family got a couple hours of fishing in. Caught tons of smallish yellows, regardless of where we anchored. Can’t complain about the bite though, it was constant, just drop and reel up. Although the only notibles were a 19-inch mutton, 18-inch mango and a 24-inch grouper, we had a great time. And yes, my son outfished me again, he got the grouper all by himself [...]

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Dry Tortugas Fishing Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

It was going to be a mixed jigging trip and bait trip. We had planned what worked for us last year, no bait in the water until we finished jigging. It worked at the beginning but later on we seemed to have gone in our own individual plans to get the fish to bite. We all had mixed jigging and baits at the same time and it worked ok. Jigging didn’t impair fishing with bait and fishing with bait didn’t impair jigging. Dead bait worked better by switching to different baits as often as the bite slowed down [...]

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Big Pine Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

My son and I went out to Big Pine reef area on the 30th for some yellowtailing. The forecast said 1 to 3 but really was 2 to 4 and wind chopped (they were way off with the wind forecast too). I aimed a little shallow because I wanted my son to catch lots of fish and have a good time, so we ended up in about 50 feet of water. Right now there are tons of ballyhoo in the area, so when we started chumming they were everywhere [...]

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Daytime Swords off Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We’ve had some great fishing down here in Islamorada especially this past weekend. On thursday the 20th we started the weekend out with a swordfish trip and had a great day bringing 2 swordfish back to the dock. The current was ripping out in the deep, but the bite was on with 3 bites on 3 drops [...]

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Lower Keys Reef Trip

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

Headed out for a brief trip to the reef Saturday after finding a break in the weather. Did some bottom fishing and found the usual snapper/grouper suspects willing to cooperate. My buddy Jack who was yellowtailing on straight 10lb got a solid hit from a mystery fish. We all suspected it was a yellowtail that had gotten cuda’d but we hadn’t seen any tell tale cuda’ signs yet. Once we finally saw the fish as it shot to the surface we were all pretty surprised to see a cobia.

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Groupers and Muttons off Key West

Florida Sportsman member: snappersnatcher

Hey guys! Fishing started with a 7 hour ride, way west. We dropped our first baits and it was on, bites right away. I thought for sure it was on, but I thought to soon, the bite shut off for a little bit and then sharks started to turn on. After some sharks, we made a move and we started to pluck some more muttons. The trip wasn’t on fire but if you put in time on the rail you managed to do well. Goggle eyes were working well, as well as ballyhoo [...]

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Keys Offshore Smorgasbord

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

For those of you that have read my reports you know it’s usually dolphin, dolphin, and the occasional dolphin. This one will be a little different. We fished Friday and Saturday and here’s what we found.

We spent most of our time between 350′ and 750′ (10 mile to 16 miles) and conditions were similar over that entire spread. The dominant theme is birds and tunas, LOTS of birds and tuna [...]

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Big Sword out of Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

Well everything seemed to settle down after the minimal tropical storm we encountered last week. The weather has been been very good, with moderate to light winds in the 5 to 12 knot range for the most part. The mahi bite has still been fair the past few days. If you find the right piece of debris (which holds bait and keeps the mahi around), your day can be made, which happened on the Catch 22 a few days ago. They found a piece of bamboo and caught 50 mahi off it to 12 pounds!

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Labor Day Weekend in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: gatormonroe

We were down for the long weekend and decided to try fishing three different ways on the three different days.

Saturday was a little choppy for my son, so we started off on a patch reef. We caught quite a few small snapper and grouper and kept a decent mangrove and a couple of grunts. Before you laugh, try it. Grunt is excellent. There just isn’t much meat on them.

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Key Colony Flag Yellowtails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today, I was out of Key Colony, with a family that wanted to fish for yellowtails. They rented a house there and didn’t know the area well, so we started by going to a spot where I’ve caught many tails and some bait with a previous customer with his family. I moved around and anchored near and all we caught where some bonitos, so we moved on and tried a few more spots [...]

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Trolling off the Islamorada Humps

Florida Sportsman member: Mako my Day

Made a trip offshore from Tavernier creek today, stopped at the Islamorada hump and trolled up a few Tuna, then headed out to look for the elusive Mahi Mahi. We managed to find a huge school of peanuts, but no keepers. The wind picked up a bit for the ride in this afternoon, made a couple of quick drifts for grouper, but no takers. All of the out of towners caught a fish, and came home with smiles, so a good day, topped off with a plateful of seared tuna and a cold cerveza [...]

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Blackfin off the 409 Humps

Florida Sportsman member: expedition

Late post , we were actually down on the humps last weekend on the 12th, what a great day we had, got 9 nice blackfin tuna. Never even saw a dolphin or any sign, lots of birds and tuna schools on the way to the humps but we could not get them to eat, we tried several schools [...]

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Tavernier Bottom Report

Florida Sportsman member: miamimutton

Today’s trip was out of Tavernier, The ocean was nice with smooth conditions, we ran out to 70 feet and the current was slow to the north, the fish did not want to show very much, I started with a demo and got one tail but, the bite was too slow and far so we moved on to another spot in 82 feet and I noticed a commercial boat near by he was a friend of mine [...]

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Marathon Patch Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: captdallas2

With all the lobster and spear fishing reports I just had to add that you can actually catch fish hook and line in the Florida Keys. With a weak current up the anchor line, the ‘tails developed lock jaw after a couple were boated so we shifted to patch fishing. The Mangrove was about 25 inches and the Red grouper 22 inches. The mutton was just legal, but Tom seemed pretty happy to invite it home for dinner.

 

We lobstered Monday and Tuesday. A bit rough for my boat to do much else but we did get some nice snapper with some help from CaptDallas2. Then bit a little Sunday afternoon [...]

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Full Moon Snapper Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Trollaltdelete

The plan was to do some spearfishing and then hit the reef for full moon snapper fishing. On the way out back we dropped the pinfish traps and then since we had a youngin on board, we hit some shallow water for some hog hunting. We saw lots of them, but only small ones. I did see one big one in the deeper water, but I was out of air when he appeared and he was not sticking around [...]

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Lower Keys Bull Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

Kinda’ new to the forums, but I decided to post our report from yesterday. Trolling off Big Pine we found some nice weed patches and birds in about 600 feet, but only got a couple throw back dolphin early. At about 11:00 we hooked up with this bull in about 550 feet in some scattered weed. He made a few hard runs but in about 10 to 15 minutes we were able to gaff him!

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Key Largo Blue Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

Went out with Capt. Geoffrey Campbell on the Sweetwater. Headed out to 600 feet but didn’t see much action. Decided to go back to 400 feet where we saw a nice weed line. As soon as we get there we see a big splash, looked like a marlin, but not 100 percent. We had a chin weighted ballyhoo back deep on a 20 pound outfit, she hits hit twice and lets go, but on the third time she’s hooked. Took two and a half hours to get her boatside for pics and release [...]

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Marathon Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today we went out of the Channel Five Bridge and headed south. My customer said he wanted big fish, he didn’t want quantity he wanted quality, so I changed my original plan since he was with his kids. I was going to get them in an easy catching frenzy of tails, so I changed to a flag spot in deep water where the bottom holds unstoppable groupers [...]

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Family Fishing in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

Hi, last week took the family out for a short trip with Captain Geoffrey on the Sweetwater. We only fished for 2 hours (storms were coming) but had non-stop snapper action and great conditions. Kids had a blast!

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Dry Tortugas Grouper Diggin’

Florida Sportsman member: Yellowtail 23

Been trying to post our trip for a couple of days now. I think I broke the code on posting pics. We’ll see in a few lines. After a ton of planning and prep, we finally set a date for our trip to the Tortugas. Crew consisted of myself, son-in-law Matt and a former Chief of his in the USCG, also named Matt. We’ll call him Chief for the remainder of the post. Chief just got back to the keys from the panhandle and brought his beautiful new toy, a 27′ Walk around Grady! [...]

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Miami Mutton Marathon Vacation

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

I’ve been on vacation, doing what I like best, fishing with family and friends. We went out after all the storms and fished for mangroves at night and got our limit of 20 in 1 hour and ran in quickly with another storm coming. We took the nephews and cousins the next morning, went out and got 25 yellowtails. These fish where flags [...]

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Dry Tortugas Fishing Bonanza

Florida Sportsman member: bassjedi

Headed down to Key West on June 24 ready to do some fishing. I had never been there before and was excited to get some new species. Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating and I had to sit at the dock June 25, 26, and 27. Finally on the 28th I was able to get out and fish. I hopped on the Allison Jane out of Key West with Captain Steve Sanchez. Captain Steve has been fishing there his whole life and it showed [...]

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Key West Offshore/Nearshore

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

In general, as we got closer to the full moon…the bite got tougher. Last Friday there were tuna all over the place, but it was tough to get in front of them and get them to bite. Finally did and got a double on the skippies on a Rattle Jet in the way back position and on a ballyhoo/skirt combo in close. Dolphin were tough too, ate the blue Rattle Jet mid spread [...]

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Nice Bull off Summerland

Florida Sportsman member: Death From Above

Ran out to the wall looking for dolphin and tuna. The dolphin have been scattered but we manged this one around 5 miles past the wall under a couple of birds. Hit a rigged ballyhoo on a blue and white Island lure. We had a big Boone bird teaser out and that may have helped him find the bigger bait. Found the tuna schools right at the wall and caught them till our arms hurt. Purple and black were the hot colors for the tuna.

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Yankee Capt’s Fishing Fun

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

At the last minute I decided to jump on the 2 day Yankee Capts trip. I did not have much time to go out and catch bait on my own but I did look for Gogs but couldn’t find them so I loaded with white bait, small runners, and dork jacks. Nilson (rare) one of my fishing buddies gave me some more bait including some pinfish and so I went on my way to the Keys [...]

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Lower Keys Offshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

Been taking advantage of this nice weather as of late and have fished both offshore and the reef. The offshore bite has been kind of sporadic dolphin wise, where it seems to be if you find ‘em you’ll kill ‘em but if you don’t, you don’t. The skipjacks have been large and in good numbers right on and near the wall itself. 9 out of 10 pieces of debris I’ve found have been empty, but that 1 has been holding dolphin and tripletail. The reef is real hot right now, both shallow and deep. Tight lines.

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Dry Tortugas with Capt. Yuri

Florida Sportsman member: Fingerling

Hi all, new to the forum so here goes. Also, sorry for the late report. Headed down to the keys on Thu 6/14 for our annual Dry Tortugas pilgrimage with the famous Capt Yuri. Our group of John, Gil, Bob, Dean and myself (Frank) have gone on many trips with Yuri (this one made 9 for me) and we always have a great time. This year, Yuris’ nephew Chris joined us since he was down visiting for a few months. What a great kid and pretty good fisherman too, must run in the genes [...]

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Offshore of Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: chompchomp

It’s Saturday morning, and the same old story’s really getting old. Small craft advisory yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Yesterday we fished really hard only to boat three mahi. Found the first one under some birds just beyond the reef and thought it might be one of those days when we find the fish inside, but we ended up having to run 23 miles out to find birds.

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KW Offshore Grad Gift

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

I had the opportunity to run offshore with a father/daughter team to go catch dolphin on Dream Catchers 32′ Yellowfin Wednesday and had a blast! The trip was originally scheduled to go on Tuesday, but Capt Steve and I discussed it and decided if the pair could fish Wend it would be much better. Fortunately, their schedule allowed for the shift and it was set [...]

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Offshore of Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: chompchomp

We arrived on Saturday and will be here for two weeks. Considering the long-range forecast deteriorating from bad to worse, we decided to take a beating on Sunday. It’s hard to fish when you can’t stand up in the boat, but we trudged out toward the Hump, looking for signs along the way. Ten miles off, we found birds and practiced for awhile on short schoolies before moving deeper. In 650, we found a decent weedline that held a big red plastic water tank. We trolled by and a nice bull immediately slammed a skirted hoo. Though our gaff broke on the first attempt, we pulled out the backup and put the 25 pounder on ice [...]

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Yankee Capts Trip Report

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

The morning started slowly for me, one pink muffing and since I saw Bobby hooked on an AJ I took out my toys to do some jigging and had some fun with a 50 pounder AJ that was released. What a pain they are to fight but I love it [...]

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Lower Keys Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

The dolphin have definitely been around this past week. I’ve seen the majority of the fish in the 350-450 foot range on scattered weeds, with the tell being small birds hovering over the fish. The average size has been smaller, around 18-25 inches, but there are still plenty of keepers to be picked out. We were able to catch as many as we wanted, and whenever they’d get finicky I’d throw a plastic swimbait out and they’d get fired right back up again.

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Little Torch Mutton

Florida Sportsman member: captdallas2

Just had to post Elijah with his first mutton snapper. The current was a little off for the tails. Only put a couple in the box before the ceros and rainbow runners took over. We caught the mutton on in the channel scouting spots. Fun little half day showing them around.

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Hogs on Hooks

Florida Sportsman member: Reel Tease

Went down to the keys before the weekend started to get on some hogfish action. The day was rainy, with some bad weather rolling in early in the morning. The wind and current were not our friends that day. They were totally opposite and everyone knows how much of a pain that can be. Anyways we managed to pull up a few Hogs and some nice sized mangroves. The day wasn’t the best, but was able to spend some time out with my dad and some friends [...]

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Yankee Capts Charter

Florida Sportsman member: bite my bait

We got to the mothership at 8:45 a.m., and began the process of unloading the suv and U-Haul. Then the clock hit 12 and then 12:15 and still we didn’t leave. Greg has always been punctual on departure time, anyways we had a few late birds show up at 12:30 and if me and my boys didn’t help them unload we would have been at the dock till 3 p.m. Anyways we leave at 1 p.m. and we heard that we were going for a long ride, we started fishing at 6:30 p.m. [...]

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Lower Keys Offshore and Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

I’ve been fishing a pretty even split of offshore and reef recently, and both have been producing pretty well. The dolphin are definitely “here” now, and we’ve been finding them from as shallow as 50ft(chasing bait onto the reef), and out to 650 ft. with consistency. The last few days the ticket was a color change in 450 feet that was very strong and full of weed/birds just due south of Looe Key [...]

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Marathon Offshore- Sailfish and Nice Mahi

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

My luck changed for the better this past Saturday with folks from Boca Raton, the Rotenbergs and their friend David. We worked out from KCB in a Southeast direction staying mostly in the 450-650′ range. We had a nice surprise of a sailfish that came in open ocean with the fish taking a lure without ballyhoo. Billy Bait Super Magnum in dolphin colors. Never caught a sail before on just a lure [...]

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Memorial Weekend in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: mtbrider85

I have fished in Key West growing up my whole life and never made the trip out to Dry Tourtugas. So a few friends and coworkers of mine decided to plan a trip out for the holiday weekend. We left friday morning after loading up on bait, fuel, and ice. Stoped at the Sub wreck, caught a alamaco jack, and a large, what I thought was, a big grunt…but was informed it was a margate. It was the first I’ve ever caught. After that we went onto the reef to try spearfishing and load up on some live ballyhoo [...]

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Port Largo Tails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today I went out with Carl for the 3rd time and Jeff and Tyler for the second time. We left port largo at 7 Am picked up some pin fish traps and didn’t get many, so we went out to 55 feet anchored up and the current was going south and slow, Ocean was 1 foot and water was cloudy.

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Old Friends Fish the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

We planned the reunion of friends from the late 1970′s and early 1980′s who lived in the mountains of Colorado. We were all fishing and hunting buddies from Summit County, Colorado. This is the ski country region 75 miles west of Denver- Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain. Life has taken us all different directions and careers [...]

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Keys Dolphin Report

Florida Sportsman member: CaptBill

My good friend DogDoc(Bert) and I left at noon and found a weedline in 700. Nothing active until we found a little debris and I started chunking ballyhoo while Bert jigged. He has been able to bring a school up from the depths in the past. After 10 minutes the school could be seen and we boated several schoolies on pitch bait and lures.

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Fishing the Humps

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

TeamTeke had the pleasure of fishing with Dan Bloomquist and his lady friend Evamarie Buskirk from Kalkaska, MI. today on a deep offshore trip to the Marathon Hump. We got an early start and were blessed with calm seas but heavy overcast skies all day. Rain threatened throughout the day but we only had a short sprinkle in early afternoon. The air was heavy and the humidity high [...]

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Key West Dolphin!

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

After taking a little trip, to New York, to take “Roll Tide” back to her homeport on Long Island I needed a fishing fix. We had planned to stop in the Bahamas for some fishing along the way, but mother nature kept the winds up…so outside of hand-lining some Trout, Lookdowns, Ladyfish and Stingrays in various Marinas…there was no fishing included in over 1,000 miles of water.

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Yuri Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Spoonman

When you have a Yuri trip booked it is hard to sleep the week before, at least for me. Particularly because the weather the week before was 4 to 6 foot seas and 15 to 20 knot winds which is hard fishing and not very comfortable. The seas the whole trip was 1 foot or less as you can see in the picture of Al with one of his Kingfish. Three of the six parties on this trip went down early on the 6th in the hopes of securing bait. Glenn unfortunately was hit broad side and his car was disable which put a wrench in the bait situation.

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Big Pine Key Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Gamekilla

Left the house around 8 a.m. and headed out to about 150 feet and got our troll on, nothing until about 550 where we spot a white crab trap buoy. At about half mile we head that way to check it out and it is attached to what looks like a small parachute….needless to say SCORE! We notice a big triple tail on it. The area is full of dolphin but they are small…so we catch about 10 to 15 letting them all go except the couple that were not fortunate with an easy release [...]

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A Nice Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

If it was possible to anchor there, I would. We didn’t catch a fish outside of 500′ all week and very few inside of 300′. Today most of the boats went further offshore because the weather allowed it. I heard very few positive reports on the radio. Don’t give in to the temptation to run “far”[...]

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Islamorada Grouper Opener

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

After getting blown and rained out the last few days of April and Tuesday, we finally managed to get out there on Wednesday and today. The grouper season started out very good for us with limit catches of blacks and gags the first two days so far. A few of the wrecks have been an instant bite as soon as you hit bottom and they’ve been biting on the edge of the reef as well [...]

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Wind, Waves and a Few Fish

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

Yesterday was good because the winds DROPPED to only 20 to 25 knots. We were limited in the number of lines we could troll and trolling into the seas wasn’t a good idea. We made it out as far as 425′ but found more action in close around 300′. At about 12 miles out we noticed a nearly one degree jump in water temperature. Not sure if the stream could be in that close (doubt it) but there was an edge there for sure [...]

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Loaded up in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: duke6543

This trip was booked when we got off the boat last year so there were 360 days of anticipation for this trip. The six of us met at the boat on Stock Island and made a quick trip to Duval Street for a couple cold ones and then back to the Hog Fish Grill for a good stuffing before we loaded the boat with everything we would needed for the next four days, beer, food, tackle and more beer [...]

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Mixed Bag Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

A bit breezy for offshore (for us anyway), so we went exploring to the Marquesas and played with snappers and jacks in a couple of the channels. On the way back played with some more jacks, snappers, etc. in the channels draining the Lakes Passage. The best fish of the day was this mutton my wife caught in one of the channels. She has some mutton magic going on…she has caught several good ones over the past couple of years. She caught another nice one in the NW Channel a few days ago.

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Lots of Tuna, Mahi, and Big Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

Fished this past Monday with Matt & Jennifer Ruff from North Carolina. They wanted a Hump trip and the weather was a question mark up until the morning of the trip. Winds had been 20 knots but luckily it calmed down on Monday morning.

We got an early start at 7am leaving from Capt. Hook’s Marina at Vaca Cut. It was somewhat bumpy but we averaged about 22 knots on the ride out. When we got to the Hump it was a pleasure to see that I was the first boat out there. Arriving early or staying late is what you want to do to find the tuna active and on top.

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Reef/Bar Success

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

First day on the water in KW this year. Beautiful day…seas flat. Went out a little past Western Dry Rocks looking for yellowtail. Scouted around the reef and bar, and didn’t mark any fish…at least no obvious schools. Meanwhile, saw some nice weed lines, with fish busting… false albacore/bonito and ceros mainly. We chased those around for a while and caught this nice cero probably at least 5 lb and a nice flag yellowtail under the weeds on a spoon near the surface [...]

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Key West Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

I’ve been out fishing the last few days and took the day off today to get some rest and get caught up on paperwork as well as other misc “stuff”.

On Thursday, I was out fishing with the Adler family aboard their 45′ Silverton (Eagle VI). We had the grandkids aboard and needed to put them on some fish before they headed home on Friday. It was blowing a little more than the kids were prepared for, so I took the safe route and took them to the North West Channel for some assured catching in calm waters.

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Keys Swordfish Impresses

Captain Kenny Spaulding, Angler Mike McIntyre

This 520-pound swordfish was caught last week on the Caribsea out of Islamorada with Captain Kenny Spaulding. The 2-hour battle waged in 1,000 feet of water, but angler Mike McIntyre, of Ft. Myers, was finally victorious. The fish was officially weighed at Bud ‘N’ Mary’s Marina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Reef and Luck

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

Vicky is down from VA visiting so we did offshore trolling the other day, trying to get her hooked up with Mahi and got skunked. The next day was diving for lobster. She found lots out there but most were shorts! Then a day of diving on Looe Key which is a can’t miss proposition. We were one for three and today was the day for reef fishing [...]

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Key West Tourney Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

“I guess the easiest thing to do is post some “Fish Porn” so that everyone can see the variety that was caught over the weekend during the Tourney. Keep in mind that “lines-in” was at 8:30 am each day and “lines-out was at 3:00.”

Full results are posted on the Key West Fishing Tournament Homepage.

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Quick Gulf Side Report

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

Over in General…I said that I was fishing today no matter what. Seas were good, scattered rain, Strong tides (full moon), green water, not too bad and cool…Fished just West/Southwest of Smith Shoal. Caught Cobia, Grouper, Mangrove/Yellowtail Snapper, Grouper (all Reds) and various Jacks and Bluefish [...]

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Another Slammer!

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

Well, I must be living right or something ! For the second time in three days we’ve put a big Mahi in the boat. Two days ago it was with Dave on his boat in 275 feet off American Shoal. Today Susan and I took advantage of the great weather to head back offshore on our boat and hooked up in 575 feet just on the outside edge of the ups and down. Just like 3 days ago, it was the only hit we had all day [...]

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Islamorada Slammer Dolphin and Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

Fishing has been pretty good down here in Islamorada lately. This report is a few days old, but we had Pat and the boys from South Dakota out for 2 days late last week and managed to show them a great time. On day 1 we started out catching kingfish just off the edge of the reef on live cigar minnows which made for some fast action. After warming the guys up with our limit of kings and a nice blackfin tuna I decided to hit some of the deeper wrecks in the 200 foot range and put a few nice mutton snapper in the box [...]

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Marquesas Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: Deep Penetration

Thursday night I go through the regular routine of readying all the tackle, boat, food, and miscellaneous items. All the while, in the back of my mind, I’m constantly thinking to myself if the trailer is ready for the 160 miles to KW and if boat engines are up to the 35 miles to Tail End. Luckily, a few trips out of Miami in recent weeks had given me a little sense of security. Friday morning 3 am and we’re loaded and on our way down.

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Dolphin and Wahoo!

Florida Sportsman member: Hooked Up Key West

Had a trip yesterday and today and went trolling for both to try and get some nice fish. Yesterday we managed to get some nice schoolies and lost a wahoo. Today we went two for three on wahoo. The weather was really nice both days. Scattered weeds around and the dolphin were under birds. All fish caught on Ballyhoo.

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  • Jon Gemmett

    Wow, that's the fish we wanted! Congrats man! That's great! Good job Chuck!

  • Mason

    I slayed the sails the wahoo's and sails here last weekend