Due to numerous emails about the "practice of Dolphin fishing" I would like
to make the following clarification.
The fish we are referring to as dolphin, as it is called in the Keys and
south Florida, is a fish, also known as the Dorado and
Mahi-Mahi. This is not the Dolphin mammal.
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We have moved into summertime here in the
Islamorada area and Dolphin action is getting more consistent.
School size fish range from just over legal for some anglers to
what is referred to as “heavy lifters” for others. A heavy lifter
is a Dolphin that could easily be gaffed, but is instead lifted into
the boat by the leader and these Dolphin are five to eight pounds in
size. The fish have been found as close as 650 feet of water
regularly as the onshore breeze stays with us. Captain Don on the
Kay K IV racked 40 Dolphin, all nice schoolies on Thursday. Two
other charter boats that same day had 8 and 10 Dolphin to show for
their efforts. Albeit they had Dolphin in the teens in weight.
Captain Chris on the Doghouse out of Whale Harbor Marina had a great
day on the Dolphin including a nice Wahoo weighing in at 34 pounds.
Yellowtail Snapper are the choice of most reef
anglers these days. The fish are feeding just great when the
current is running. Bernardo the dock master at Whale Harbor Marina
has been catching the Yellowtail on different reef areas this past
week on his Grady White boat. The Permit are schooling up on reef
spots and on Wrecks. Sight casting a live blue crab to the permit
is a thrill everyone should have. Sometimes early in the morning
when the sun has just come over the horizon the Permit are right on
top tailing. There are Cero mackerel in depths of 30 to 40 feet and
will hit a fast trolled feather. There was a nice Cobia of about 28
pounds caught by Lee on the Miller Time on Wednesday. The Cobia
swam up as they were catching Yellowtail Snapper.
Gulf and Bay:
Gulf wrecks yielded some Cobia this past week and
for the most part they were just pups. As Captain Lou Brubaker
released a Cobia of about 6 pounds on Tuesday a Goliath Grouper
nailed it just as it hit the water. The Goliath’s can be very
aggressive some days and not so others, but there does seem to be a
good number of them on the shallow Gulf wrecks. Otherwise there
were Spanish mackerel, Tripletail and loads of Jack Crevalle caught
as well as Trout on the wrecks.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Early in the week Mullet were in big numbers
pushing through the channels in the early morning darkness. One
throw of the cast net was all it took for most guides to have way
too much bait for their Tarpon trip. Some guides thought that all
the mullet available as fodder for the Tarpon may have fed them up
if that is possible because having the fresh lively mullet did not
guarantee a bite. Anglers dead baiting in the afternoons had better
luck on the Tarpon it seems. Trout action in the Flamingo areas as
well as the north central part of Florida Bay has been great with
lots of fish over twenty inches.
Greetings once again from Islamorada, the "Sports
Fishing Capitol of the World"! This is the fishing forecast of the
father and son team of Skins and Fins Charters, Captain Ted and
Captain Donnie Benbow. We fish out of the Holiday Isle Marina at the
Post Card Inn in down town Islamorada and here is our fishing
Tarpon Tarpon Tarpon! The Spring and Summer is all about Big spawning
Tarpon. There are many ways to fish for these big silver beast. In the
mornings Captain Donnie and other local fishing guides like to get up
a pole there steathy poling skiffs in just a few feet of water on the
flats around the Keys. Using a 10 to 12 WT fly rod or light tackle
site casting crabs and shrimp. This method is more for the skilled
Angler and is a very rewarding way to catch these great sportfish.
Live baiting for monster Tarpon is my favorite way fish for Poons.
Going out on the sunset trip 4-8pm is a great time of the day to fish
for them. Drifting live mullet the first part of the season then
switching to crabs later in the season. Suspending the baits under a
float while fishing your bridge of choice and prove to be most
Flats and Backcountry fishing: Red fish in shallow water 1 foot or
less, some Snook, laid up Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish. In the
Everglades National Park, Black drum, Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout in
Big Numbers. WE like to rig a DOA CAL Hook in the chartrues color with
a DOA CAL bait in the pearl white with a red tail. You can put the
line right to the hook or under a DOA noise making cork. May and June
is also a great time to catch Big Sharks in the Everglades, Bulls,
Spinners and Lemons.
Offshore/Deep Sea: Dolphin will be in full swing! May through the end
of the summer the Dolphin will be here. Trolling behind the Charter
boats while the Captain is up in the crows nest looking for that magic
dabre or weed line. Once they find the bright colored fish they start
casting pitch rods to them and it is game on!. There will also be some
Blue Marlin, Hammer Head Sharks and Tiger Sharks.
Reef/ Wreck: Talking To Captain Josh Moreira, He tells me that as the
waters get warmer, the Vermillion Snapper will turn on. Captain Josh
runs the Party boat out of Robbie's Marina called the " Captain
He is also expecting a good bite of Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper
on the full moon and yellow tail Snapper. Grouper open on May first as
well. Remember, the professional Mates that work on the Offshore and
Party boats work for TIPS. They work from Sun up to Sun down to make
sure you have a great day on the water! Please take care of them.
Well that's the way we see it, want to give it a try? Give us a call.
Till then, this is Captain Ted and Captain Donnie Benbow asking you to
"Keep it in the Shallow Grass"