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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This past week has been a trifle “sporty” off the
edge of the reef with onshore winds making for bouncy conditions for
a few days. Whether the sea state has anything tom do with it or
not, there have been no reports filtering in regarding any Bluewater
fishing. Again, the Humps should provide some good action from
Blackfin Tuna when the current is running. Wes King on the
Expedition did report putting a gaff in a Blackfin Tuna weighing in
at Thirty pounds last week.
There were a few quiet days with regard to
Yellowtail Snapper, and a couple of half day trips targeting
Sailfish that were a bust, but things have rebounded nicely with
lots of catching on the reef. The 34th annual Islamorada Bartenders
Sailfish Open was held last week. There were 45 anglers on eleven
boats and there were eleven Sails released. First place boat was
Cloud Nine, second was Esperanza and third was the OV Lounge. The
Kay K IV fished the reef and has been doing a bang up job catching
Yellowtail and some nice Muttons. Captain Paul on the Reef Runner
slammed the Yellowtail and Muttons and released a Grouper. Bay Boat
guides have been fishing the shallow live bottom areas inside the
reef and results have been great. Captain Jeremy on his a Lil’ Tail
tore up the snapper with Lanes and Yellowtail in the cooler at days
Gulf and Bay:
Seatrout action has been really good. The trout
are up along the mainland shoreline and also down in the lower bay
too. Captain Joe Gargan fished the Trout down along the Gulf
Boundary and is getting plenty of Mangrove Snapper in with the
Trout. In the Gulf proper the Spanish Mackerel are still on fire.
Captain Vinnie out of Bud and Mary’s marina put a hurtin’ on the
mack’s and got a few Pompano also.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
The catches of Snook and Redfish are still going
on with big numbers being caught and released. While casting live
Shrimp for these two species there is a nice incidental catch
including Trout, Snapper, Drum, Sheepshead, Tarpon and the ever
present Jack Crevalle and ladyfish. Look for the giant migrator
Tarpon to show up any day, first in the Cape Sable area and then at
the Bridges in the Islamorada area.
Capt. James Chappell's Fishing
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Hello everyone, and welcome
back to this week’s report! The weather has had its ups and downs
this week with some nice weather in the beginning of the week, then
the wind started back up toward the end. The good news is that the
winds are subsiding and should be nice for the weekend. Maybe a
little wind close to 15 knots for Saturday, but Sunday is looking
beautiful at around 10 knots. The fishing this week has been
marginal for Sailfishing, as this wind should have kept the current
in on the edge of the reef, but somehow did not. The HUGE moon that
we just had I am sure pushed it out with the big tides, so with the
wind staying out of the southeast, as this moon shrinks I am hoping
the current will come back. A few sails around each day with most
boat getting a shot or two throughout the day, but this is not the
fishing we are used to. I think the weekend is going to have a more
positive outlook than the past 2 weeks, so we will see what it
brings. The wreck fishing has been picking up with the mutton
snappers, and the groupers have been chewing. Can’t keep any
groupers until May 1st, but they are still fun to catch. Still
seeing good numbers of Kings and bonita, and a few really nice Wahoo
this week with one weighing in at 61 pounds. That is a pretty good
one for these parts, but we still haven’t seen the big numbers of
them yet. The reef bite remains good with the yellowtail snappers
and ceros if that is what you are after, as the wind has been
creating enough movement to keep these guys chewing. The best of it
has been from 60’ to 80’ as usual, so not much change here.
Although, the patch reefs have some pretty nice fish on them, so you
definitely don’t have to go deep to get them. No report from the
Cobia on the ocean side this week mostly due to the weather, but if
we get it to slick off, and the water cleans up, I will bet you they
will be on the rays. Should start seeing the permit on the wrecks
pretty soon, as they begin their annual migration to spawn. I have
received one report already from the bubble blowers that they are
starting to see a few on the offshore deeper wrecks, so stay tuned
for this update. Still some pretty good fishing around, but you just
have to fish smart. It has definitely been a week to “fish for what
is biting’. Well, that is it for this week everyone! Check back next
week to see what’s going on in our little piece of paradise!
Capt. James Chappell