While our friends up north experience an early spring tempered with the return of freezing temperatures, we lucky folks down here in the Keys have been blessed with sunny skies and great fishing. The Best Bet teams have kept their anglers busy in a variety of fishing venues this past week.
Offshore, the dolphin bite has been hit or miss at best, and the sailfish have remained elusive. Out at the Marathon humps, the black fin tuna bite has been active with decent catches. The reef fishing has continued to be the go-to venue for families as well as expert anglers. Nice catches of yellowtail snapper – both average size and flags, or bigger yellowtails – are being caught on the area patch reefs and deep reefs as well as some nice mutton and mangrove snapper and grouper. Remember grouper season is closed until May 1, so please release your grouper unharmed.
The area wrecks are still producing some big amberjacks and mutton snapper as well as the occasional big grouper. A true deep-sea battle ensues when you hook into any of these gladiators of the deep.
Tarpon are showing up in good numbers at the Seven Mile Bridge and Bahia Honda Bridge. April, May and June are prime tarpon months, so book your trips now and experience the thrill of doing battle with The Silver King.
Another springtime staple in the Marathon area are permit. They are making their way to our area wrecks. While the water is just a little cold for them in the morning, they seem to be a little more aggressive in the afternoon. These are truly wonderful game fish to catch on light tackle.
This Saturday, March 31, is the last day of lobster season. Considering the mild winter, we have seen an early return of the tasty crustacean. The area bridges and shallow bay waters have been holding plenty of spiny lobster over the last three weeks, so get out and get a few bugs before the season closes.
Best Bet for the week ahead: Ask your local captains what’s biting out on the reef and wrecks, and get out on the water!