Fishing in the Florida Keys is a spring break activity that everyone can enjoy. For families, it’s an excellent way to spend an afternoon together on the water catching dinner and creating memories that will last forever. And for you college kids, fishing provides a nice little break from the barhopping and partying and is an extracurricular pastime that you can actually tell your parents about when they ask what you did on your vacation. Unlike some of the things I’m sure you’ve gotten yourselves into.
Fishing is also popular with spring breakers because large groups can join in on the fun. Each Best Bet deep sea fishing boat can accommodate six anglers, so no one gets left standing at the dock. Your party can have a little competition to see who catches the biggest fish, and then load the coolers with delicious fillets that waterfront restaurants like Sparky’s Landing in Key Colony Beach will cook up for you when your trip is complete.
For those of you that did just arrive in town you couldn’t have come at a better time. The weather for this week is supposed to be beautiful, and I can honestly say that the fishing has been nothing short of exceptional. Offshore, daytime deep dropping for swordfish continues to produce once-in-a-lifetime catches for anglers looking to venture out in search of truly powerful billfish. This past week several quality swords made their way back to Middle Keys docks and with the bite as steady as is, you should have a shot at hooking one of these incredible species on nearly every trip. Also offshore, the Marathon Hump continues to offer up its bounty of blackfin tunas. Vertical has been the best way to target them, with most fish weighing in the 10 to 20-pound class.
On the edge of the Gulf Stream the sailfish bite continues to steal the show. Sight fishing for tailers has offered the greatest success; however with the large numbers of sails in the area, slow trolling with live baits will also get the job done. Also on the edge of the Stream we have been catching a few dolphin here and there upwards of 10 pounds. Not the large fish the we’re used to catching in the summer months, but they still offer tasty treats to take back home with you when you leave. In addition, monster cobias have been making their way offshore with a few fish remaining in Hawk Channel. Reports of 80-pounders being caught have funneled through the Keys and I saw a few last week that weren’t too much smaller than that.
On the wrecks, mutton snapper have started biting consistently and there are still plenty of amberjacks around to test the strength of you college kids looking to reel in big, hard-fighting fish! On the reef, the mangrove and yellowtail bites remain phenomenal, just be aware that we have been having some issues with porpoises eating our fish before we can land them. Last week I was fishing with my father and a porpoise swam right next to the boat and actually jumped out of the water to engulf a yellowtail we had hooked. If was quite a sight, but it can be a real nuisance if a pod of dolphin refuse to leave you alone while out fishing the reef. If you encounter them just pull your chum out of the water, give them some time to move on, and if they don’t leave, pull anchor and head to a new spot.
Inshore, Captain Chris Morrison (www.captchris.com) reports that the tarpon are finally beginning to show up in Florida Bay and in the Everglades. Chris says he caught some giant poons last week and that pretty soon these fish should be showing up at the bridges and the Florida Keys tarpon run will kick into full swing.
Your Best Bet for the Weeks Ahead: Add a fishing trip to your list of spring break activities.
Gather your group and set out for an exciting day of fishing in the Florida Keys. Big fish, clear blue waters, great friends and good times provide spring break memories you will never forget.