As the waters surrounding the Florida Keys start to cool, subtle changes in the fishing will occur. The blackfin tuna bite will remain consistent on the humps, but you can also expect to boat them off the edge of the reef as well. The large schools of ballyhoo on the reefs will draw our pelagic species in close to shore. Sailfish, dolphin, tuna, kingfish and more can be found on top of the reef, so be prepared for all. The reef fishing itself will remain great as well so get out and enjoy some of the best all around fishing the Florida Keys has to offer.
While the snook season will remain closed to give the fish another year to recover from last year’s harsh winter, there are still plenty around to catch and release.
Yellowtail snapper bite will remain hot through the fall and flag yellowtails like this one pictured can be fun targets with live bait.
Fall season starts the annual sailfish run. Look for their numbers to steadily increase over the next couple of months.
Enjoying a delicious Snapper Filet
A razor sharp knife is the key to producing beautiful filets from your catch. Just follow the backbone and let the entire blade do the work for you and never use a sawing action. After the filets are free of the carcass, check them for tiny bones and immediately place on ice or in a cooler. If freezing, place in meal-sized portions and vacuum seal to lock in freshness. A bag of vacuum-sealed fish can remain in the freezer for up to a year.
Fresh or thawed fish should be kept ice cold and cooked within four days.
Long’s Snapper Special
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Light Breading (optional)
Snapper is a tasty fish that should not be over-flavored or overpowered by seasonings. To prepare a delicious fish dinner, simply heat the butter and garlic in a non-stick pan and add the filets when the pan is hot. Sear the filets for 45 seconds to a minute on each side until the meat is white or the breading is a golden brown. Squeeze fresh Key Lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and…Voila!