Got wasabi?

Got wasabi?

Capt. Bobby Manske and Great Lakes Capt. Stephen Orosz with a nice blackfin tuna.

Wow, what a week it has been in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys!

Our calm seas have returned, and so has the opportunity to head offshore even for the smaller boats. By the way, offshore is a relative term. All along the east coast of the United States, it could mean heading out 60 to 80 miles or so. Here in the Keys, “offshore” usually means a one-way haul of 10 to 30 miles – big difference.

While the dolphin bite remains strong offshore, for those in search of the tasty pelagic, the big change would have to be significant increase in the blackfin tuna bite. Outstanding is probably the best way to describe it.

Ginny Marsh and her husband Mike, as well as Travis and Alison Halmi, all from Eerie, Pa. have fished several trips aboard The Best Bet with Capt. Jason Long. This week, Ginny and her crew landed some great gaffer dolphin, blackfin tuna and even an almaco jack to celebrate her recent retirement from 35 years as a schoolteacher.

On a recent trip, Best Bet Capt. Bobby Manske fished longtime friend and Great Lakes Capt. Stephen Orosz along with Capt. Dave Myers from Michigan. The group caught six nice blackfin tuna up to 20 pounds…all before 11 am! We then rounded out the day with a little trolling for the dolphin bite, and these freshwater captains had added yet another solid day of offshore fishing to the logs. Or, as Dave would say “A dandy time!” Meanwhile, Best Bet owner/operator Capt. Jason Long has consistently put his clients on quality catches of large schoolie and gaffer dolphin as well as large blackfin tuna.

So take advantage of the weather and head offshore. The inshore wrecks have also produced nice catches of mutton snapper and amberjacks for those who would like to test their strength.

“Bear” as his friends affectionately call him, got a little assistance from Capt. and first mate Mike Nealis, after hauling in this 60-pound amber jack while fishing on the reef earlier this week.

Thankfully, the tarpon bite is still strong, too. Considering the onset and now passing of the full moon, the tarpon bite has shifted to early morning and late evening with multiple hookups on every trip.

So get out there and take advantage of our great weather, calm winds and fantastic fishing.

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