Florida Keys Weekly

Scott Black and Dan Loranger invited some buddies aboard The Best Bet where these guys landed their limit of cobia.

Wow, how about this weather?! It’s certainly been a mild winter for those of us living and loving life in the Florida Keys.

The wind blows a day or two here and there, which is perfect for the Marathon area fishing scene – it riles up the water and keeps the fish on the move and aggressive.

Offshore, the dolphin fishing remains surprisingly consistent for this time of year, which typically is not the case in January. But we have been blessed with a continuous abundance of dolphin through our “winter” fishing season, and it seems it just won’t quit.

We are also catching some nice size Blackfin tuna approaching the 20-pound mark. While they are not quite as acrobatic as dolphin or sailfish, they are super strong and make blistering runs sure to test any anglers’ ability.

The sail fishing has slowed somewhat due to the lack of ballyhoo in our local waters, but they can and are being raised and caught with a variety of other live baits.

The reef fishing has continued to thrill anglers of all ages and is a great venue for the younger ones with quality catches of yellowtail and mangrove snapper as well as the harried excitement of king fish and cero mackerel. These toothy critters are known for their blistering high-speed runs. The local wreck fishing scene is producing some big amberjacks and nice catches of big mutton snapper.

Best Bet for the week ahead: Be versatile. Work the color change and current in the morning along the patch reefs, and head offshore for some deep dropping in the afternoon.

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Jason is the owner of Best Bet SportFishing.

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