The boys from Ontario had a great day of reef and wreck fishing aboard the Best Bet.

How’s the fishing been this past week in the Florida Keys? Great!

It’s beginning to sound like a broken record as the dolphin, tuna, snapper and tarpon bites all continue with plenty of action. On any particular day, one venue can be better than another.

The boys from Ontario had a great day of reef and wreck fishing aboard the Best Bet.

Over this last week the tuna bite has cooled off a little bit while the dolphin bite is steadily getting better the darker the moon gets. Our trips offshore – averaging 20 to 30 miles out each day – make for a long ride, but they continue to turn up the best catches of quality dolphin. The Marathon hump – also about a 20 to 25-mile ride out – is loaded with tuna. Captains, mates and anglers aboard The Best Bet fleet as well as most fishermen out there on the water are rigged for both types of species; so if one venue is more active than the other, they are ready at a moment’s notice.

While the reef fishing is much more accessible than the long rides offshore, the bite is also very dependent on the current. A slack or no current is going to mean slow fishing. Our local wrecks, however, are much easier to fish with light current conditions and are very productive for a variety of species including grouper, amberjacks and the coveted mutton snapper.

Don, from Ontario Canada and part time Marathon resident landed this 18-pound mutton snapper in 170 feet of water. He caught the fish on 20-pound spin.

Muttons, in particular, are very active right now. This fishery is offering up big catches right now (often up to 20 pounds) available less than seven miles from the local docks. Coupled with the fact that mutton snapper are excellent table fare and lots of fun to catch, this is perhaps a great trip for your family or group of novice anglers.

Even closer to home, the area beaches and channels continue to produce some great tarpon catches in the early morning and late evening.

Best Bet for the week ahead: Talk to the local captains about what species are active, and work with them to tailor a trip that best suits you and your anglers’ needs. Whether on a charter or aboard your own vessel get out and enjoy the versatile bite offered this time of year.


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