Well, I hope the fish like fresh water because they certainly got plenty of it over this past weekend.
The weather systems, low pressure and cold fronts that have swept across the Keys over the past six days all help stir up the water that in turn makes for improved fishing conditions.
This past week was no exception.
Early reports are good, and we have been catching some great reef fish – mainly yellowtail, snapper and grouper. The fish are quite hungry which is great for us. There are quite a few cero mackerel and small king fish showing up in the chum slicks; so, it is only a matter of time – maybe three weeks or so – before the big smokers start making an appearance.
Prior to the storm systems, the offshore fishing was outstanding. Conditions should continue throughout the remainder of this week. Nice catches of dolphin were readily available for those venturing offshore. Toss in a couple of wahoo and tripletail to make for a great day on the water.
Another fish that should be arriving soon is our favorite – the sailfish. Following a couple more cold fronts, we should start to see the sails chasing ballyhoo on the reef. This is an exciting catch-and-release fishery. They are an unparalleled game fish capable of blistering runs and awesome acrobatics! It is really exciting, and multiple hookups are always a possibility.
Much to the excitement of both locals and visitors, it is finally stone crab season once again, and this delicacy should remain plentiful May 15. You may fish five recreational traps per person with a valid saltwater fishing license. The traps must be clearly marked with your name, and they must also comply with Florida stone crab trap regulations. Remember, it is a felony to pull traps that do not belong to you.
Best Bet for the week ahead: Hit the reefs in the morning, and head offshore in the afternoon.