Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report! It has been a scorcher here in the Keys this week, as the weather is just plain HOT! The weather has been beautiful, with a little rain here and there, but mostly really nice. The fishing hasn’t been too bad either if you have been fishing smart. The Swordfish report this week has been tough, but there have been a few fish caught. Nothing over 125 pounds that I have seen, and there have been several boats targeting them. Therefore, the bite remains on the slow side. The Mahi fishing has been good to great this week, but mostly for the boats that have been leaving late and fishing the afternoon bite. This is what I meant by fishing smart. The water temperature is very warm, and the fish have been staying deep during the morning into early afternoon. These fish have been popping up in the afternoon between 1 and 3 o’clock and it has been game on. Although, there are some fish being caught in the mornings, but very spread out. Some really nice gaffers and slammers have been caught, mixed with some nice fat schoolies too. There are still plenty of shakers around, but haven’t had to go too far to find nicer fish once you are in the zone. The weed lines have been plentiful, and have had a lot of bait on them, so this bait has been the ticket. We are catching these on sabiki rigs, and most are 3-4″ jacks and the Mahi are crushing them. Matching the hatch I suppose, so it definitely makes sense to spend the time on the weed lines catching them to ensure you get the bites. Scaling down on the leader has made a big difference as well, with 30 pound fluorocarbon and 3/0 hooks getting it done best (accept for the larger fish). Plenty of fish, and plenty of weeds, which means plenty of bait in the area. Shouldn’t be too tough to find what you need. Deep dropping on the deeper broken bottom has been a bit challenging this week due to the current racing to the East. With 3 to 4 knots of current out there, it has been difficult to hold bottom. It isn’t impossible, but it has definitely been challenging to get the bites we are after. Therefore, we haven’t spent a lot of time this week dropping, but if you put in the effort I am sure you will catch a few. On the wrecks and deeper ledges of the reef the issue is just the opposite. We haven’t had much current in here, and it has definitely effected the Mutton bite. There are always a few that you hit on the head, but mostly slow on the wrecks. This fishing has been much better to the North off of Key Largo, where there has been better current. We did have one day that the current moved in, but it was racing like in the broken bottom so it was one extreme to the other. Not a lot to work with in this area as of now. The reef bite has been decent this week with Yellowtails and Mangroves, but like I said last week this isn’t going to change much throughout the rest of the summer. These guys are pretty consistent with a decent condition, so load up your chum and oats and go get them! Well, that is it for this week! Have a safe weekend everyone!
Capt. James Chappell