Hello everyone, and welcome back to this weeks report! The weather this week was nice early in the week, but has become much rougher toward the end. The current has pushed up right into the wind and the seas are pretty stacked up to say the least. The cooler temperatures have been nice, but we could definitely use a little less wind for the comfort of our clients. Thank god I have a Freeman! The fishing has been pretty good though despite the winds. The Sailfishing has been a little on the slow side, but we have been managing to catch at least one or 2 each day without spending all day doing it. This seems to be the norm up and down the line in the keys. The real heavy hitter this week has been the bottom fishing. The Mutton Snappers have been really good this week between 140’ and 180’ of water. It has been quite the mixed bag actually with Groupers, Muttons, African Pompano, Kings, Yellow Bar Jacks, and we even caught a Sail off the bottom in 180’ of water! Pilchards has been our bait of choice this week, and has been getting the job done! The reef bite has been a little tough this week for a couple reasons. One, the current has been up into the wind and two, the cooler water temperatures have made them pretty lethargic. You can manage to catch enough for dinner if that is your target, but catching a 4 man limit has been difficult to say the least. Some really nice Cero Mackerels on the reef that has filled in the voids while Yellowtail fishing, but it is slow for sure. If you are after Yellowtails, try the patch reefs in 20-35 feet of water. The fish are smaller, but you can catch them in numbers. There are a lot of nicer fish like Groupers and Muttons moving in shallower now as the shrimp are beginning to run out of the bay. This patch fishery is getting better every day and should continue for some time. The Cobia are also starting to show up on the Rays in these areas, so don’t be surprised when they swim up in your slick or you find them sunning on the surface in the sandy areas. Well, that’s it for this week! I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and a safe weekend on the water!
Capt. James Chappell