The deep offshore report from the Swordfish ledge has been a little quiet so far this week, although I did hear of one caught today. Today was the first day it has been calm, so I am sure after the weekend we will hear a little more from these guys. The Dolphin report has been slow since the weather has been so crappy, and the West wind had really put a damper on things as the hurricane moved over the Bahamas. Although, today there were some fish caught shallow as we caught some on the edge of the reef showering Ballyhoo, and a few other Captains found some on debris in 300 to 500 feet of water with some fish on it. The Tunas are still on all the humps too, but they are definitely getting smarter…at least the larger fish. The sharks remain a force to be reckoned with, so you better be on your “A” game if you are going to get a 20 plus pound Tuna in the boat. The feathers and flutter jigs are working nicely still, but the live bait has been the ticket for the larger ones….at least to get the bite.
The wrecks and reef are coming together nicely as this seasonal transition is taking place. The amount of bait that is on or around the reef is nothing short of incredible, and is the secret sauce to a productive winter fishery. The wrecks are holding some King Mackerel along with all the normal bottom critters, and the reef is teeming with Yellowtails, Mangroves, and a few Groupers too. The Cero Mackerel have been nice size in the chum slicks, and have been happy to make your drag scream. These guys are great table fare, so don’t discount them for a poor tasting fish. They are excellent for sure, and make pretty darn good sashimi. NOW FOR THE GRAND FINALE……THE SAILFISH ARE SHOWING UP! Woohoo, it is that time of year again, and it appears that we are going to get an early push from these guys as there have already been a dozen caught here in Islamorada the past few days. It appears that the bite in West Palm Beach through to Ft. Lauderdale is starting to heat up so it shouldn’t be too long before these guys start moving in here in decent numbers! All in all, things are really starting to come together, and I can’t even express how happy I am about the way it’s going down!
Capt. James Chappell