Marathon Florida Keys Weekly Fishing Report – December 4, 2011

Now that you’ve had your fill of turkey, it’s time to get back to the fishing, and it seems the wind has decided to give us a bit of a break.

Sailfish and dolphin

The latest cold front brought winds out of the northerly direction, which should spur on the sailfish bite.  There were quite a few dolphin around before and during last week’s blow.  Hopefully the abundance of ballyhoo will hold them and they’ll get up in the shallows alongside the sailfish.

Mutton snapper, amberjack and kingfish on the wrecks

The wrecks are still holding quite a few mutton snapper as well as amberjack and some mid-size kingfish.  Live ballyhoo are the baits of choice for the sailfish and dolphin as well as the wreck fishing.

Snapper and more on the reef and patches

The snapper bite continues to be very good on the reef and outside patches.  There’s plenty of yellowtails providing action on the deeper side of the reef, while muttons and mangroves as well as some keeper size yellowtails are thick on the patches.  Add king, cero and Spanish mackerel to the catches in these areas, and you have a bounty of good-eating fish.

Mixed bag at the channel humps

The channel humps are providing their usual mixed bag of grouper, snapper and mackerel.  Right now, there are also very good amounts of hogfish.

I had a group out on Thanksgiving that caught 12 hogfish, including six keepers, in a half day of fishing – all taken on shrimp presented on the bottom.  Remember, the minimum size for hogfish is 12 inches to the fork – not the tip – of the tail.

Mackerel and mangroves in the bay

In the bay, the mackerel bite remains excellent for Spanish with some very large cero mixed in.  Fresh shrimp is the ticket here.  Don’t forget to add a small trace of wire to prevent bite-offs.

Further out in the gulf, the mangrove bite is good with plenty of grouper and some cobia added to the mix.

The week’s best catches

Click here to read all the reports.  Click on the links for more information and pictures.

If you have spent any time at all in Marathon, you’ve surely visited the Old Seven Mile Bridge that connects Historic Pigeon Key with Marathon.

At present, the Old Seven Mile Bridge is embroiled in an emotional tug-of-war with its very existence at stake.  Read more and see how you can help SAVE OLD SEVEN!

Until next week … tight lines!

Capt. Chris and Christy Johnson
SeaSquared Charters
Marathon Florida Keys

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