Marathon Florida Keys Weekly Fishing Report – July 13, 2011 – Family time in the Keys!

Summertime is family fun fishing time in Marathon!

Night time is the right time for mangrove mania!

Friday’s full moon will send the mangrove snapper annual spawn into full frenzy, and your lines will sizzle with the hot bite at night on the reef.

The bright moon glow also means easy fishing without the use of artificial lights.  Any light shining over the side of the boat will spook the mangroves, so it’s important to keep your inboard lights in the off position.

The mangroves caught at night tend to be of the hefty variety, with most fish in the four- to six-pound range with a few ten-pounders here and there.  This gives you the opportunity to scale up your tackle to thirty-pound leaders and 20-pound test.

A #1 or 1/0 short shank live bait hook attached to a pinfish, pilchard or chunk of ballyhoo will do the trick.  As with all snapper fishing, chum is required, although not the copious amounts needed for daytime yellowtail fishing.  A couple of seven-pound blocks will serve you well for a night of catching.

Nighttime mangrove snapper fishing is most productive beyond three miles out, which means the minimum size increases from ten inches to twelve.  Make safety a top priority and take your time getting to and from your fishing grounds, always with an eye on the weather.

Mangrove snapper are extremely hard-fighting fish for their size, and their sweet, tender meat is superior table fare.

Daytime snapper and grouper fishing

During the day, yellowtail snapper, another tasty treat, are biting well in waters at the 70- to 90-foot depths.  There are plenty of succulent grouper in the same areas.

There have been more than a few big mangroves taken on the bottom during the day with a pinfish attached to a jighead.  Mutton snapper in the five- to ten-pound class are also showing in the slicks.

Anglers with numbers to wrecks and rough bottom patches in 110 to 200 feet are scoring with larger muttons weighing 10 to 15 pounds.  More and more grouper are showing on the deeper wrecks, and there are plenty of amberjack and jack crevalle for those who skipped the gym in favor of a fish fight.

Fishing in the bay

The mangrove bite in the bay is very good around the inshore wrecks and banks, with most fish coming in at 14 to 16 inches.  This is great fun for families and novice anglers as there is lots of fishing action with no wave action.  Shrimp is the bait of choice, but cut ballyhoo will work as well.

Shallow-water shark fishing

Another awesome option in the bay is shallow-water fishing for sharks.  Imagine the excitement of a couple of dozen large lemons and blacktips swarming around the boat as you catch and release one after another!

The week’s best catches

As summer wears on, the SeaSquared continues to host families from all parts of the country.

Groups from Alabama, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, Kentucky and Ohio fished the reef, the bay and my shark grounds.  They brought in limit catches of yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snapper as well as numerous black grouper and some bonus porgy.

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

Travel Channel

On Saturday, we hosted a production crew to film one of our Florida Keys Shark Fishing Adventures for the Travel Channel.

Our show is scheduled to air sometime during the fall.  Read all about our day with the TV cameras.


And, finally, we’re proud to announce TripAdvisor has awarded us a Certificate of Excellence for 2011.  Thanks to all our awesome clients who made this possible!

Until next week … tight lines!

Capt. Chris and Christy Johnson
SeaSquared Charters
Marathon Florida Keys

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