Marathon Florida Keys Weekly Fishing Report – October 19, 2011

The fish really get a move on when the water temperatures slip a few degrees.

The tropical system we experienced over the weekend, coupled with the cool front coming at the end of the week, will signal a transition in the fishing.

Mackerel, snapper and grouper on the reef

The shallower reef areas, in 50 to 70 feet of water, really come to life this time of year.  There had already been a few kingfish around, but we will now see a big push of Spanish and king mackerelYellowtail and mutton snapper will be there fattening up for the winter, and there will be an uptick in the number of grouper.

Ballyhoo signal the beginning of sailfish season

The ballyhoo will exit the bay and go to the ocean, which will help spur the mackerel bite as well as the beginning of sailfish action for the season.  Pay attention to frigate birds working the reef line and you could be rewarded with these pelagics as well as the dolphin and cobia that will be making their southward trek.

The return of the prized hogfish

Another fish pushing out of the bay onto the patch reefs and channel humps is the hogfish.  These fish are quite sensitive to the quickly cooling bay waters and will hustle out ready to eat.  Your bait of choice is shrimp presented directly on the bottom around your favorite coral patch.

Snapper and mackerel in the bay

Remaining in the bay are the mangrove snapper, and that bite remains consistent.  Joining them is the beginning of the Spanish mackerel run for the season.

The week’s best catches

Sandwiched between a week of vacation in St. Augustine and five days of non-stop torrential rain with flooding, the SeaSquared crew got in some fishing.

The Larkin group did some shark fishing.  The Hoffos group added snapper fishing to their shark experience.  The Robertson family had a great day fishing both offshore and inshore, while Keith and Glenda Burres made the most of their trip to the reef. 

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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