It's been one of the nicest weeks of weather we have seen here in a long time! Especially for the spring time, which is usually fairly windy month. It has litterally been almost slick calm the last 6 days, with variable winds. There's been some great fish caught the past week fishing in Islamorada at Bud n' Mary's Marina. I'm gonna start with a couple I caught, not only cause I write the fishing reports, but because they were two of the most memorable fish I've ever caught here. A few days back I had Jim and his family out for a daytime swordfish charter. This isn't my favorite time of year by any means for broadbill swordfish, but it's fishing and you always have a chance with a bait in the water. The morning was slow without any bites, but we finally got a bite and hooked up around lunch time. I had no idea what we hooked, until it swam up to the boat. It was a big swordfish, a giant swordfish. Jim wanted to release a swordfish if we caught one, but I could see blood so I knew the fish was hooked deep. I grabbed a couple gaffs and we stuck the fish. It was a short fight of 30 minutes for such a big fish, and the giant weighed in at 468.5 lbs! When you go big game fishing you never know when you will catch that fish of a lifetime! One bite separates the good days from the bad days.
On St. Patrick's Day I had 12 year old Ben out for a fishing trip with his family. It was a birthday fishing trip, and he got a birthday gift! His brother caught and released about a 200 lb bull shark first. But then it was Ben's turn to try for shark. I said a few JAWS quotes, and we waited for a bite. Moments later the reel started screaming and a 400 lb mako shark came up jumping! We don't catch a lot of mako's here, maybe 1 or 2 a year between the fleet, so we are excited when we get them. After 20 minutes Ben had the beast boatside. We took a few good pictures and decided to release the shark to fight another day.
There's still been some big amberjacks around the humps and wrecks too. The Stritcly Business weighed in one of the biggest of all time at the marina with a massive 121.7 lber recently. There's been quite a few others in the 40 - 70 range as well. They are one of the hardest fighting fish around, so if you want a workout you should do battle with one!
There's been a few really good catches of mahi lately too. I'm not going to say it's time to go offshore looking for mahi every day, because about 1/2 the boats do well, averaging 10 - 20 fish, but some boats aren't finding them. It's still a gamble for sure. There's been quite a few nice schoolie size fish in the 3 - 6 lb range, a few medium fish up to 12 lbs, and today there was some fish over 20 lbs hanging up.
Nice 20 lb cow mahi on the Fearless
There's also been an unusual amount of wahoo around. Usually they are more of a "bonus" fish, with the occasional one here and there. Lately though we have had multiple boats each day catching them, with fish from 10 - 30 lbs on average, and the Catch 22 had one real big one at 49 lbs a few days back. I'm not sure how long they will stick around for, but with the calm weather expected a few more days I think we'll see some more. The boats that have been able to catch live bait have been doing well on the kingfish too. A few boats have been limiting out, and many boats are catching a handful on the edge of the reef.
There hasn't been many cobia the last couple days caught, a few days ago there was some nice fish following the stingrays inside the reef. You just really have to be patient and put your time in looking. Sometimes you get lucky and find a school of fish within minutes, and other days you ride around looking for hours with no luck. Some fish have been undersize, but there has been some nice fish in the 25 - 40 lb range mixed in.
The yellowtail snapper bite has been fair lately. The water has been pretty clear, which makes it a little tougher. If you work hard at it though, you can definitely catch a bucket full of yellowtail. Further offshore there's also been some football size blackfin tuna. Give the office a call at 305 664 2461 to book your next fishing trip!