We just came off a busy weekend here at Bud n' Mary's Marina in Islamorada, Florida Keys. Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament took place and Capt Paul Ross and his crew took 1st place with 15 sailfish releases over the 3 day event! CONGRATS!!!
A lot of other boats have got in on the sailfish action the past week, averaging 1 - 3 fish per trip. The king mackerel have showed up in pretty good numbers, with fish ranging from 5 - 20 lbs. Also while live baiting on the edge of the reef we've seen a handful of blackfin tuna and a few mahi. This isn't the time of year to expect mahi every trip, but you always have a shot at getting one or two.
The bottom bite has been very good for yellowtail snapper, mangrove snapper, mutton snapper and a few grouper. Remember we can keep grouper throughout December, but on January 1st the season closes for 4 months. I didn't hear of any cobia caught the past week but I'm sure we'll start seeing some more soon.
Way offshore I made it out on one swordfish trip and we went 2 for 2, with fish up to 80 lbs. We also had a few barrelfish and a queen snapper. The winter time is the hardest time of year to plan on swordfishing because the weather is usually a little more unstable and windy, but if the weather cooperates you always have a fair shot off Islamorada. Keeping reef fishing as a back up option is the best plan, because if it's blowing 20 knots and we don't want to run 40 miles offshore, you can always go 4 -5 miles from shore and still have action with reef fish.
Give the marina office a call at 305 664 2461 when you're ready to book you're next fishing adventure!!! Remember we can mail out Bud n' Mary's T shirts for Christmas Gifts, so give us a call if you want to order a couple. Or if you're intown check out our Outfitters store and see all the new gear.
Capt. Nick Stanczyk