Friday, January 03, 2014

Mangroves, Yellowjacks and Sharks

With the crew I have had for the past few days the Seven Mile Bridge was the main venue.  While fishable, the ocean side and Hawk Channel rock piles where just too sporty for everyone to enjoy and the Bay Side Spanish Mackerel bite didn't blow that much wind up their skirts.

At the bridge the biggest problem or main attraction depending on your point of view, was the large number of sharks that helped themselves to our more impressive dinner fish.  So there wasn't much to do other than rig up for shark to at least keep them busy long enough to get a few fish in the box.  Luckily, the sharks made for excellent entertainment and we did actually chase one so that one of our crew could brag about catching his first bull Shark, in the 200 to 300 pound range.  The sharks were not shy about coming close to the boat for photo ops if that is on your bucket list. 

With all of the lobster and stone crab traps at the bridge, getting a shark to the leader can be pretty challenging.  We went up to 40 pound tackle to reduce break offs which is a bit of over kill for the smaller guys but about right for the 200 pound and over  sharks that were pretty plentiful.

Sharking is not everyone cup of tea so those guys might want to think about heavier than normal gear if they want to get whole fish for the box.  Twenty pound spinning gear got most of the Mangroves to the boat but only about half of the yellowjacks which are not to shabby in the fighting department. Other box fishing included a good number of Porgies, legal Yellowtail Snapper, Cero Mackerel and a few legal Hogfish. 

Current is a limiting factor at the bridge with the last couple hours of out going and the first couple hours of the in coming being the most productive the past few days.  The fish are there all the time, but water clarity and the ever present bay grass/Gumbo increases the effort required as well as having to vary your weight and techniques with the current which can be ripping through at about 3 knots on parts of the tide.

Bookings are starting to pick up for me and most everyone else so it looks to be a good start to the season.  The weather also seems to be more predictable with two or three really good days, one or two so so days and a serious drinking or tourista day per week.  So try to plan your trip around the weather and you should have a great time with hot Spanish fishing on the marginal days and reef or offshore on the better days.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

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