Sunday, June 19, 2016

Let the Dolphin Whining Begin

This year's offshore season is a bit different than most years.  We had a mild winter thanks to El Nino and sea surface temperatures have been warmer in shore so it is hard to find a normal temperature break.  The Gulf Stream has been close to missing in action off Marathon so the usual spots are not having the usual up welling currents.  And since inshore waters have been warm, the winds have been a bit different.  Blah, blah blah, there are plenty of excuses.  The result is just it is harder to find fish.   There are still fish out there and still plenty of gaffers, just you cannot run out an fill the fish box as often.  So you need to have your plan Bs and Cs in order.

Deep dropping and Mutton on the 150 to 250 foot wrecks are the main plan B for guys that have good numbers and the right gear.  I have mentioned trolling off the reef in these depths with your sonar tweaked in to find a few spots if you don't have magic numbers.  You also have artificial reefs that might be a bit more crowded than normal when the other bites are slow.  The 70 foot to 90 foot ledge on the reef only runs a few hundred miles and has been known from time to time to produce a few fish.  then there is the reef proper, patches, rock piles, bridges and flats so you have a few more options than just running offshore and slaying dolphin.

Yesterday we found two beautiful floaters loaded with bait that should have been loaded with fish, but were not.  So we gave up on Dolphin a little before noon and hit the back up plans.  Since we are close to a full moon, the bite was weird meaning you have to work harder, chum heavier and move more often to get a respectable box of fish.  For locals, this is pretty weird stuff so you might hear a few words a bit more often than normal.

The real challenge with a slow bite is that lighter tackle is often needed get things going and of course Murphy's law requires big fish hammering your light tackle.  You also need better quality bait than normal and live shrimp in summer might require magnifying glasses, so don't forget fresh or frozen shrimp which have saved more than one trip and fresh or live pin fish, ballyhoo or whatever other bait you can find..

One interesting thing about the warmer than normal waters is that bigger than normal fish are common.  As usual in summer, early, late and night fishing gets increases in popularity.  So in that hot middle of the day time, trolling a little faster than normal kicks the A/C up a notch and is a great time to look for some new to you fishing spots.  Just plan on going with the flow and Marathon in the Florida Keys still a great 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

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dallas! I believe it was our trip you are referring to - even though no Dolphin were cooperating we learned alot about what to look for offshore, trolling speeds, etc. Yes the back up plan worked and we were able to go out next day and get 15 decent Yellowtails. Always good times fishing with you and we are headed back home to Maryland with a cooler full of fish! Thanks - Pete & Debbie