Cool fronts bringing in stellar fishing offshore and out back – FlKeysNews.com
Looks like our wintertime weather pattern has finally begun, by which I mean the weekly parade of cold fronts and cooler temperatures. Fishing as a whole has gotten better with sailfish and kingfish numbers increasing every week offshore, spanish mackerel becoming more numerous in the bay, and better numbers of snook, redfish and black drum in the backcountry.
Offshore the big draw continues to be the sailfish bite found just off the reef line in 110 to 150 feet depending on the current and color change. Most boats are catching a sail every day, with some luckier than others, releasing multiple fish in a day. Live bait fishing has been the key to success with ballyhoo, large pilchards and Spanish sardines the baits to have, either slow trolling, power drifting, or suspended under kites.
Along with the sailfish have been numbers of bonito, blackfin tuna, kingfish and a few wahoo’s caught by those targeting the sailfish. Dolphin have been far and few between but are still available. However, they have become more of a bonus catch rather than a target species for now.
Capt. Jon Reynolds and his crew aboard the Drop Back out of Post Card Inn have been experiencing this almost every day catching a few sails and some bonus species as well. They’re reporting that the bite has not been red-hot, but rather a steady pick of different species with some days better than others.
Around the wrecks and ledges it seems that the kingfish numbers have been steadily increasing every week. Fish are averaging around 5 to 15 pounds, with larger ones caught almost every trip, however, not in the numbers as the smaller fish.
Bottom fishermen have been finding success fishing live baits on or near the bottom, catching solid numbers of mutton and mangrove