My vote is for more great fishing in the Florida Keys! Although it seems we are witnessing a blatant moral decay in society with respect to our general election, fishing is as great as it has ever been around the areas of the Upper Keys both off shore and in the back country.

Last week the boats that made it out were successful in connecting with sailfish, dolphin and blackfin tuna. Several charter boats had release flags flying from their outriggers. Some boats had as many as six releases in a days time.

The reef was alive off of Islamorada from Crocker reef extending southwest to Tennessee light. Slow trolling was productive for many charter boats like Capt. Paul Johnson’s Reef Runner out of Whale Harbor Marina. On a recent trip Captain Paul found king mackerel and some nice dolphin while trolling live cigar minnows in about 135 feet of water.

Speaking of cigar minnows, they have been very plentiful, voracious in fact, at the bait patches and have been, dare I say, easily catchable as of late. To sweeten the pot during this transitional time of year, some anglers are finding beautiful “bonus” mutton snappers both trolling the live cigars and chumming while anchored for yellowtail snapper.

When the temperature drops and the weather changes significantly a variety of grouper, snappers and mackerels go “on the move” on the ocean side of the Upper Keys both at the patches and the main reef edge. My neighbor “Vinny the Grouper” went three for three in a two-hour morning after the first cold front trolling his favorite patches off Key Largo. He reported that the bucket mouths were biting behind his 22-foot Pathfinder and that life was good.

Keep in mind that several spots could produce well in the same day,

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