The reef is definitely changing for the better as we speak! The kingfish are moving out, but being replaced by yellowtails, muttons and occasionally dolphin (mahi-mahi). The water temp is now up into the 70′s (finally) which makes the snappers start to think about eating again. Mark this week as the first week of the 2010 snapper season. The bite is still pretty slow, but it’s improving better and better each and every day. It will continue this trend with a MAJOR peak in May and a very strong, exciting June, July and August.
One of the major events of the year for me is the mutton snapper spawn. You can catch muttons in the Keys 365 days a year, but on a few occasions they stack up together to spawn and the bite is unbelievable. The full moon in May should be the first big push of spawning muttons this year. After that the bite will remain good for the summer before lagging off again in the fall. I look forward to getting out there during this time and filling the box with big “pinkies”. If you would like to jump on a mutton charter just call the Robbie’s ticket booth at 305-664-8070 and tell them you want to catch muttons with Capt. Brian. They will do the rest!
At night Capt. Ron on the party boat has been doing amazingly well with mangrove snappers considering the time of year. He has even limited out a few times lately! This is really rare in March, but he found a school of fish that are living in Hawk’s Channel feeding on shrimp and he is puttin’ a hurtin’ on them! Truth-be-told the rest of the night fishing is slow, but in classic Ron fashion he found a light at the end of the tunnel and turned a crummy fishing season into a hot one!
As for the offshore scene the dolphin are just starting to move into the Keys. They take the spotlight from the sailfish in the spring and hold onto it all the way into the fall. Look for the Islamorada Lady II, Satisfaction, Fishin’ Pole, Blue Heaven and Contagious to be bringing in coolers full of them from now until the weather cools off in the fall.
Thanks for reading again this week! If you are coming on the Capt. Michael soon expect yellowtails, mangroves and a few muttons to be caught!