17 Feb Kingfish are Biting again in Islamorada!
Finally, after a long drought of about 3 weeks the kingfish are biting again. We had a great run of them in early January, then they dried up do to dirty water. Today (Tuesday) they finally turned on again in prime form. In fact, the bite this afternoon was as good as you could ever ask for. Amongst gaffing fish and re-tying rigs for people I looked down and saw about a hundred of them right under the boat! Basically every king bait that hit the water got hit. A lot of days you need to present the bait just right in order to get the bite but today all you had to do was put it in the water.This morning we had a real treat when a 30 pound “smoker” king ate a live blue runner on out kite rig that we sometimes fish from the upper deck. After a long battle the fish found its way into our ice box and eventually into many pictures on the dock. Speaking of the kite, this afternoon while we were anchored and catching kings a hammerhead shark about 10 feet long swam around the boat for about a half hour. He seemed pretty disinterested for the most part, until he saw that blue runner hanging on the surface off of out kite and exploded on it!!! We had him hooked up for about 5 minutes before he broke the line. What was really frustrating was that the rig he ate was about 3 feet of heavy guage wire with three treble hooks. He didn’t stand a chance with the wire, but he wrapped the line around his body and his abrasive skin chaffed through the 50 pound test.The other main target that we are finding out there are porgies. We are catching tons of them most trips right now. Whether we fish in 200 feet of water or 15 feet we are getting these great eating fish. A lot of people from the New England area of the U.S. are used to porgies up there and seem to think they are poor table fare. Fortunately, the porgies down here are a distant cousin to the northern ones and ours are far better on the plate. Truth be told, I am out there 6 days a week catching snappers, groupers, mahi-mahi, tuna, mackerel, tile fish, etc. and I would rather eat a porgy than any of the rest.Although we didn’t really capitalize on it on the Capt. Michael there was a good yellowtail bite a couple of weeks ago when the water was super dirty for an extended period of time. A lot of the charter boats jumped on this opportunity due to a slower than normal sailfish bite but I didn’t see any numbers of fish coming in that would justify leaving the good porgy bite that was going on about 8 miles away from where the tails were chewing.
Over the next week I would expect to see lots of kingfish biting in the 100 to 180 foot range and good numbers of porgies and lane snappers coming off the bottom. The yellowtail bite should be better at night, especially close to shore due to the shrimp running out of the bay every night on the out going tides. If you come fishing with us and we target yellowtails and mangrove snappers don’t be surprised if we are fishing within 2 miles of shore. This time of year this is where the snappers are. One key to being successful day after day is to follow the fish when they move, and right now they have moved in very close to shore to eat shrimp.
Thanks for taking time to read my little report,