Man I love fishing Marathon in October

A great couple weeks in the heart of the keys

We stopped to see Mike at Captain Bads in Key Largo and he hooked us up with some bionic ballyhoo and frozen speedo's. The speedos worked great ... Whole and as chunks... Well worth the money.
Out of marathon we made multiple trips offshore and caught over 80 tuna and lost another 50 or so to the numerous sharks. We fount that keeping the tuna in the boat wash while maintaining the forward motion of 6 knots helps tremendously . Our anglers did not like the extra work but it did bring fish on the boat to around 8 lbs on the larger fish. We hooked a lot of large tuna however all were lost to the sharks. Small cheap squids on 30 pound fluoro resulted in a lot of hook ups. Black and purple and blue and white. As the day progressed, we stepped up to 50 pound leader that resulted in more small fish .... But got them to the boat.
On the reef, we used yellowtail up chum and chum drop chum ball mix to catch a bunch of nice yellowtail to 3 pounds as well as a few mutton snapper. The key was to get a slight current going to the deeper reef . We anchored in 50 feet and caught them in 70 feet. The key was to throw a small handful of yellowtail up from the bag (we did not hang a chum bag) we just scooped some and free lined a chunk of squid or sardine wrapped in some of the yellowtail up and let it drift back. We were bit almost every drift. We never saw any fish behind the boat nor did we mark much on the fish finders..... But the fish were there. When they got to the boat, they were puking up the chum filling their bellies. . Each fishing session resulted in all the fish we wanted to catch and we left the spots with the fish still chewing.

We did a few dives on the reef and were surprised at how few fish we saw. Very very few grouper. We dove the deep edge of the reef , a hundred feet in the sand and shallow 30 foot reefs.

On another offshore trip we took the advice of capt Chris Johnson from Seasquared fishing charters on where to fish and stopped by Big Time Bait and Tackle for some deep drop lights and gear...we were able to locate and catch some blue line tilefish , blackbelly rose fish and a 25 lb barrel fish. From 800 foot of water , our electric reels purred as we waited in anticipation. .excitement and the filets .....Delicious.
When the wind blew , we fished the 7 mile bridge for mutton and mangrove good results when the current was flowing.

So. For the trip we caught hogfish to 5 lbs , mangrove snapper, yellowtail, mutton snapper, rainbow runners and jacks, blue line tile fish, blackfin and skipjack tuna,... Even a few small yellowfin tuna. A couple cobia, a barrel fish, black belly rose fish, Spanish mackerel, and probably a few others I forgot to mention...as well as a few Moray eels, ....

My buddy Chris kept talking about the elusive double breasted mattress thrasher ... I told him they are only found farther west. Maybe next time Chris :)

If you don't miss crowds and have a capable boat, Marathon in October can be really good.
Video and pictures will be posted soon. For now I'm still here ..fileting fish ..and ...waiting for the rain to slow so we can get back offshore.

Good luck to all
Joe p
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