Islamorada offshore thursday

Ive been chasing a fish to check off the list ... A wahoo . So i got my wife and kids up at 5 am to take the boat out just past the reef edge . We trolled for 1 1/2 hours from sunrise . No wahoo on anything we tried . We did have a blue and whie feather and caught a couple nice blackfins.. So we trolled towards the ups and downs and a long the way found a patch of weeds and diving birds . We stated catching small dolphin a,d decided to look closely at the weed patch . The patch had 6 or so triple tail around 10 pounds each . Ive never seen tt this big alive . We pitched a squid chunk and one of the largest took it . A few minutes later a nice tt in the box .
It was also surprising to see the amount of fish on this weed patch ... Huge ball of what looked like cigar minnows and others.
We are fishing attractant manufacturers and we had a lot of unused snapper up chum , so we took small handfuls and started dropping it near the weeds ( we would start the motors and bump back up near the weeds once we drifted 150 feet away or so) after dropping a few handfulls and watching the bait go crazy ... A few dolphin showed up .. Then a few larger ones we kept them aroung Throwing chunks of squid and fish guts from a prior cleaning session. We were in 400 feet of water. 6 miles off marathon. After catching a keeping a few decent fish and releasing a bunch more, we decided to run out and look for a snowy grouped . Looking around the area of the ups and downs , welocated a spot and dropped . I used large fillets of bonita to help avoid smaller fish . I had a couple large strong bites but the circle hooks failed to engage. While we drifted , we had mahi swim up to the boat nemerous times . None of the fish were huge , but we did see fish of 10 pounds or so. We went back to the chum ball technique and chunked them once we saw fish show up . Some fish were eager to eat , some wanted to stay away from the boat just at the edge of our siight. I found i could get the fish close enough for the kids to pitch to them by nose hooking a previously frozen sardine and cast out where we last saw the fish and working it back to the boat like a jerk bait . We caught and released all the fish we cared to .we were 16 miles off shore 650 feet of water , strong current flow. The fish ranged from undersize to around 10 pounds . After tiring with the snowy hunt we went looking for tile fish . Found our tile fish and ran in to the reef at 5 pm so the kids could snorkel . I took one hogfish for tonights dinner .
We have been here on vacation for a couple weeks . It looks like the mahi are once again out there . I did see somek great rips and nicely froming weedlines . I was surprised at the amount of large floating debris out there,

In summary , blackfin on reef edge and trolling out deeper. Lots of diving birds . Dolphin caught better dropping chum than trolling. Big triple taiil caught by us and see at bud and marys dock. Yellowtail everywhere . Tiles in deep water. Looking like the fishing is bouncing back .
Good lick everyone!


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