Still a newbie always looking for useful info

I'm coming down july 7 for our yearly keys fishing trip this will be our 4th year haven't hit it big yet but always have a great time got into some dolphin last year not many but my son and I did catch our first ever dolphins this year my father in-law would be going with us I'm hoping to give him a memorable trip last year we went to the humps and struck out I tried trolling with no luck I'm really a fish out of water down there I'm a flounder fisherman that fishes the piers of North Carolina I bought a pin fish trap this year and I'm gonna try to get some live bait I'm hoping that will help we got into some keeper yellowtail last year but no flags we were fishing the reef in about 30ft of water to get the flags should I be deeper we also tried to find the thunderbolt wreck but I couldn't seem to find it on the depth grinder I used the coordinates on a map we bought but struck out we looked for other reefs but didn't find then either I probably just didn't know what to look for I'm wanting my kid and pa in law to hook up on something big any help will be appreciated thanks guys
«134

Replies

  • Al BundyAl Bundy Posts: 246 Deckhand
    spend some time searching these forums...you will find more answers then you ever thought possible
  • UK AnglerUK Angler Posts: 278 Deckhand
    mikekiker wrote: »
    we also tried to find the thunderbolt wreck but I couldn't seem to find it on the depth grinder I used the coordinates on a map we bought but struck out

    We had this experience too. I used the top maps co-ordinates...however, when you look at the ones listed on the 'official' list of all wrecks in the area- they are different!

    I'm not sure if its the difference between the stern and bow for co-ordinates- but we went over the area 2 or 3 times and couldn't find it on the sounder.

    We were in a rental boat, so it could have just been a cheap sounder set- up...however I would have thought/ hoped it wouldn't be able to miss a 200 foot boat that come up 50 feet!!! That said, we hired a bloke from the rental company to take us to some fishing spots for the day (hump etc) and he couldn't find it either.
  • rivamunstasteverivamunstasteve Posts: 642 Officer
    Mike, you don't need to be on wrecks to get the fish, but they do produce great variety. If I want flags I try and find them in 70-90 ft of water. If you have current**,chum,and the right tackle then you are golden.

    It's nice to hear new comers get into fish.
  • bluewatermafiabluewatermafia Posts: 540 Officer
    What key are you staying on?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • eagleclawseagleclaws Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    Get yourself a keys hot spot map and look for shipwrecks in deep water.bring heavy tackle.Make sure to chum the water well.use live bait and drop it down and hold on.
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    I'm staying in marathon ill be in a 32ft regulator outs my bosses boat his depth finder is outdated but it works what should I be looking for on it to spot the fish and wrecks
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,940 Captain
    If you want yellowtails, and other bottom fish I wouldn't bother with the wrecks.
    I would anchor on the edge where the reef drops from 60-90 feet. Chum, and freeline bait with current and you will get tails. Keep a live bait on bottom while doing so and you may get a grouper, yellow jack, mutton etc. Live ballyhoo wont last long on the bottom. When you get them in the chum, use a tiny gold hook and tiny piece of bait and catch them 1 at a time. As soon as you get one, hook it from bottom of jaw through top of head and drop it down
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    What lures should I get for trolling mahi I've got some skirts i was gonna put over rigged ballyhoo not sure what else to get
  • rivamunstasteverivamunstasteve Posts: 642 Officer
    Skirts do great. Could put an island lure over them. Feathers, chuggers, marauders, plugs.
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    I bought some trolling skirts they are called dorado catchers they have a hard plastic head on them it came rigged with a hook and 50lb mono do I fish it the way it is or do I add a ballyhoo to it never Dionne much trolling looking for tips
  • tmheberttmhebert Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    Add a ballyhoo. Use some copper rigging wire to secure his nose to the hook. Troll just fast enough to keep the baits at the surface. I'm no expert but its worked for me in the past. I'll be down on the 8th.
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,558 Captain
    go jiggin @ hump or troll blue rattlejet
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    That's when I'm coming down 8th-15th maybe we can swap info
  • tmheberttmhebert Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    Sounds good Mike. I'm on the Gulf side of Marathon near Vaca. Looking forward to it. PM sent.
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,558 Captain
    blu rattlejet
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    What's this tropical storm going do am I gonna be in trouble next week
  • 60Blackhawk60Blackhawk Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    Great thread & I will also be down this weekend for a week. My son & I will be fishing out of a 23 Bluewater and are staying golf side near Vaca cut. We hired a guide for my boat on Monday as this will be my first time in Marathon. I plan to do a lot of bottom fishing and when the winds are down to move out to troll around the humps.
    What channels on the VHF are most frequently used?
    Paul
  • O'BryanO'Bryan Posts: 24 Greenhorn
    All we do is chase birds.....Ask a captain the days you go offshore what depths they were catching fish the previous day.
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    Blackhawk shoot me some reports while your down we will help each other out let me know what but channel you going be on in pm and we can keep in contact or we can text
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    where's Cheapest place for gas on gulf side on marathon
  • 60Blackhawk60Blackhawk Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    We're doing good on the yt although not getting the flags...mostly in the 12-14" range. Waiting for the weather to pass and hopefully have a good afternoon. The guide was monumental on my boat and learned a lot about the Marathon fishery.
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    It's our yearly trip time again will be there week of july7 thru 14 last year we caught some nice yt in the 4-5lb range but that's it no dolphin no big monster fish my pa in law loved the sabiki he fished it more then anything go figure but my son wanted something big hopefully this year he willget the fight he's looking for we've figured out the yt but have yet to get grouper or somethingin the 20lb range any tips for that piner wish we could afford to get you on our boat but just can't the in keys are expensive enough as it is hopefully one of these trips I'll be able to get you on the boat you seem to be very knowledgeable and always catch nice fish 
    If anyone would like to share some knowledge and tips to help us out we would appreciate it
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,558 Captain
    call me
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    Where's the best place to get chum in marathon 
  • TeamTekeTeamTeke Posts: 968 Officer
    -Flag yellowtail- 90'-120'. Fish at night. Many of my big flags have been off of the wrecks. Cudas, Goliaths and sharks can be a problem.

    -Gulf side fuel. Keys Fisheries, commercial side, not restaurant.
    -Best price on bait (frozen only). - Smith Automotive Marine- 11587 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
    -Live bait- Captain Hooks or Big Time Bait and Tackle

    Best dolphin lure- hands down it is the "Blue/purple/fusia Billy Bait". Also, I always run a couple of naked ballyhoo on the riggers.(small or mediums) If you need to move fast put out all Billy Baits. They can run up to 20kts.

    The mangrove snapper spawn should be hitting its peak soon. They come on the full moon in July which is 27th. Fish on the reef at night in about 60' of water. Be prepared to spend some time as the bite may not turn on until after 10pm. Bring small pinfish, pilchards, live shrimp and fresh dead cut baits. (not frozen). 1/2oz  jigs for the bait. Use at least 20# line. Leader 20-30# floro

    My best fishing buddy and wife, Tania shown below with a couple of nighttime wreck yellowtails.




    Happiness is the journey, not the destination.
  • Chase1281Chase1281 Posts: 46 Greenhorn
    Mike I read somewhere that key largo fisheries has it by the case cheaper than anyone else. I’m going to pick some
    up on the way down. I’m no local down there though. I’ve just been reading up for my first time down there next week. Piner seems like he has a lot of good info. 
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the info guys this forum is by far the best bait I'm taking everyone's so quick to help ive been reading about deep dropping in here I'm thinking of tryingit one day any tips to this do I need a light or something on my bait 
  • Chase1281Chase1281 Posts: 46 Greenhorn
    From what I understand it’s just a knocker rig or a dropper rig with the weight at the bottom and a loop knot in the leader with a circle hook. 
  • mikekikermikekiker Posts: 61 Greenhorn
    Im getting excited is almost time for my week trip coming down July 6 and I'm ready had a good trip last year got some mahi and tuna there wasn't much current the yt never did turn on for me couldn't get a good chum slick going we looked fit some wrecks again but struck out I just can't seen too locate any wrecks im just not very good with three depth finder I guess we also looked for some deep drop spots in the 800-1000ft range but there's alot of water out there and the bottom all looks the same to me this year I want to continue to look for some where to catch one of those blt or something like that and I have yet to get a keeper grouper so hopefully I can mark those of the bucket list any tips will be much appreciated thanks guys love the post y'all are putting up 
  • REEL NATIVEREEL NATIVE Posts: 113 Deckhand
    Please keep this thread alive...I'll be heading down the following week. Let me know how things go for you.
Sign In or Register to comment.