Where are the Ballyhoo!?!?

Never seen anything like it... went out of Cudjoe, a touch south of Key Lois in 17ft, chum, nothing in the slick after 1 hour. Then to patch reefs in 25ft... nothing in the slick. Then deeper patch reefs in 35ft, nothing. Off the drop in 45-50ft, still nothing! 

Tried 7-8 spots in total all around, chummed with double ground each spot, nothing. What gives? Anybody else see them around?


  • Mrseacraft127Mrseacraft127 Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    In key largo . They are in patches about 30 feet.  I haven’t seen them in hawks channel at all. 
  • Lu 1967Lu 1967 Posts: 284 Deckhand
    Try going shallow (6-8 feet) out on the patch reefs with clear water and good current.Be careful not to snag the net.
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 669 Officer
    Caught them in 85' and 60' in Key Largo last week. Could barely lift the net into the boat. Fished in North Miami today and they were thick in 35'
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,112 Admiral
    Out in Hawks Channel off of Bud and Marys my son threw once this morning and loaded down
  • mikegoblue2002mikegoblue2002 Posts: 38 Greenhorn
    ugh... this is so frustrating... fished all day yesterday all over Cudjoe still nothing. Oh well... no ballyhoo fer you I guess.

    Thanks for the suggestions though!
  • cah5336cah5336 Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    lots of them off big pine on the patches in 30 ft. two days ago
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 484 Deckhand
    friends loaded up in 50-80 feet off Duck Key, none in 25'
  • tarponbro1tarponbro1 jacksonvillePosts: 123 Deckhand
    Get someone in the bow of the boat who knows what ballyhoo look like in the water. Run on slow plane and look for the ballyhoo to flush out from the bow of your boat. That's how we used to do it on charter boats in the Keys. I'd be on the bow  and if I saw the ballyhoo before the Capt. I'd signal him. We would then anchor upcurrent (or upwind) of the ballyhoo and chum them up to the boat.
  • 2amigo2amigo Posts: 4,223 Captain
    edited November 2018 #10
    Just chum in back country (on a bank) or on patches on Atlantic side.  Never had them not be in chum slick. Caught 2 nice muttons today just by catching one out of chum slick and throwing it right back out. 
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 669 Officer
    None in 65' off Key Largo today, but my buddy got them right inside of me in 40'. Go figure! Yellowtail bite was red hot though. Limited in about 20 minutes.
  • Mrseacraft127Mrseacraft127 Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    @ CaptJ
    Any other tips you can offer for the yellowtail ? They are  biting around 65 ft? Does it matter the time of day, or which way the current is flowing? Did you have them up rght behind the boat ?
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 669 Officer
    Been catching them anywhere from 85' to 65' depending on which way the wind or tide was going. Not rocket science at the moment just set up, chum, and wait for them to come. As a side note, I have a good bottom machine on my boat and look for them before I anchor. Gets the show started a lot quicker. 
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 669 Officer
    Ballyhoo were solid in 70' off of Tavernier today and so were the Yellowtail.
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