KW mixed bag inshore, offshore, reef 4/11, 4/12, 4/13


A bit breezy for offshore (for us anyway), so we went exploring to the Marquesas and played with snappers and jacks in a couple of the channels. On the way back played with some more jacks, snappers, etc. in the channels draining the Lakes Passage. The best fish of the day was this mutton my wife caught in one of the channels. She has some mutton magic going on...she has caught several good ones over the past couple of years. She caught another nice one in the NW Channel a few days ago.



Weather was nice so we did a variety of things out past the reef - followed a weedline, trying for triggerfish (didn't catch any), Also did some yellowtailing, mostly to scout a couple of spots. Found that our I-Pilot trolling motor virtual anchor works much better (easier) than a real anchor for yellowtailing, at least in a moderate current and calm seas. Ran across the mother lode of small yellowtails just while running along the reef in 30 ft, but we were out of chum by then. We proceeded to a wreck and caught some nice jacks (crevalle and yellow), and chased after some false albacores that were breaking on the surface nearby. The false albacores were busting so loud, it sounded like a waterfall from around 1/2 mile away.



Went back and did some yellowtailing at the same spot...plenty of little ones there, and caught a nice cuda using a live ballyhoo. It was hard catching the ballyhoo because the yellowtails were so aggressive they would shoot up and slam the bait intended for the ballyhoo. Ran a weed line back to the east looking for signs of life. Saw one nice gaffer mahi in 180 ft around Sand Key, but it wasn't there when we stopped and turned around. Fished a couple of public wrecks (vertical jigging) and caught a black grouper, a couple of jack crevalles, a couple of almacos, and a king mackerel probably around 30" (no pic of that). It was my first king ever. Didn't measure the black but it was clearly legal size after May 1. My wife caught a nice yellow jack also.





  • nfairbanknfairbank Posts: 266 Deckhand
    Great fishing, excellent photographs....Thanks for sharing
    ><))))*> So Many Fish, So Little Time
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    nice trip..
  • reeladventuresreeladventures Posts: 304 Deckhand
    Good job! Looks like y'all had a great time and caught some good looking fish
    2015 Hewes Redfisher18
  • prolinedaveprolinedave Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    I admire folks who take the time to enjoy the art of fishing, just absorbing the catch, and it's obvious from your pictures that you two do that. I wish I took the time you do to capture the experience in photos...I need my wife onboard to do that. Thanks for sharing....
  • NauticalWheelerNauticalWheeler Posts: 444 Deckhand
    I admire folks who take the time to enjoy the art of fishing, just absorbing the catch, and it's obvious from your pictures that you two do that. I wish I took the time you do to capture the experience in photos...I need my wife onboard to do that. Thanks for sharing....


    We only get down to the Keys for a month every year (the past few years) and after that we have to go back to the waters of coastal VA, which I can tell you is very depressing. All they have up there inshore are: flounder, croaker, sea bass, whiting, stripers, bluefish, tautog. There are a few other species but they are rare. All of those are very seasonal, and only in the summer. Flounder stay around the longest - from April until October, and stripers are available in the winter, but we don't fish for those often because it's too darned cold on the water.

    Offshore, sometimes mahis come in as close as 40 miles out, but there is usually nothing for them to hold on that close in. They are pretty much only there from July to October. We do catch some bluefin tuna (for 3 weeks in late June / mid July) but for the most part the pelagics are all in 200+ ft of water, which requires a 55 mile run each way. Any of the offshore fish are out of range of our bay boat. I feel safe going out maybe 8-10 miles on a good day, but the seas can kick up and there is no reef to provide shelter like in the Keys. Going 8-10 miles out, we can catch: flounder, sea bass, and rarely tautog. Stripers and bluefish are in range sometimes, but hard to find. That is it. It's like a desert out there except for a couple of artificial wrecks that everyone else knows about.

    That explains why we're so appreciative of the FL fish... even such as lowly crevalle jacks and false albacore / bonito. There is nothing up our way that is as fun to catch without a 40+ mile run. Even ladyfish, blue runners, and ballyhoo are kind of fun to catch. Also the number of species in the Keys is amazing. After 6 years of coming down we are *still* catching new species. Anyone who takes some Keys species for granted needs to spend a year or two up in the mid Atlantic.
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Captain
    That's a great mixed bag! The Yellowjacks are good eatin' too. :wink


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • CaptBillCaptBill Posts: 271 Officer
    Fine catch and outstanding variety of fish. Wish you could stay longer-your posts are outstanding.

    (P.S.- When we were in Virginia years ago I enjoyed the bluefish and stripers- fun to catch.)
  • BocaBocaBocaBoca Posts: 607 Officer
    Very nice. Great pix and info. Thanks.
  • skyway andeskyway ande Posts: 3,695 Captain
    A very cool report!...
    God, save the South!
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