Marathon vacation August 29th for a week.

Hello all,

I will be heading to Marathon for a week on August 29th and while I am there I will be renting a boat for 4 days. Can anyone give me some advice on where to fish? I would like to catch some yellowtail, Mahi, Muttons, and perhaps feel the tight line of a Tarpon. I ordered a Top Spot map for the middle keys to help locate fishing spots and for navigational uses but I believe the best knowledge I can obtain is from people on this forum who have experience fishing in Marathon. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated!

Replies

  • MASTERBUCKHUNTERMASTERBUCKHUNTER Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Hello all,
    I completely understand if no one wants to publicly give out information. If you would like to help me out privately you can text me at 501.749.4437 or email me at [email protected]. Me and my wife are looking to just have a good time for our once a year vacation. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
  • captdallas2captdallas2 Posts: 130 Officer
    Yellowtail, no problem, any bait shop and most of the boat rental companies will give you a few starter spots. They can be very finicky around a full moon though :( Mahi is still hunting, finding then, if they are hungry, catching. They move around so that is a daily thing. Muttons numbers in Marathon are like platinum covered gold, you are not going to get much help there. Tarpon in August are generally small and I prefer the flats/back country to the bridges, but there are still resident tarpon around them. The FAQs and my blog have plenty of basic stuff.
    Tight Lines,

    Dallas,

    fishing consultant
  • TeamTekeTeamTeke Posts: 968 Officer
    There really are only a few local Marathon forum members, so getting info is not that easy. I'm actually in Colorado now until late October. No one is going to post on a forum gps numbers of where to go. That being said, there is much to learn here. You can use the search function on this forum to research past postings of what you want to learn. The Top Spot chart is also a great place to start.

    1. Yellwotail. I have emailed to you an article I wrote on yellow-tailing. Lots of info.
    2. Mahi. Things could change by the end of the month but small dolphin have been closer to shore say 7-16 miles as of late and a few larger ones way out in the 20-40 mile range, Best to talk to the local bait and tackle shops when you arrive.
    3. Muttons. You have two choices here. Fish deeper water 125-175' on soft bottom but near some structure. Drift fishing here would be a good idea. Use a long leader and fresh or live bait. You may also find some keeper muttons on the humps and bumps of Hawk Channel 25-35' and also the mid-depth areas of the main reef 65-80' while you are set up for yellow-tailing.
    4. Tarpon. Fish Knight Key channel below the 7 Mile Bridge during the very low light or dark periods. Set up with a release anchor and live pinfish. You can also drift live crabs by free-lining from your anchored boat or drifting the channel with your boat.

    There is much to learn about the Keys, more than just the correct fishing spot. Timing, tides-currents, technique, bait and rigging all come into play. Good luck.
    Happiness is the journey, not the destination.
  • MASTERBUCKHUNTERMASTERBUCKHUNTER Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Yellowtail, no problem, any bait shop and most of the boat rental companies will give you a few starter spots. They can be very finicky around a full moon though :( Mahi is still hunting, finding then, if they are hungry, catching. They move around so that is a daily thing. Muttons numbers in Marathon are like platinum covered gold, you are not going to get much help there. Tarpon in August are generally small and I prefer the flats/back country to the bridges, but there are still resident tarpon around them. The FAQs and my blog have plenty of basic stuff.

    Thank you captdallas2 for the information. Can you recommend a bait shop in the area? I will be renting a boat from Vacation Boat Rentals and I believe they are in Key Colony Beach. I did a little Yellowtail fishing in Ft. Lauderdale so I was able to gain a little knowledge on the procedure. It seems to be imperative to have a chum bag out the back or side of the boat and I will need to purchase one when I get there. I am going to also read the information that the other member emailed to me. Thanks for your help.
  • MASTERBUCKHUNTERMASTERBUCKHUNTER Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thank you teamteke for the information. I really do appreciate it. I've been watching videos of people catching tarpon under the seven mile bridge using live mullet. Can you buy live mullet at the bait shops? I think April and May are probably better times to try and catch tarpon but hopefully there will be some hanging around the pilings trying to ambush bait in late August. Can you tell me what size line and leader I should use for the Tarpon under the bridge? I will also try the pinfish and perhaps crabs with maybe a little split shot to get the bait down in the water column a little. I saw this on one of the videos but do you think this is a correct technique? I was also thinking about making a run out to Sombrero reef and the lighthouse. It sure looks like a fishy place and I am hoping to get into some Kingfish out there on the top and maybe some snapper on the bottom. Is Sombrero reef a good idea?
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