Summer is in the air and you better believe things are heating up here in the Keys. I don’t know where to begin, because I have been all over the place. It looks like we made the transition from a windy late spring into the more tropical humid calmness we commonly see this time of year. This has opened the door for so many options on the water. From offshore trolling for tuna and dolphin to exceptional fishing for yellowtail snapper on the reef edge to rocketing spiraling blacktip sharks in the bay to launching tarpon just after sunset to name a few recent trips. Now timing becomes more important for the early and late bite. Even the night bite. Our water temperatures are in the low 80’s and as things continue to warm, fish and people get hot. I see more split trips for fishing/snorkeling and night trips for snapper. Adaption to the conditions is the name of the game and the heat will become a dominant factor.
Offshore fishing has been unpredictable in a way we have never seen. There are a few primary theories, but the end result is the dolphin (Mahi) fishing is horrible. They just are not there. Fishing is different every day and it only takes one school to make or break your day, but I have put dolphin fishing down to plan B. We have been targeting Blackfin Tuna with great success with fish over 20lbs.
Also on these trips when the seas are calm, the electric deep drop rod has been bringing up some tasty grouper and tilefish from depths of 800′. The tilefish average 5 pounds and the grouper are in the 20’s! It’s an exciting way to add fish to the box and the mystery of hooking a monster from the depths makes every drop full of anticipation of what could be on the other end of the line!
On the reef fishing had been pretty good for yellowtail snapper. The average size is down a bit to medium 14″ers, but there are plenty of them to keep anglers busy and fill the cooler. They fight really hard on light tackle and challenge anglers of all skill levels. We are expecting the mangrove snapper to be making their way to the reef to spawn and should see more and more all the way through July.
On the wrecks it has been hit or miss depending what you are looking for. There has been plenty of Amberjack and other Jack species to give you a pull of a lifetime. We are targeting large mutton snapper and do ok, but one day/tide they are cooperating and the next they are not. Just a matter of bouncing around on several wrecks and getting lucky!
We are now into our rainy season, so morning trips tend to me less affected by rain and offer a little break from the warmer afternoon temperatures. We often get a sunrise shower and early afternoon thunderstorm. There is no such thing as predictable weather anymore, but these are general trends that may help you in deciding when to book your trip for your desired activity.
With the increasing heat my customers spend more time in the water. I just want to remind you that I offer just about any activity in the water EXCEPT scuba diving. I am an certified diver and understand the in’s and out’s of the bubble blowing world, but I can not offer the same level of safety as a professional diving operator. It comes down to safety and rescue protocol. I will NEVER make an exception to book a scuba trip. I do offer any snorkeling, free diving, spearfishing, lobstering, shelling, sand dollar collecting than can be done with a breath hold. I even have a 2 person snuba rig (a tethered scuba regulator with 50′ hose) for some customers that go through a bit of a training process. These activities are for most anybody that is in good physical fitness and health. If you have any significant medical issues, this is not an activity for you. All of my trips are custom and designed around your abilities and limitations. I have found myself with lobster divers with blown knees and spearfisherman that were highly asthmatic well into the trip where I would have never allowed for that to happen if I had known of the medical condition. Bottom line is that it is impossible to have a great day on the water if your medical condition becomes a medical crisis, so help me look out for you.
June looks to be a great month for Florida Keys Reel Adventures! There are still plenty of openings to get your adventure booked. As long as we get lucky and dodge the tropical disturbances that blow our way, I see so much potential for great days on the water. Thanks to all of my customers! It makes me so happy to be a part of your vacation and hopefully your best day in the keys. To keep up with the latest catches, like my Facebook page and follow the daily adventures.
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