Islamorada has thawed out and the fish have really made a great showing!! This week has been full of good times and great fishing. Capt. Andrew fished several days this week for me on That’s Right and he was making me look bad as he is a great bottom fisherman and it showed this week. He produced some really nice Cobia! The biggest one might have gone 40 pounds with the others coming in at 20 pounds or so. He anchored up along the reef edge in 50′ of water and found a super bit of Groupers, all released alive and well. The biggest one was pushing 40 pounds; a big Black Grouper along with 6 or 7 more ranging from 10 to 15 pounds…excellent fishing. Also along the bottom the guys found some real nice Mangrove Snappers up to 6 pounds and an assortment of Mutton snappers. They were mostly schoolie size 8 pounders, great eating. The Yellowtail snappers have slowly become very hungry again as the water has warmed up to 73 degrees. It’s still a little dirty but coming along nicely.

Mid week I was able to get my butt back and fished with some buddies that I haven’t fished with in over 10 years, so the pressure was on. We had two pretty good days. We spent one in on the reef edge and picked away at the Porgies and Yellowtails pretty good. We threw back a few Groupers and caught plenty of King Mack’s. The bait, well it’s still a mess! It’s totally different every day so we have mostly been dependant on the Live Shrimp and they have yet to let us down. The best rig for us lately has been a simple old chicken rig… imagine that!

The next day we loaded up with about 300 Pilchards and off we went to the Hump. Well, it didn’t work out for us well as we would have liked but we managed to chum up a few nice Blackfin Tunas, which we caught both on the jig and live Pilchards. After 7 or 8 drifts, which by the way were very quick ones. There was a little too much current that day so we decided to run out another 10 miles and make a few drifts for a Swordfish. On the second drop we got the bite, however, he won and pulled off…bummer. Now as I was running back up to set up for our third drop we stumbled into nature at its finest! A 50′ Whale Shark feeding on the surface and he was surrounded by 5 to 10 pound Blackfins. Now we all thought we hit the mother load! Funny but we tried every trick in the book and could only trick two or three of those little rascals. Gosh, talk about frustrating! That was making me pull my hair out, but it was a spectacular event to watch that’s for sure.

This weekend both the That’s Right and Pretty Work fished and it was like Snapper express! My goodness the Yellowtails have gone to chewing, about as good as it can get. Limits in no time at all! Today I had 4 neighbors with me and they were catching those 4 at a time and nice fish…two pounders. The Porgies and Hogfish kept one guy busy all morning so it was pretty funny as he didn’t even have time to get a drink! Capt. Andrew is on That’s Right as I write this and he is doing it again this afternoon, one after another…great stuff. He was off to the Little Hump to catch a few Amberjacks. Capt Clyde on the Pretty Work had a great catch of AJ’s on Saturday, as well as his limit of Yellowtails and some really nice Porgies.
Well, this coming week is another full week so stay tuned as we should have some great things to report. And DON’T FORGET THE PRETTY WORK IS NOW IN THE KEYS ALL YEAR!!

Capt.John Oughton

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