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Fishing report from Walleyes Inc for the Florida Key's last update May 31, 2016

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Blue water anglers were getting into more and larger Dolphin this past week.  Dolphin have been caught very near the reef by guys fishing for Sailfish and many Mahi have also been caught in the 300 foot depth.  Captain Don on the Kay K IV had a half day last week and found twenty school Dolphin close in.  Captain Jack on the Southern Comfort was beyond the Islamorada hump and wound up with fifteen Dolphin including a few nice gaffers.   Captain Paul on the Reef Runner caught some Dolphin, Tuna and a Wahoo and released a White Marlin on a full day trip last week.  Suffice it to say, the Dolphin are here and will even become more numerous in the coming weeks.


The reef is giving up some great catches with lots of variety also.  There are still Sailfish and King Mackerel being caught in depths from 90 to 180 feet.   The hot bite has been the Yellowtail Snapper while on the anchor in 70 to 80 feet of water.  There are Mutton and Mangrove Snapper included in the Yellowtail bite.   Grouper season opened May 1st and there have been lots of Black Grouper on the nail racks behind charter boats over the weekend.  Captain Chris Scott on his Doghouse charter boat racked two grouper about twenty pounds each on Saturday.

Gulf and Bay:

In Florida bay and the near gulf guides have been finding good action on Seatrout and Mangrove Snapper.  The lush grass “lakes” out to the west is prime area as it is loaded with forage such as Shrimp and Pinfish that live in the grass.  Drifting and dredging a jig along the grass beds is the ticket to success.  The area where the bay meet the gulf there are banks and channels that Tarpon use as there feeding zones.  The Tarpon will feed on Shrimp for sure, but crabs and especially Mullet are in big supply and Tarpon love both.  In a pinch catch some Ladyfish for Tarpon bait as they are the indigenous bait fish that live here year round.  The live bait should be suspended under a float with 7/0 hook and 60 to 80 pound leader.

Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:

This past week is pretty much a broken record as far as what is being caught.  When it is as good as it gets, all that can be done is to say it again.   Tarpon and Permit are in good supply and feeding in the channels and around the banks.  The bait of choice is live Mullet with a live crab a close second.  Captain Freddie out of Whale Harbor Marina had a great, but somewhat frustrating evening getting eight Tarpon bites without getting one single fish hooked well enough to take to battle.  Regarding Snook, the season closed May 1st.   If and when you catch a Snook be gentle and release it quickly as they tire in the hot summer water of Florida Bay.  

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