Hey All, Gonna be in Key Largo mid april ish and plan on a guide for a reef trip and would really like to target catch some Muton and Grouper, i know it would be a mix of whatever shows but are Muton and grouper catches common enough i could deff expect to catch a few? Thanks
If you are hiring a guide to specifically target grouper, then I would say you would catch a few. Only problem is that they are closed until May 1st down there so you can't keep any in April.
As for Muttons, you may catch a few but it's not quite prime time for them yet. The late May-early June spawn is when guys do well on Muttons out at the reef.
I would talk to the guide and see what's hot when you go down. I would just go for a bottom fishing trip and see what kind of bag you can put together. If you guys hit the reef, you may chum up a mess of yellowtail snapper and then do some bottom fishing and throw toether a mix of mangrove snapper, grunts, grouper, a possible mutton, etc... you may also get into a jack, cero mackerel, cobie, etc... you never know what will show in the chum slick.
If you guys go to some bottom or a wreck in deep water (100' or more) you may catch mutton, big mangrove, big yellowtail, amberjack, grouper and barracuda.
Depending on the wind speed and direction, your guide will know how to put you on the meat. Tell him what you'd like to catch but keep an open mind to all the other possibilities and take what the day offers you.
The first time I fished in the Keys, I had a list of fish I wanted to catch. The guide said it's rough in the Atlantic and we're better off fishing the Gulf. I was disappointed at first. But, we ended up catching a limit of 5lb mangrove snapper and a variety of other stuff and it was a GREAT trip.
One more tip. If you have your own boat, you may have a shot at catching some permit. Right past Molasses Reef are two wrecks, the Duane and the Bib. They may have permit schooling over them. Either tie off to the mooring ball or drift over the wreck. Use a large shrim on a jig head or a small crab. Let out enough line to get the crab about 30-50 down and you have a great shot at hooking a permit. In 2008 I hooked about 10. I only landed one, though. They'll muscle you into the wreck so you have to put the boots to them. They're like fighting a big tuna!!!
Thanks Guanacay for the good info. I guess by your name you like the Bahamas also.
I love Abaco,Hope town is my favorite,ihave a Potcake that came from Marsh Harbor that is three years old now.
The muttons spawn on the full moons in late spring but they are around all year, so a decent guide should be able to give you a good shot at them any time if that's what you want to do. I have caught them many times over xmass break, mid winter and spring break. Last year around this time we did very well on Muttons just off the edge of the reef in about 100' of water and I never caught so many nice sized grouper but they were closed so had to go back.
Tell the guide what you'd like to do but be open to their suggestions, they know what's hot and how best to put their customers on fish.
These photos were taken early March of my trip from last year. This mutton my friend caught weighed 16# on the scale back at the marina.
The next photo is from the next day when I fished by myself, I had just boated the AJ when I looked up and saw my other rod in the holder was bent over double, it turned out to be a pretty decent Black Grouper which was very painful to release...
Yeah Man,that's what I want to see WaterBoy,a couple two or three of those would make me a happy camper and return customer.
Thanks for sharing.
Yeah, I love the Abacos. I haven't been back in several years, though. It was easy when we didn't have kids. But now, we have to buy 4 plane tickets to Florida and 4 plane tickets to Marsh Harbour. The Keys are just easier because we drive so it cost about $400-500 round trip.
Like Water Boy said, you can catch the muttons any time. Your guide will know if it's worth while pursuing them. The good thing is that you can fish for mutton and hook up just about anything else. You'll put together a fine dinner or three if you go bottom fishing with a good guide.
I use to not look to highly on yellowtail fishing. I could easily catch a few myself but they were always small so I thought it was no big deal. Last year, I went out with a guide and my mind has changed. We fished for them in deep water and put together a limit of yellowtails between 3 and 5 pounds. Those suckers can fight!!! Broke a few off, too.
Maybe you guys could do a few hours of yellowtail fishing and a few hours bottom fishing. You'd have a real nice cooler of fish then.
That sounds like a good plan. When I get closer to going I'll try to dig up a go recommendation for a good ,hard working guide. Thanks.
Good luck. I do most of my fishing in Marathon so I don't know who the primo guides are in Key Largo.
Try that permit thing if you have a rental boat. Or, ask or guide about it.