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Am heading to Marathon with the family over Easter, mid April. Would like to get in a day of fishing. The oldest son (14yrs) and I are seasoned offshore fishermen. Younger sons (10 & 12) and wife have spent a fair amount of time inshore. Would like to keep everyone relatively busy vs trolling for hours for a couple knockdowns. Need advice on options--reef/bottom fishing vs trolling, target species available that time of year, and recommendations on specific boats/captains.

Any input appreciated. Thanks.

GregL
 

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My 10 year old and I have fished with Capt. Wayne several times. He'll put you on fish. We ususally opt for the 10 hour trip, as we like to get our (well actually my ) $$ worth.

http://www.reelbusycharters.com
 

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Greg,
For the past 9 years I have been going down to Marathon and stayed at the Coral Lagoon, Cap Pips and Duck Key, and some other places I'd rather forget, all of which have slips for your rental boats with the Coral Lagoon being my favorite. We have tried rentals from the Marina on Vaca Cut. They have CC Cobias up to 26' but the owner of the boats is not too friendly to deal with, in fact he is an ass. We have also rented from Cap Pips but have had mechanical problems with their boats. The guy we now use and has provided the best all around service is Captain Bob of Quality Boat Rentals. He has Makos from 18' to 26' and their mothership is a 28' SeaCat with a 11' beam. It is a bit more expensive but offers a nice ride and fishing platform.

April is the best month for fishing in the keys. A transitional month which means a lot of different species are for there foor the taking.

Your best bet is:
Go to a local tackle shop and purchase 6 Jap feathers (red and black) with a 1 to 3 ounce lead head. that will run you about $18 to $24.
Also purchase some rigged ballyhoo. Best to get this believe it or not is at the Publix at Marathon, best prices and you can pick up block ice, and dry ice if needed, as well as other supplies.
When heading out, go South East to South by South east. This will take you directly out.
Look foor well defined seaweed lines. At that time of the year almost all weed lines will hold dolphin, but the one with the birds are the best naturally.
Troll your feathers or combination of ballyhooo on the edge of these lines. Always have a WWB and you are set. Remember that the limit is 10 per person per day and they have to be 18" minumum. This will keep you busy and should produce the best results. It varies but the edge of the reef is around 6 miles and your weed lines can be as close as that or can be further, it all depends on the winds.

The 2nd best option is the Marathon Hump. It is about a 22 to 26 mile ride out. If you get there in the early morning and at dusk, you will almost certainly have a chance for some Blackfin. Troll those same feather but increase your speed to 10 to 12 knots. I have also taken some huge dolphin there.

3rd best option is the edge of the reef. Find the most dramatic drop off on your map/plotter and anchor in 60' to 100'. You'll need to purchase at least 4 blocks of chum depending on how long you are there. Try to find , I think it's called the River City or the tournament chum. DO NOT BUY CHUM from the K Mart in Marathon. I broke out with a rash after handling that nast stuff.
After you have anchored, drop some live pilchards/pinfish/goggle eyes/blue runners at various depths. If you want to fill up your bait well, go to a channel marker and user a sabiki or use small hooks on the edge of the channell in 4' of water with little hooks and chum. The latter will bring the pinfish. Make sure you use wire leaders as you will most likely get a toothy critter. There are also some wreck on the bayside in 10' to 20' that hold huge amounts of mangroves and scattered groupers.

Anyway, the choice is yours and what suits your family's taste. Anyway you cut it, you will catch something. Good Luck! Best food in Marathon is at Hurricanes.

Laz
 

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I fished w/ Capt Richie Quirk out of Holiday Isle. Totally professional. His # is 305-664-0595 and I would certainly reccomend him
Brad
 

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http://www.budnmarys.com/reelmccoy.html

This Capts name is George, with mate Steve.

George is a Maryland boy, transplantd to the Keys. His boat is a Cheasapeake Bay Markley. George is a little intense, but puts you on the fish. Uses meduim spinning tackle, which is a God send in my opinion. We loaded up with dolphin in the morning and our trip was highlighted by Cand R a white marlin. Whites are rare in Florida and the Capt. was smitten with this catch.

His mate Steve is well mannered and could be a captain himself. Good for the kids.

Headed down for two trips in Feb, with him, highly reccomend him
 

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Hawk's Cay resort. Scott Walker on the TailWalker. or head south of there and fish out of Key Colony Beach. best sail bite in the keys in April/May is off of there. a small nest of winter-time breeders. May 2005 saw some days with as many as 36 sails in one day (from one boat, not the fleet!)
 

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Give us a shout..we are running out of Bud n' Mary's. You might know capt. John Oughton...he runs our Pretty Work out of Ocean City Fishing Center in the summer.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Trey Rhyne
Over Under Adventures
www.OverUnderCharters.com
 
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