Marathon

by Captain Terry Fisher

June proved to be an extremely productive month in Marathon. 2nd Mate ‘Moby Dick’ (my Chocolate Lab) joined 1st Mate Vicki and I, along with several clients to enjoy a change of pace from fishing the gulf coast. We all spent a good deal of time hunting and catching Mahi-Mahi in the deep blue waters off Marathon together with a number of reef species such as, yellowtail snappers, mutton snappers, grouper and trigger fish. It was a 30 day event with little wind allowing fishing all but 5 or 6 days. Anytime one books in advance to fish the Florida Keys, there is always a chance to have the fishing part of the trip spoiled due to high winds. Fortunately, we had a ‘bye’ on that this year.

This year was exceptional allowing us to entertain and fish with friends/clients from Florida and as far away as Canada. The first week we teamed up with Ron and Lucinda Defreitas from Alva, Florida. This has become an annual event to join up with them and their daughter, Lilly along with other friends to work together with several boats chasing and catching Dorado. Naturally, we must clean and ‘cook our catch’ daily while enjoying a few beverages throughout the days and evenings.

This year Vicki and I were joined by our Canadian counterparts, Gino Mascarin and Jennifer Wintersmann, from Thunder Bay, Canada. It had been several years since our last meeting due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. We caught our share of fish during their 4-day stay. Needless to say, it was great to spend time with them again.

The next week was set aside for some family time, catching Mahi-Mahi and mangrove snapper. A day trip to Key West where a meeting was going on to discuss short -term and long-range plans for reducing the harvesting quotas on the sought-after Mahi-Mahi game fish. The family spent time enjoying the sights, shopping and sounds of the historic town. Other adventures included trips to Sombrero Lighthouse Key to enjoy snorkeling the beautiful waters. During this time I crossed paths with Captain Jay Rodriquez (saltynativecharters.com) a couple of times. We were fishing the same reef for yellowtail snapper and later met at a local bar, enjoyed several cocktails, compared fishing notes and told a couple of ‘Pirate Tales’ before we departed. Jay is an expert fishing guide both inshore and offshore on both sides of the state.

Vicki and I enjoyed the first week with the clients/friends then she returned to Cape Coral to regroup and to bring ‘Moby Dick’ back for the duration of the month. Moby arrived June 17 for two weeks in ‘Paradise’. He loved it! Like a good dog, Moby spent his first week patiently awaiting our daily returns from fishing to have his picture taken with the fish we caught. In the evenings, the three of us sat around on the patio looking at the water and enjoying the ‘catch of the day’/ dinner. Moby’s job the last week was to greet other clients/friends as they arrived for their 2- or 3-day visit to fish. One long time fishing friend to visit, was Denny Pelligrino. Denny and I ago back over 10 years. He once held his captain’s license but is now an avid offshore fisherman on both sides of the state. We spent a productive day chasing Dorado and day on the reefs. Looks like we will have to go back later this year or next summer to make up for the day of lousy ‘reef’ fishing. Sorry, Denny!

Denny departed leaving Vicki and I to fend for ourselves. We ‘MAXED OUT’ on Mahi-Mahi the next day. The remainder of our days were spent with Moby on the beach and at the house. The last day, we took to the ‘back country’ to boat and enjoy a waterfront restaurant with drinks. Winds began to pick up and we decided to depart a couple of days early to head home, as fishing would be out of the question. Hopefully, over the next year I will get more clients to join me in the Florida Keys!

LOCAL FISHING

Fishing should be good for both inshore and offshore. Summer months are great months for grouper, snapper and other offshore species. One just needs to plan on fishing around 100ft. of water for the larger fish, as water temperature is cooler in the deep holes. Inshore will continue to produce good for snook, redfish, seatrout and mangrove snapper. The caveat is the hot weather, afternoon storms and ridiculously small shrimps for those using them for bait. Artificial and white baits (cast netted) are good options. Be aware of the weather forecast and be safe.

This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters at 239-357-6829 or fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com. I am available for Captain For Hire (by the hour) on your vessel for safety, navigation, fishing techniques and good fishing locations.

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