Charter fishing in Marathon’s deep blue waters of the offshore can be some of best fun you can have. Just seeing the fish light up when they’re excited from feeding beside the boat and against the deep blue waters is breathtaking.
Watching a sailfish whack at your baits before he eats and goes off on a blistering run, tail walking across the water, hounding in and out of the ocean is extremely exhilarating.
Seeing a school of dolphin beside the boat just waiting to take your baits is a very heart pounding experience.
Watching the school of blackfin tuna bust the surface eating baits underneath flying birds can be one the most beautiful things you’ll ever see.
The best thing about charter fishing with Coral Charters is that you don’t need any previous experience or skill fishing our offshore waters – I will show you and tell you how to catch all of these fish here in Marathon in the Florida Keys.
Offshore…Out to the deep blue waters we go. This is where we target all of our offshore species that include dolphin, tuna, wahoo, sailfish, Triple tail, and Blue Marlin.
The Importance of a Well-Trained Eye
Most of your fishing offshore is by eyesight. Whether it’s seeing birds like the all-important frigate bird working the top of the water or floating debris in the water or a big weed line of Sargasso weed, that’s where the fish should be.
It takes years of experience to be able to see the things necessary to hook up to the many different species of fish that you will find out there. Where most people don’t see the opportunity to fish – that’s were experience really pays off.
Most times you often see people just trolling open water hoping for a bite. I’m a firm believer in the more ground and water you cover the more fish you will be able to find and catch. Being able to spot birds from far distances takes a well-trained eye.
Also understanding the birds behavior on whether he’s looking for food or he has found the food makes a huge difference at the end of the day. Chasing a bird that’s looking for food means there’s most likely not any fish there. And wasting your time fishing where there are no fish just does not help the outcome of the day or fill the cooler.
Fish to Catch on a Marathon Offshore Fishing Charter
Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)
Dolphin are one of the best fish to target while offshore fishing in the Florida Keys. They don’t really have a long life, but they are exceptionally fast growers. They rarely live past four years old. The average size of dolphin caught are anywhere from 8 to 30 pounds. Dolphin over 40 pounds are very rare but still caught and are not impossible to find in the Keys.
Dolphin have compressed bodies and dorsal fins that extend nearly the entire length of their bodies. They are distinguished by their bright colors: golden on the sides and bright blues and greens undersides and their back. Bull dolphin are the males which have a flat head whereas the females have a more rounded head. Dolphin are one of the fastest-growing fish in the ocean.
They are usually found around weed lines, or floating debris, color changes in the water and rips where they feed on flying fish, squid, crabs, and other baitfish. They are one of the fish that anglers on my Marathon fishing charters love to catch because of their size, fight, and awesome flashing color changes. More often than not, if you catch one, there are plenty more to follow!
In my opinion, dolphin are probably one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. Just like a snowflake, no two dolphin are like. I’ve seen them silver, bright green, bright blue, yellow and a mix of all. They are a fish you have to mark off on your bucket list.
I have had very young anglers and very experienced anglers fish for dolphin and it never gets old. My only advice to you if you want to fish for mahi mahi is: wear clothes that you don’t care about because it gets bloody. And that’s the best part about it.
Charter a Marathon offshore fishing trip and experience the excitement yourself! Read more about Marathon fishing charters for dolphin.
Wahoo aren’t found as commonly as other fish on an offshore fishing charter here in the FL Keys, but when you find them, it’s a fun fight. Winter is the best time to target them, and the ideal technique is higher-speed trolling with wire leaders. Wahoo have a long, slender body with a dark blue back and its sides are silvery with a pattern of vertical blue bars. They also have a very large mouth with razor-sharp teeth that act like scissors. These fish can weigh anywhere from a couple of pounds all the way up to 180 pounds. They are also one of the fastest fish in the sea and can swim up to up to 60 miles per hour. Wahoo usually spend their lives alone or swimming in small groups of 2 to 3 fish. They mostly feed on other fish and squid. The meat in wahoo is white to gray in color, delicate to dense and is considered an excellent fish to catch for dinner!
Sailfish is another one among the fast-growing fish in the ocean. They can grow up to almost 5 feet long in a single year. Also with their sails folded down they are the fastest fish in the ocean, reaching speeds of up to 68 mph.
If the sailfish feels threatened it can raise it sail to appear much larger or it can also use the sail up to herd small schools of fish like squid and other baitfish. So speed, power, and are what make this one of the greatest sport fish in the ocean to fight on light tackle.
Blackfin tuna is the smallest of all the tuna. Usually not reaching more than 46 pounds blackfins have football shaped bodies, black backs with yellow on their finlets and have a fading gold color that runs along the body. Blackfin feed on the surface as well as down deep for fish and squid, but are usually caught on the surface trolling. Like some other bluewater fish they are fast-growing short-lived fish. They rarely lived to be five years old. They may be a smaller tuna but what they lack in size they make up for by their ferocious appetite for bait and their abundance.
Find out more about Marathon charter fishing for tuna.
Greater amberjacks are the largest of the jack family. They usually have darker stripes extending from the nose to the front of their dorsal fins. They’re usually less than 40 pounds but can reach up to over hundred pounds. They’re found around reefs and wrecks and out at the Marathon humps. Amberjack are very strong fighters, tiring out even the most seasoned angler.
Catching Triple Tail
Triple tail is not one of the prettiest fish in the ocean, but it ranks right up there with some of the tastiest.
They’re usually found offshore around floating structure. You can just imagine a fish with three tails has to fight three times harder than a normal fish. They are not usually very easy to catch.
Usually surrounding the floating structure along with the triple tail is a lot of small baitfish that will steal the bait before the triple tail has a chance to eat it. Sometimes you can catch 30 fish before you can finally get to that triple tail.
Just remember to be cautious when handling these fish as their scales and gill plates are extremely sharp.
Catching Blue Marlin
Last but not least, the Blue Marlin, one of the biggest billfish that you can catch off the Florida Keys. Not as common as all the other billfish, but every year that goes by, the numbers go up. Off the Florida Keys used to be some of the best blue marlin fishing around. Unfortunately back in the 50s and early 60s a lot of these fish were killed for sport and for food. Thanks to fishing regulations over the years the stock has risen and chances of catching one of these great fish has gotten greater.
Florida Keys Fishing Calendar
Offshore / Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Marathon – Fishing in The Florida Keys, Marathon is available all year round and this calendar can help you see when a it’s best per type of fishing. From Dolphin to Tarpon, your day aboard will be unforgettable!
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