When clients call or email to book a charter, they convey what type of fish they prefer to catch, whether its going offshore in search of Mahi, deep dropping for Swordfish or staying on the reef to catch Snapper etc. The million dollar question often is, can you guarantee we will catch fish? Main Attraction DOES guarantee for a full day charter, that you will catch fish, but we can not guarantee what species of fish you will catch. Why? Because It all comes down to the conditions on the day you go out.
Conditions, i.e. the weather, the wind, the tide, the current, etc. all play a huge factor in catching fish. Why is one day a banner day, where it seems as if fish are jumping into the boat, and the very next day, it seems slow? The typical conditions can tell you a lot about the type of fish you may or may not catch on any given day and the better a Captain is at reading those conditions the more consistently he finds fish that are biting. Since the weatherman isn’t always right and conditions can change throughout the day, your best chance of success is to simply rely on your Captain to suggest the best course of action. That is one of the most exciting things about fishing in the ocean because you never know what your going to catch until you go!
Our Captains are very experienced at recognizing fishing conditions and adjusting their plan accordingly. Usually in the Keys the conditions are right for catching something, the Captain’s job is to figure out what that is. Below you will find a guide we put together of some of the ideal conditions we found for fishing for specific species in the Florida Keys. Keep in mind, these are general guidelines and not hard and fast rules, sometimes Lady Luck is also a factor!
-Edge of the Gulfstream moves in close, Sailfish use this to migrate.
-East winds and sunny, bright days are easier for the Captain to see fish and for fish to see baits.
-Tailing conditions where current is pushing in opposite direction of sailfish migration raising them to the surface for effective sight fishing.
Dolphin aka Mahi
-Typically found travelling in the Gulfstream which is why the offshore range varies.
-Weedlines or a few birds working, but, not huge groups of birds that is usually a school of Tuna.
-Debris and floating objects that hold bait-fish
-East or SouthEast winds.
-Rougher seas for larger tailing fish.
-East current at least 2 knots.
-Calm weather is important, as is patience!
-Dirty water so skittish fish like Yellowtail don’t get spooked by seeing the line.
-The current and wind flowing in the same direction so your chum and baits drift behind the boat, not under or in front of it.
-Typically, the bite is best at the beginning of each tide.
-Warm water and weather, cool fronts often shut the fish down.
-Mornings and Evenings.
-Rougher days and cloudy weather, but not so rough you can not reach the Tuna Fishing grounds. Referred to as the Marathon Hump, this underwater mountain is located 25+ miles offshore where Blackfin often are found. Sometimes Blackfin can be found in open waters closer to land, your Captain will know when that is a viable option.
-LOTS of live bait on-board if you want to raise the really Big Blackfin from deeper in the water column. This is only an option when live bait is readily available in large quantities typically during Winter. If not, smaller Blackfin can be caught consistently with Lures and rigged Ballyhoo.