Florida Keys Fishing Report – September 2023
Autumn means more than just a weather change in the Florida Keys. Similar to the pre-pandemic years, our schedule has eased as the kids return to school. During this brief hiatus from daily fishing, our crews are dedicating their efforts to our yearly boat maintenance tasks.
The Main One being brought to the boatyard for repairs.
We had an engine problem in June on our 49-footer, the Main One. Captain Marty and Katie have been working with a Caterpillar dealership to get all the proper parts and pieces to rebuild the block. They also had to rebuild a transmission and an exhaust as a direct effect of the issue.
This project has been time-consuming and costly, so the offseason slowdown is welcome. If you have ever wondered why charter fishing is expensive, this is why!
While putting back together the Main One, we also did a full service on the Reel Attraction. We hauled it out of the water for a bottom job, which entails repainting the part of the hull that sits underwater all year.
First, we pressure wash and scrape the surface to remove barnacles and debris. Then, the surface is sanded and painted. It sounds simple, and it is for the most part; however, it is grueling labor in the hot sun all day.
Main Attraction II, now officially dubbed the BenOfishal, was also hauled out for a bottom job. Captain Ben also updated the name on its transom and bow. She is looking pretty!
The Main One motor being rebuilt.
As mentioned before, we are still running charters this time of the year, and surprisingly, just a couple of weeks ago, one of our boats caught a nice big slammer, Dolphinfish. During an offshore charter aboard the Main Attraction, Captain Marty spotted a school of Mahi under some birds. Among the schoolies was a big bull, Dolphinfish. Marty hollered out for a cigar minnow, and his mate pitched it right in front of the big fish, which gulped it up readily.
The charter was so thrilled with their catch they decided to get a replica mount done by Gray Taxidermy. The bull was over 30 pounds and 55″ long.
Hurricane Season Weather Update
It’s also the time of year when we need to keep our eyes on the tropics as low-pressure systems continue to come off the coast of Africa and keep us on high alert.
Katie is our local weather nerd and reads several meteorologist reports daily to stay current on the latest predictions. When a storm is brewing and heading in our direction, Katie alerts Captain Marty to begin preparations. Staying informed gives our crews ample time to prep the vessels, the marina, and their homes.
After fishing charters for eight months straight, often seven days a week, the slower season allows our crew members to spend more time with their loved ones. They often use this time to get out on the water to fish for fun with friends and family.
Captain Marty and his wife Katie recently took their family and friends out to run the boat and catch dinner. Among them was Captain Ben Zdan and his family and their boat mechanic, Jeff.
Captain Ben Zdan and his family out fun fishing for a day.
They went out to the Hump for some live baiting with small pilchards. They had a great time catching Blackfin Tuna. When the tuna stopped biting, they went deep-dropping for Queen Snapper. Once they had plenty of great-eating fish in the box, they headed home. After so much boat maintenance, it was a welcome day off. For our crews, getting out on the water, clearing their heads, and enjoying friends and family is a fantastic way to reset.
Alex Lewis with a pair of Queen Snapper.
During the offseason, if Captain Marty isn’t booked on the weekends and the weather is nice, you can find the Lewis Family on the water. The Sunday before last, the Lewis family went to the sandbar and taught their youngest how to snorkel. Natalie had a blast snorkeling around the shallow sandbar, finding shells and fish with Captain Marty. Days like these are when we truly enjoy the paradise we call home.
Captain Marty and Natalie snorkeling at the sandbar.
The Fall is an excellent time to vacation in the Florida Keys because the sun isn’t blistering hot. We also get a nice breeze this time of year, which makes reef fishing on anchor a bit more comfortable than in the summertime. Reef fishing is also quite good this time of year. While running our boats to keep them tuned, we often stop on the reef for an hour or two to catch some fresh Yellowtail Snapper for dinner.
Alex Lewis holding up a Yellowtail Snapper caught on the reef on a day off.
We highly recommend it if you can come down to the Florida Keys during the off-season. While the Keys are fun all year round, this is a great time to visit if you like less crowds and cooler weather. If you have any questions or are interested in booking, call us at 305-289-0071 or visit our contact page.