April 29th Upper Keys Florida Keys Fishing Report from Captain Ryan

The reef fishing is heating up down here in the Florida Keys. Our Florida Keys delicious tasting Yellowtail Snappers are chewing along the reef. & we should see the Mutton Snappers start biting aggressively on the full moon in May.

This bite should continue on until early fall. Don’t forget grouper season opens on May 1st.  If you would like to do a Mutton Snapper/Grouper trip just give me a call at 305-619-2126.  

We have had some very good day’s offshore fishing for Mahi Mahi (dolphin) & Blackfin Tuna. 

 The weather has been a little bit unpredictable and so has the fishing. We are finding fish in 300-500 ft; if you find that “magic piece of debris” you might be in business.  

With the weather improving later this week we look for the Mahi Mahi bite to heat up. If hunting for a trophy fish, May, is a good month to hunt.

On a recent 6.5 hour Offshore/Reef fishing trip we hooked Bull Dolphin pushing 60 lbs on the troll. This fish was big. We fought the fish for over an hour when the hook pulled on our customer. Our angler was saddened by the loss, but I was not about to give her time to grieve. 5 minutes later we put her on a nice fish that she hooked and landed. We then headed back into the reef to catch a few nice jumbo Yellowtail Snappers on the reef at sunset.  

This was her first time ever fishing in the Atlantic Ocean and she will have a fish story that she will remember for a lifetime.

 The Islamorada humps have turned into a “parking lot war” of late with guys chasing 10-15 lb class Blackfin Tuna, bigger fish taking live bait. Between the boats live baiting, flying kites, trolling and speed jigging, it’s a mess out there especially on the weekends. It won’t be long until we see a reality show called “Wicked Florida Keys Hump Drama” debut on the National Geographic Channel.  The following is an excerpt from an article published in September 2007 in Saltwater Sportsman, titled “Hump Etiquette.

“When the humps are crowded, a little courtesy goes a long way. When approaching an area where many boats are fishing, try to determine which way they're trolling. If everyone trolls in the same direction, it makes life easier.

When approaching diving birds and busting fish, don't run right into the activity. Instead, circle wide, so your baits are pulled into the frenzy, but your boat doesn't put the fish down. And don't ever cut behind a boat that's actively fishing. Trolled baits are often fished very far back, and live-baiters often have a stream of baits well behind the boat as chum, hoping that the fish will rise.

Before fishing, it's a good idea to explore the underwater structure with your depthsounder to get a feel for the topography. By getting to know it a little better, and seeing where the various schools of fish are holding, you can hone your technique without charging around blindly, as too many skippers do.

- John Brownlee

The smaller schools of Mahi Mahi bring are bringing with it big Wahoo & the “Man in the Blue Coat”, the Blue Marlin.  In April 2011 we hooked up with our first big Marlin in 600 ft. he ate a school size dolphin we hooked on light tackle.  The fight was short lived, but the image of that amazing fish dancing on the water will be forever etched our mind. . Word of advice, leave “no tuna bird or scattered weed unturned”

The fishing only gets better from here on out. If you looking to book an affordable Florida Keys charter boat fishing trip, feel free to give me a call at 305-619-2126 or email ryan@floridakeysfishin.com

Florida Keys Swordfishing on the Decline?

Florida Keys Swordfish pioneer worried about fishery decline
Published by Keysnews.com on April 18, 2012

A reluctant advocate for caution, Stanczyk offered up that he might just be jealous because it wasn't he who caught those two huge fish in the past month.
But he added that his goal at the beginning was to develop daytime fishing for swordfish as another viable option in South Florida's sportfishing suite. Now he's concerned the achievement will be short-lived.

"What I'm worried about is that our discovery may ultimately lead to their disappearance again," he said.

Richard Stanczyk helped pioneer and popularize daytime fishing for swordfish in Florida over the past decade. Now, with swordfish very much on people's minds, the owner of Islamorada's Bud n' Mary's Marina says he's concerned that the sport's growing popularity could cause their numbers to plummet, as in the late 1970s.

"They are definitely going down. There is no doubt about that," Stanczyk told the Free Press last week.
Caught on Rod & Reel
Bud n' Mary's Marina
October 2011
Swordfish made National News

Recreational fishing for swordfish in the Florida Keys has received a burst of publicity over the past month due to two exceedingly large catches, both brought up in daylight. The first fish, weighing 520 pounds, was landed off Islamorada on March 25. Barely a week later, a Marathon-based charter brought in a 683-pound swordfish, the largest ever recorded in the state of Florida.

The catches, while celebrated by many as spectacular, also raised eyebrows, in part because they were both made on electric reel. That assistance meant that the International Game Fish Association didn't put the 683-pound swordfish into the record books for Florida. The largest IGFA-legal Florida swordfish, weighing 612 pounds, was boated using a manual reel in 1978.

"Our organization was founded on sportfishing by man, not by machine," Jack Vitek, IGFA's world record coordinator, said last week. "IGFA would not recognize fish caught on electric reel simply because it removes the sporting aspect away from fishing. It's no longer a man or woman catching a fish."

The use of electric reels wasn't what Stanczyk and friend Vic Gaspeny had in mind in 2003 when they first began hunting for swordfish in the depths of the ocean during the daytime. But then again, the duo might not have foreseen how successful they'd be, and how quickly daytime swordfish fishing would catch on once they went public with their techniques in a 2007 Sport Fishing Magazine article.

Prior to the 1970s, very few anglers went after swordfish in Florida's waters. But by the end of the decade the discovery that the meaty fish could be caught consistently at night a few hundred feet below the surface had changed everything. Anglers hit the Florida Straits in hordes with longlines, quickly depleting the fishery.

By 2000 the problem had gotten bad enough that the National Marine Fisheries Service banned longline fishing off the Florida Coast. The change led to a rebound of Atlantic swordfish populations. In 2010 NOAA's Fisheries Service removed swordfish from its list of species undergoing overfishing.

Back in 2003, with swordfish populations on the rise, Stanczyk and Gaspeny decided to start hunting for them during the day. But they weren't looking for them near the surface, as nighttime anglers do. Instead, they were testing a theory put forth by Venezuelan angler Ruben Jaen, who speculated that in daylight swordfish retreat to the ocean floor, some 1,400 to 1,800 feet below the surface.

Jaen turned out to be correct. Stanczyk and Gaspeny caught a swordfish during their first deepwater hunt in January 2003, Gaspeny wrote in a 2010 article published in the IGFA's World Record Game Fishes almanac.
And it got even better from there. From September 2006 through October 2007, the duo, joined by Stanczyk's brother Scott, Stanczyk's two sons and a few others, caught at least one swordfish on 53 consecutive trips. All of the catches were on a manual reel.

But they weren't just catching a lot of fish, said Stanczyk. They were also catching big fish -- on average twice as big as the swordfish he had caught closer to the surface through the years.

After the 2007 magazine article, anglers around South Florida got in on the act. Today, numerous advertisements for daytime swordfish charters can be found with a simple Google search.

Gaspeny estimates that on a nice summer day there are probably 300 boats on the water from Pompano Beach south, dropping their lines deep for swordfish. Stanczyk says 50 such charters can be found on the waters off the Keys on an average day.

In addition, swordfish are harvested commercially, though commercial fishermen still tend to target the surface using the buoy fishing technique, in which several lines are dropped off a strategically-placed buoy.

Stanczyk himself continues to fish for swordfish. In fact, his Bud n' Mary's website still advertises swordfish charters.

"Daytime fish average around 100 lbs. but we catch plenty over the 200-lb. mark as well. So if you've ever dreamt of catching a big swordfish, you might want to consider giving it a try here at Bud n' Mary's Marina," the site says.

It was a customer of charter guide Kenny Spaulding, who fishes out of Bud n' Mary's, who caught the 520-pound swordfish last month.

Nevertheless, Stanczyk, the pioneer, is worried about the sport's future.

Though populations are still regarded as healthy, both he and Gaspeny say that swordfish are already harder to catch than they were nine years ago when they first started hunting them during the day.
"We're not going to catch them 50 trips in a row anymore," Gaspeny said last week.

Because anglers are catching much bigger fish than they do closer to the surface, the strain on the breeding population could be further amplified.

That's one reason why Stanczyk is setting his sights on electric reels, which make it easier to pull massive fighting fish up from depths that would dwarf the Empire State Building. It's not uncommon for anglers to take two hours to land a swordfish once they have it on the hook.

"Maybe not using electric reels, that would definitely take a lot of strain off the swordfish population," Stanczyk said.
Published by

Florida Keys Fishing Report

Florida Keys Fishing Report from Captain Ryan
The dolphin (mahi mahi) fishing was red hot last week off Key Largo, Tavernier, & Islamorada here in the Florida Keys and we took adavatage of it. Friday morning I got on fish first thing. We went 6 for 6 on Dolphin and added a bonus Blackfin tuna to the fish box after only 3.5 hours fishing time before heading back to the dock for lunch.

"Good Karma" was dressed and ready to go by 5:00 AM

I still have couple of dates open in May for offshore dolphin fishing.

To book a deep sea fishing trip with us in Florida Keys, contact Captain Ryan at (305) 619-2126 or email us at ryan@floridakeysfishin.com.
If you reach our voicemail, then we are more than likely out fishing. Please leave us a your name, phone number and a brief message. We will return your call as soon as possible.

Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada Fishing & Lodging Special

Florida Keys Fishing Charterboat, Islamorada Fishing Charters,Key Largo Fishing Charter,Florida Keys Fishing Trips

Sportfishing & Reef 
6.5 Hours

(Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna)
Light Tackle Reef Fishing

Key Largo Lodging Packaging Special
$99.00 per Night
(tax not included)

To book a deep sea fishing trip with us in Florida Keys, contact Captain Ryan at (305) 619-2126 or email us at ryan@floridakeysfishin.comIf you reach our voicemail, then we are more than likely out fishing. Please leave us a your name, phone number and a brief message. We will return your call as soon as possible.