Happy New Year! With a new year brings a new season of fishing. As of January 1st, groupers are now out of season. Fortunately for us the action on the reef is still plentiful. Kingfish are biting good on the morning and afternoon drift trips. The majority of the kingfish we are catching are 4-7 pounds, with the occasional smoker king mixed in. Blackfin tunas are still biting strong and some skipjacks too, atop the reef and certain wrecks. Whip jigs work very well for tunas in the winter time. There’s actually a nice variety out there. A few cobias are around and hungry, bonitos mixed in with kingfish and even a sailfish or two will be caught drift fishing on the reef. The winter winds bring with them a wide variety of fish to our reefs.
The winter nights are chilly but it doesn’t keep the snappers at bay. Mangroves are loaded on the shallow wrecks and patch reefs. Among them are all the different types of groupers too, I wish they were in season. The mangroves we catch during this season tend to be bigger than the muttons. Our normal muttons this time of year are small, only 3-5 pounds whereas the ‘grovers are reaching 4-6 pounds. The yellowtail action comes and goes. They’ll be hot for a couple nights and then non-existent for the next few. A lot of the yellowtails go in really shallow for the cold months, into 12-20 ft of water. We can still entice them to bite though, if you chum them, they will come. Pretty decent fishing this month, you just have to get out there and wet a line. Good luck fishing this month everyone, sea ya on the water!