Yellowtail | Mutton Snappers On The Reef!

Yellowtail and mutton snappers reef fishing

June 13th 2018 – The weather is holding up nicely here in Key West. Normal conditions of hot, sweaty and calm prevail. There is nothing like walking outside your house and feeling like your taking a bath in your own sweat? Welcome to Key West fishing.. thats the way we like it.. These conditions coupled with a new moon phase makes the reef fishing On Fire.. !

Mutton Snapper

Jeff holding up a trophy mutton snapper caught on the reef in less than 20ft of water using artificial lure.

I was out yesterday reef fishing after working in the backcountry and the Marquesas Keys for tarpon, permit and bonefish on my All In Wonder signature fishing charter. After getting our fill of sight fishing I worked some nearshore spots. Casting artificial is a hoot and lots of fun yesterday in the clear waters. We hit some stuff in the 9-12 ft range that were abundant with just over legal mutton snappers, the occasional small red grouper and yellowtail snapper. My angler Jeff was a catch and release guy so they all got to go back. I generally play catch and release on those spots just to take great care of this fishery that I discovered. The fish seem to keep getting larger and larger.

After working the nearshore stuff we headed to the outer reef South of the Marquesas Keys just before the main drop off from 22 ft to 45 ft. I really like the outgoing tide here for the yellowtail snappers and the muttons in the shallower parts of the reef using artificial lures. The hits are bone crushing and they pull like hell on our light tackle drags. The water clarity was gin clear yesterday and the fishing was tight! Just about every cast landed us a nice 13 – 18 inch yellowtail snapper. Some of the larger yellowtails were pushing the 3.5 lb range. We made several drifts to stay on the bit and my angler Jeff seemed to enjoy it allot as we were doing some more quantity after the morning searching for quality in the form of tarpon, permit and bonefish. On our last stop I was thinking. Boy I have gotten some nice large mutton snapper here in the past. then WHAM! drags burning and there he was along side the boat. A nice 13 lb mutton snapper. Again Jeff was a catch and release guy but allowed me to keep two of his nicer yellowtail snappers and the big mutton for dinner.  We then called it a day drank a bunch more water and headed in.

Yellowfin 24 Carbon Elite Bay Boat

My Yellowfin 24 Carbon Elite Bay Boat that I take to the reef.

See My Video :  Mutton Snapper On Bay Boat

Its an easy run for my bay boat to hit the reef for fishing. Especially on days like these. Flat calm and perfect conditions. The reef fishing is really a nice option for those folks wanting to do a little backcountry fishing for tarpon or whatever, then head out to catch some filets for dinner. Much more affordable than going out on our 36ft Yellowfin center console (which seems to stay sold out) but more sensitive to the weather. I personally like fishing my bay boats on the reef for the casting platform on the nicer days.

Setting up a trip like this with us is easy.. You plan a trip to the Keys.. Call us for your fishing. We take care of the rest..

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About Capt. Steven Lamp
Dr Catcher Is - Capt. Steven Lamp - Owner of Dream Catcher Charters is a veteran Key West fishing guide for flats fishing, deep sea fishing, wrecks and reef fishing, and fly fishing. An expert waterman and licensed captain since 1986. A Veteran of the United States Coast Guard Heavy Weather Search and Rescue, I.G.F.A. Certified Captain and Standing regional board member of The Florida Fishing Guides Association