Sailfish on the kite! Pilchards! Capt Petrucco Fishing Guide Islamorada post image

This November has been a cold one. That being said, the cold water fisheries have been center stage. On the top of this list is always Sailfish. They have been migrating into our waters since the beginning of the month. Several shots a day are the norm; and every day that passes the possibility for more increases until we come to the peak of the season. I have been primarily targeting them with the kites and live pilchards. As more and more ballyhoo move in, we will start using them too. Of course the usual suspects like goggle eyes and blue runners are also an excellent choice on the kite. The Wahoo fishing in the islands has been legendary this season already. I have taken several trips to Bimini and the Bahamas and with great success. The fish seem to be running larger this year with many 40-50 pound fish. All of these wahoo will be on our side very soon so I am high-speed trolling from spot to spot looking for a wolf-pack. The grouper season will remain open until January 1st so I have been putting a few baits on the bottom as we are drifting around with good results. We have also been catching nice mutton snappers doing this too.

Offshore, the humps are still holding tuna and mahi mahi. The last trip out saw big numbers of 5-15 pound mahi mahi under a large piece of debris. The tunas are still biting the live pilchards as long as you can catch 500-1000 of them for live-chumming. Swordfishing has also been good this year. The last few trips out were all met with success. See you soon!


Blackfin tuna fishing chum’em up with pilchards board Capt Petrucco’s Seahunter and Catch’em! post image

The blackfin tuna are center stage right now. The typical six or eight fish at a time is the norm if you can chum them with pilchards. Big live sardines down deep are still the ticket for the big boys up to 35 pounds. When the fish are deep, we have been jigging with the high speed jigs and having a field day. On most of the trips, we have been able to find mahi mahi under various debris from pallets to Amazon logs. They are varied in size from schoolies to slammers, but most of the fish have been nice.

We are also starting to see better bottom fishing for the deep water snappers and groupers. Vermillions, silk, and red snappers have all been present in the usual haunts. The fishing on the full moon is always better but they have also been present during the new moon as well. The reef has been great for mutton snappers and hogfish both on rod and reel and with the spearguns. The water is warm, clear, and very pleasant for a dive. This is also the off season so fishing pressure is way down and catches are way up!


Florida Keys Fishing High Speed Jigging With Capt Petrucco post image

Hi Everyone! We are finally into the peak of the summer warm-water season. We have been catching lots of nice tuna on all of the humps using many different artificials this year. The high speed jigging is still working fantastic on bigger fish. It is always the go-to when the fish are feeding down deep. We have had many days recently where the fish were down 250-350 feet and the high-speed jigs are the ticket. When the fish move up in the water column and feed on the surface, the live pilchards or poppers are the best bet. Both have been working well. Mahi mahi fishing is improving all the time. The seasons for them have seemed to change over the last few years. The later summer months have been better with August and September being very good. Last year October and November were the best months for mahi mahi. We will see if this repeats itself again. The snappers and groupers have been great this year. The grouper closure in the winter is making for great fishing during the open season. We have caught many nice Red, Black, and Gag grouper lately. Many of these have fallen victim to the spear as I have been doing alot of free-diving and spearfishing. I can’t believe I am actually getting into the water but it is true, I have become a die-hard spearo! I love blending hunting and fishing together in this way. It is very exhilarating to say the least. I have been spearing in the bluewater as well as on the reef. Mahi mahi are suddenly a very smart, and wary fish! Not like when they are chewing the bottom paint off of the boat and you are catching them on a rod and reel.

The weather has been fantastic. If anyone wants to go to the bahamas for a fishing/diving trip now is a great time. We can take my boat or yours. I have lots of openings right now so don’t hesitate to call and plan your next adventure.


Spring Fishing Sunny Florida Keys Capt Joe Petrucco Seahunter Boat! post image

Capt Petrucco with 30# Black Grouper Caught On a Popper!

It has been a fantastic spring here in sunny south Florida. The fishing has been incredible. From yellowtail snapper and huge tuna to Mahi mahi and wahoo and everything else in between, we have caught them all! There was a nice migration of sailfish too that were tailing in the beginning of June this year! We were catching limits of dolphin and then coming back into the reef in the afternoon and getting several shots at sailfish. The yellowtail snapper have been consistent all season long averaging from 1-3 pounds with the occasional 4 pounder. They are still swarming on the reef edge and will remain into December.The mangrove snapper are starting to spawn after dark on the reef too! They have been from 1-5 pounds and swarming! Giant mutton snapper from 8-15 pounds have also been spawning out on the deeper wrecks and on some days we have done very well catching as many as ten big ones! As the summer progresses on, the tuna will move onto the humps. The best fishing for them is typically in August, but from the middle of July on it is usually wide-open! This fishery will go strong into December. Mahi mahi have been swarming in the 3-10 pound range. We have not seen many large fish this year yet. There is speculation that they will be coming in July and August. July is typically on of the best months for 15-25 pound fish as groups of 3-9 adult “slammers” move through our waters to spawn. We have even been catching nice mahi on the reef edge while fishing for yellowtails too!

The tarpon fishing is winding down for the season. There are still a few smaller fish around but the main migration has moved on. The next big push will be in October and November. Set your sights on the full moon periods and get ready as this is usually the best fishing of the entire year for tarpon. It is possible to have a 20 or 30 fish night! You also need to book your trips in advance for the tarpon this year as I am experiencing high demand for this fishery.


Fishing In Bimini Seahunter Boat Has the Speed post image

The fishing was fantastic last month. I am anticipating great things in the months to come. Fishing in Bimini has been red hot with plenty of mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, Marlin, mutton snapper and grouper. The yellowtail snapper fishing was legendary in the Gingerbreads this month too. Plenty of 3-5 pound fish were caught on every occasion. We also caught many muttons on the spawn during the full moon.

Fishing in Islamorada consisted mostly of mutton snapper and grouper on the reef edge wrecks and mahi mahi offshore. The numbers of small fish have been incredible with schools of 1-3 pound fish numbering in the thousands. This is really good for the future. It is however; making it tough right now to find legal sized fish to take home.

In Islamorada, it is customary to take your fish to any of our local restaurants to have them cook your catch. We call this a hook and cook. If you did not hook, then you can always go to the Islamorada fish company for a great cook!

Spearfishing will be excellent this month with many spearos finding big red and black groupers and hogfish. The Muttons will still be spawning here in Islamorada so expect plenty of them too!


Mahi Mahi Center Stage Islamorada Florida Let’s Catch’em post image

May 2012 The mahi mahi are always center stage in May. We have several of our big mahi mahi tournaments coming up this month. The marathon bull and cow is the first one starting on the first weekend in May. The next big tournament is the Coconuts tournament in the middle of the month. We will be running and gunning looking for the big ones! We usually run into blue marlin this time of year especially near the full moon. They can show up any time you are near any dolphin. Always be prepared to throw a fresh mahi at one that may be in your spread. I have also been pulling large lures close to the transom that act as teasers for the mahi and a nice meal for a blue! The wahoo fishery has come to a close for the year. We will be anxiously awaiting them this fall.

The large tuna will also be present on the offshore humps. I like to fish for them with live baits like sardines or pilchards. The high-speed jigs are also red hot this time of year as squid becomes the primary target for big blackfins feeding down deep.

The grouper season will open on the first and we plan on taking full advantage of this both in the water and out. The offshore wrecks will be prime for muttons and groupers and the shallow patches that we spearfish will be busting with excitement too!

May is primetime here in Islamorada for many species including tarpon. It is truly a great time to be here in Florida to go fishing, and the best place is in the Florida keys in Islamorada the sport fishing capitol of the world!


Slammer Dolphin Fishing Capt Petrucco “Annual Running Of The Bulls” post image

April 2012 The anticipation mounts as we get closer and closer to the annual “running of the bulls”. Slammer dolphin will show up any day now and begin pushing through our waters for their annual spring migration. This event always takes place at the end of April; sooner if the weather is warm (which it has been this year). This year promises to be a good one as the weather has been favorable throughout the winter. I’m hoping for a season of extra large slammers! The dolphin grow to size in 3 months, and can reach as many as 35 pounds in 12 months. As long as the growing conditions are good, it does not take long to produce the quality of fish we have been waiting for. As for the tuna, they have just shown back up in force. The spring runs of larger 15-30 pound fish are now present on the Islamorada hump along with the usual hordes of amberjacks. The tuna will remain strong now through the summer into October. The amberjacks are spawning right now so they are readily available all month long and into May. Giant Sharks are also on the humps right now. If you dream of catching an 800-1200lb sea monster, we can do it. On the lighter side, the yellowtail snapper are swarming on the reef edge for their breeding season too. We can target them on any trip either before we head offshore or after we are finished up with the day. I am also offering dedicated half day yellowtail snapper trips. If you desire a tarpon, we can do that too! The season we have been waiting for is here.


March fishing like a “box of chocolates” you never know what you may catch! post image

March is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you may catch. It is always a time of change here in the florida keys. Many different species will be migrating throughout our system, all of them desirable. It can be hard to choose what to fish for when so many species are present. I particularly like March because there are so many different options for success. If the wind is not right for sailfish, then usually it is great for mahi mahi which will most likely be only a few miles out from the typical sailfish haunts. If it is blowing too hard for the reef edge then one can easily run to the Gulf of Mexico for some fast action on one of the offshore wrecks catching cobia, Spanish mackerel, snappers, and sharks to name a few. One may also encounter permit or a huge king mackerel at this time of year. The usual groups of goliath grouper will also be fired up and ready to pin an unsuspecting angler to the gunwhale.

A first-timer is the most fun. I always start out by telling him to make sure he does not drop my thousand dollar rod and reel (this always gets his attention). Then I have him put a large dead bait on the bottom. Most of the time the guy never knows what hit him as a big goliath inhales the bait and then heads for the nearest cover. If the tide is wrong, that may be under the boat and around the corner. This always ends up bad for the poor guy as he is trying to look cool and composed in front of his family and at the same time he is doing his level best not to drop the thousand dollar rod and reel! Of course the drag will be locked up in the full strike position putting out around 40 pounds of drag. After a short but extremely intense fight, the giant grouper is floating alongside for photos. Too bad we probably wont take any because about this time a pack of cobias will “pop” up behind the goliath and all hell will break loose. This stuff is way too much fun!

The great news is that this is our plan b if the weather doesn’t cooperate; if it does then we will most likely be out on the hump beating the tunas and amberjacks away with a stick and looking for mahi mahi or high speed trolling for wahoo. If you still have not had enough, then we could stop on the reef edge and catch king mackerel up to 40 pounds and limits of yellowtail snappers. Of course, there are the few days where the wind is just right and the sailfish will be “tailing” on the color changes to the southwest. If you hit it just right you may have the best sail fishing day of your life. If this sounds over-the-top, it is just another day here in Islamorada Florida, the sport fishing capitol of the world!


February fishery with Capt Petrucco offshore humps post image

We have been enjoying a fantastic February fishery. The big story has been the fishing on the offshore humps. They are swarming with Black fin tunas and huge amberjacks. The bite has been on squid so the high speed jigs have been incredible. We have been catching fish as fast as you can reel all day long! The amberjacks are moving in early to spawn this year. They have been running from 40-120 pounds. There have been many fish in the 60 pound class with several over 80 including a 120 pound monster! Try reeling one of these bad boys into the boat. They may be the strongest fish that swims.

The sailfish are ever present this time of year and readily available. I have been catching them from pickles reef to Tennessee reef on the way in from the humps. This year has also been incredible for king mackerel. The last few days have seen the best king fishing ever! It has been easy to catch and release as many as 50 kings in a day! I have been casting top water plugs to them and watching them skyrocket. Let me tell you, if that won’t get your blood pumping, nothing will; accept, maybe hooking a triple header on wahoo while high speed trolling. That has been awesome too. This month will be the peak of the wahoo migration in the keys. The best times will be the days closer to the full moon. The fishing has never been better here in the keys. Plan your fishing trip of a lifetime now. I have many openings still for February and March. Don’t miss out, it really is on fire!


Winter Wahoo bite is on Capt Joe Petrucco Islamorada Fishing Guide! post image

Wahoo! The wahoo fishing is the best I have ever seen it! I have been crushing the wahoos this year both here fishing in Islamorada and fishing in Bimini. Every trip out has been great with double and triple headers. The fish have been running from 35-50 pounds with some larger specimens up to 65 pounds. I have been high-speed trolling for most of them with artificial lures. Nothing compares to having three 50 pound wahoos all hooked up at once with the reels screaming! It is my favorite thing to do! It is also a great diversion between sailfish spots. I hopscotch up and down the reef looking for sailfish while trolling for wahoo. Usually we catch both along with king mackerel up to 40 pounds.

The snapper fishing is always incredible in Bimini either for yellowtails in the shallows or silk and queen snappers in the deep. The occasional large misty or snowy grouper also livens things up for the angler wondering why his queen snapper is pulling so hard!

We still have been catching the odd school of mahi mahi coming and going on our crossings. Some of them have been nice fish in the 15-20 pound range.


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