Looking for a guide on how to fish in Marathon, FL? At Keys Maritime Market we know everyone needs a little guidance here and there. Enjoy a compilation of our local knowledge, so you can catch exactly what you’re fishing for! Make sure to check out the Specialty Bait Market when you’re in Marathon!
Leader Line: 10-15lb fluorocarbon- Make it long, but manageable!
Hook size: 1/0 is best for jigs, 2–2/0 depending on your bait for live bait hooks and j hooks
Tackle and Techniques: Smaller snapper frenzy near the top closer to the boat, while the larger fish sit near the back, and bottoms of the ball. When its windy and sandy, yellow and pink weighted jig heads are favored, we like the round ones, but the cylinders work too. Put weights higher up on the line away from the leader. A secret technique for lighter currents or clear waters is not to use a split shot, tie your leader line to line and use live bait! Yellowtail candy can also work when they aren’t biting, but don’t last long with their teeth.
Yellowtail Snapper Spots in Marathon, FL
These are the kinds of spots you want numbers for, and you don’t come by easily! In shore, one technique is starting past Moser channel and drifting with the current with some chum and squid, then throwing the anchor once you catch a yellowtail. For the hot yellowtail snapper fishing, go to oceanside to near the reef with a lot of anchor line, and chum. If they don’t show up after 30 MINUTES or so, move far away! Look For rocky bottom on the sonar, especially large rocks, coral heads, and holes. Once the bite is on, its on! To Navigation
Yellowtail Snapper in Marathon, FL
Yellowtail snapper are a Marathon local specialty and Keys Maritime Seafood Market in Marathon always stocks a local catch, fresh from the docks! These fish are found primarily in the ocean, though they can be found throughout the entire keys.
Wondering how to catch yellowtail snapper, the best bait for catching yellowtail snapper, or some yellowtail snapper spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
Mangrove Snapper Spots and Techniques
The best baits for Mangrove Snapper
Bestbaits for catching mangrove snapper:Live shrimp, squid cut up small, frozen shrimp- In the right spots chumming is like cheating.
Line: The lighter the better, they can be fickle.
Leader Line: 8-15lb fluorocarbon- Make it long, but manageable!
Hook size: 4-1/0 for in shore fishing and bait stealers, use smaller hook sizes. We like 1/0 to start with, to try and snag a big one right away!
Tackle and Techniques: Mangrove snapper tackle is a hotly debated topic!- Small weighted yellow or pink jig heads or often preferred, or a live bait hook and a single weight depending on the current. We’ve even put live shrimp on jig heads when the current is up! Yellowtail candy, or fly like jigs are also favored in the backcountry. For any rig you use, especially when fishing near mangroves, fish a bit under the top of the water column. Mangrove snapper are fickle fish, so if they aren’t biting make sure to change things up!
Mangrove Snapper Spots in Marathon, FL
Mangrove snapper can always be found in the roots of red mangroves! Big ones too! When scouting out your own spots, look for deeper areas around mangrove islands, especially for the small channels that can form in the sand towards their roots at high tide. Around Marathon a good place to chum is in front of boot key near the mouth of sister’s creak channel, or on the other side on the channel in front of the large flat, don’t fish in the channel! Mangroves are also found around the 7 mile bridge on both sides, closer to shore, and around Molasses Key but are found almost everywhere, including in the ocean sporadically! To Navigation
How to fish for Mangrove Snapper in Marathon, FL
Mangrove snapper have a delicate white meat, and are generally considered the runner up to hogfish by many! They very in size greatly, with keepers clocking in at 10 inches and the largest making to 16+ inches out in the ocean.
Wondering how to catch mangrove snapper, the best bait for catching mangrove snapper, or some mangrove snapper spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
Mutton Snapper spots and techniques
The best baits for Mutton Snapper
Best baits for catching mutton snapper: Live pilchards, Small-Med pinfish, ballyhoo chunks, squid chunks
Line: mono or fluoro, 25-35 lbs!
Leader Line: 20-35lb fluorocarbon- 30 is common. Make it long, like 8′-12 closer to shore, and even more in deeper water away from structure, like 15-20.
Hook Size- Use a large hook 5/0-7/0
Tackle and Techniques: The most common technique for catching mutton snapper is attaching a sinker type weight to a long leader, allowing for live bait so swim freely away from the weight, near the bottom. Remember the closer you are to structure the shorter you must keep your leader!
Mutton Snapper Spots in Marathon, FL
Mutton snapper can be fished up near the bottom, around Moser’s channel at the 7 mile bridge, all along the bridge, around Sombrero Reef, Hawk’s Channel and especially at The Thunderbolt Reck! They become more common the further south you move (towards Key West, and large ones are sparse near Marathon. To Navigation
How to fish for Mutton Snapper in Marathon, FL
Wondering how to catch mutton snapper, the best bait for catching mutton snapper, or some mutton snapper spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
Lane and Schoolmaster Snapper spots and techniques
The best baits for Lane Snapper
Best Baits for catching lane snapper: small pieces of squid or cut fish
Line: mono or fluoro 5-10lbs
Leader Line: 7-10lbs fluorocarbon, 12 is okay. These are not hard fish to catch.
Hook Size- Use a small hook 4-1
Tackle and Technique: Hook to line is fine for these, drop a tiny piece of squid down several feet above the bottom and wait! In shore these fish are uncommonly found in deeper water near rocky ledges and sometimes mangroves.
In our spot, these are best caught once the chum is almost gone and the bite has died down some. If you’re not finding them, cast away some and play around with your baits depth.
Lane and Schoolmaster Snapper Spots in Marathon, FL
These fish can occasionally be found in shore near mangroves or, for Keys Maritimes secret lane spot drop your bait at 15-18 foot along the far side (side from Marathon) of the 25+ foot deep hole in front of the 7 mile bridge, located before pigeon key. It can easily be located on depth charts! We call this the grunt hole for a reason, there are a lot of grunts there all day everyday, right when you throw in the chum! To Navigation
Where to fish for Lane and Schoolmaster Snapper in Marathon, FL
Wondering how to catch mutton snapper, the best bait for catching mutton snapper, or some mutton snapper spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
How to fish for Hogfish in Marathon
The best baits for Hog Snapper
Best Baits for catching hogfish: live shrimp! Squid has worked as well
Line: mono or fluoro 15lbs
Leader Line: 10-15lbs
Hook Size- 1/0 they have narrow mouths!
Tackle and Technique: Hook to line is fine for these, drop a small piece of squid down and wait!
These are caught best once the chum is almost gone and the bite has died down some.
Hogfish Spots in Marathon, FL
Here’s some spots to catch Hogfish in Marathon, FL:In the right spots along the seven mile bridge however, you’re bound to catch one if you fish along the bottom after the chum has run out some. They’re curious fish! They’re found closer to the far end of the 7 mile bridge on the ocean side in 20+ foot of water, or more sporadically on the closer end in the gulf or ocean size in 12-15+ foot of water. Fish at high tide after the action has died down some! To Navigation
Where to fish for Hogfish in Marathon, FL
You do not really fish for hogfish unless you plan not to catch much. These fish are most commonly speared while diving! They are also THE local favorite because of their mild white meat.
Wondering how to catch a hogfish, the best bait for catching hogfish, or some hogfish spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
Grouper spots and techniques in Marathon, FL
The best baits for catching Grouper
Best Baits: Live Pinfish, Live crabs, diving jigs or large pieces of squid or mullet when deep dropping
Leader Line: Size depends on the rig, grouper can be fished similar to mutton snapper, trolled for, or deep dropped. 30+lb fluoro or mono
Hook Size- 3/0-4/0+ circle hooks
Tackle and Techniques: Catching a legal sized grouper is as much luck as it is skill! While once ubiquitous, the popular fish has seen a decline in the recent years. Check out a video on deep dropping here for your best shot at catching one today! Truly, grouper can be caught anywhere, but you don’t want just any grouper do you?
Grouper fishing spots in Marathon, FL
Grouper fishing Spots in Marathon, FL: By the wooden structures in Moser’s channel on the side of the The Old 7 Mile Bridge are one or two large Goliath grouper, if you’re looking for a crazy fight, they’ll be happy to take your fish! Along the reef or deep dropping in 200-600 foot along the humps is your best shot at catching a legal grouper. Grouper can also be found by searching for holes in the gulf on clear days or with sonar! Look for holes and coral heads. You will find more black and gag grouper on the oceanside, and reds on gulf side or around the reef. Snowy groupers will be caught at depths. For the best Grouper fishing, fish in Key West! To Navigation
Where to fish for for Grouper in Marathon, FL
Wondering how to catch a grouper, the best bait for grouper, or some grouper fishing spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
Spanish and Cero Mackerel spots and techniques
The best baits for Cero Mackerel
Best Baits for small mackerels: Live pilchards, Spanish Sardines, ballyhoo chunks and Glass minnows for pitch out
Line: mono or fluoro 15-25lbs
Leader Line: Mackerel have sharp teeth, so you’ll want 10-15 lb wire
Hook Size- 1/0-3/0 hooks and shiny spoon jigs
Tackle and Techniques: Use about a foot and half of leader and troll in a school, or pitch out when they show up after chumming. You can also use a silver spoon or any shiny jig!
Cero Mackerel Spots in Marathon, FL
Spanish and Cero Mackerel fishing Spots in Marathon, FL: Fish in the Gulf in 20+ft of water far away from shore!
Found in the gulf, especially during the colder months December-February.
Wondering how to catch a spanish mackerel, the best bait for spanish mackerel, or some spanish mackerel fishing spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
How to catch Kingfish In the Middle Keys
The best baits for Kingfish
Best Baits: Live pilchards, Live Blue Runners, Spanish Sardines, ballyhoo chunks and Glass minnows for pitch out
Line: mono or fluoro 50+lbs
Leader Line: Mackerel have sharp teeth, so you’ll want 30+ lb wire
Hook Size- 3/0–5/0 hook size, shiny silver spoon jigs, or very large, brightly colored/sparkly weighted jigs, feathered if possible.
Tackle and Techniques: When a school of kingfish come up on you, you’ll know it! Use a large silver spoon at the top for the smaller fish, or down further in the water column for the larger. For the monsters, use a fat blue runner! To Navigation
Where to fish for Kingfish or King Mackerel in Marathon, FL
King Mackerel are a migratory species of fish found in the gulf year round November to March, but heavily off of Key West in a migration that takes place certain weeks of February, and mainly December to February!
Wondering how to catch a kingfish, the best bait for kingfish, or some kingfishing spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
Tarpon fishing spots and techniques
The best baits for catching Tarpon
Best Baits: Live Mullet, Live Pinfish, Live crabs, whole or halved ballyhoo if the bite is on!
Line: depends on the size of tarpon you’re shooting for! mono or fluoro 20lbs-45+lbs
Leader Line: 4-5 foot. Tarpons do not have scales, they have plates that will cut line. Use a larger leader line 20-25+lbs depending on the size of the fish! Some people use light wire! For those monster tarpon use a heavier wire, or 300lb mono.
Hook Size- 1/0-4/0+ circle hooks
Tackle and Techniques: As far as tackle goes, there isn’t a lot to mention that hasn’t already been said, fish near the top of the water as tarpon attack from below. If fishing with a jig, use jerky, quick movements and reel in quickly. Tarpons like shiny spoons! Make sure to bring several types of baits, and use whatever is catching! Some days they eat a lot, some days they don’t.
Tarpon fishing spots in Marathon, FL
Tarpon fishing Spots in Marathon, FL: Along the New Seven Mile Bridge near Marathon, especially or anytime in the month of April. That’s tarpon spawning season as they follow the spawn of mullet in the area. Very large ones can also be found in the gulf along the grassy key area at mid day, sitting in about 6 foot of water as the tide comes in. Look just passed and near the Rainbow Bend Resort. Make sure to fish Long Key Viaduct if you’re in the area! To Navigation
Where to fish for for Tarpon in Marathon, FL
About Tarpon fishing:
Tarpon are a sport fish, though anglers have the option to purchase tarpon tags if they intend to mount a fish or go for the world record. In the past it was common for fisherman to hitch up to large orange buoy balls with their anchors, which they could quickly unlink from in order to follow fish. This is no longer allowed in Monroe County.
Wondering how to catch a tarpon, the best bait for tarpon, or some tarpon fishing spots in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
Shark Fishing spots and techniques
How to fish for shark in Marathon, FL
About Shark fishing:
Sharks are an essential part of the ocean ecosystem, with gestation periods that are often similar in length or in some instances longer than humans’. Please make sure to be kind to sharks, keeping them in a good flow of water whenever possible. Remember, when fishing for sharks from shore in Monroe county, you must first have a shore based shark permit!
Wondering how to catch sharks, the best bait for catching sharks, or some spots to catch sharks in Marathon, FL? You’ve come to the right place!
The best Shark Bait
Best bait for catching sharks is: Chunked tuna, especially the head! Barracuda works too. They’re also very partial to what’s on your line!
Line: 30lb for smaller species 50-400+ for larger species
Leader: 25-500lb Wire or cable, 2′-4′ long or smaller for smaller sharks depending on your depth. Some shark rigs use 450lb mono attached to the choice of wire for decreased visibility, but this can be cost you a dollar and your rig! We prefer wire, as cables are more prone to prick you in the finger.
Hook Size- 5/0-9/0+, 3/0-4/0 For Small sharks circle hooks are the law!
Tackle and Techniques: The best time for fishing for sharks is anytime, often they will show up at the worst moments and ruin the bite. When targeting large sharks or fishing from shore remember dawn and dusk are your friends, as are balloons, to keep your leader from hitting the bottom in shallow water and bridges. Some sharks attack from below, some sharks are primarily scavengers, when targeting a shark species it is important to remember how they feed naturally. You will catch mainly nurse sharks if you fish near the bottom.
Shark fishing spots in and around Marathon, FL
Sharks are just about everywhere in the keys often showing up at the worst time. Here are some of the best shark fishing areas in and around Marathon Florida.
Bahia Honda Bridge- Bull Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and Hammerheads can be found closer to the bridge, with blacktips and bonnetheads farther off ocean side in 20+ft of water. Remember fishing for Great Atlantic Hammerheads is illegal!
Moser Channel- Bull Shark City, but spinners can also be caught on the gulf side
Seven Mile Bridge- Bull sharks and nurse sharks will often come to ruin your bite!
Gulf Side along Marathon’s Shore- Nurse Sharks, Sandbar Sharks, Blacktip sharks, Spinner Sharks
Long Key Viaduct- Bonnethead shark
Rachel Key- Bonnethead shark, small nurse sharks, small blacktip
Marathon Humps 500-600FT: Sharks so big you’ll never have a chance to see them!!! These are boat draggers and rod breakers! This is where you’d catch a Mako if you’re lucky. You won’t be!