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Snapper Fishing in the Florida Keys:

2021 Mangrove Spawn is coming fast: be fishing by July 4 week

Every year, between the full moon of June and July, the mangrove snapper make their way to the outer reef for spawning. At no other time are they so plentiful and eager to bite your hook. In most years, I have fished the waters off of north Key Largo Florida with friends who are commercial fishermen, but this year I wanted to try something else. I booked a trip on "The Marathon Lady", a party boat based out of Marathon Florida, in the middle keys. The boat has always been a favorite of mine because I always catch fish and it is reasonably priced.
The mangrove snapper spawn lasts until mid august in the marathon area, according to the crew of the charter boat, but earlier in the spawn is always better since the boat pulls anchor for the trip back to the dock at around 11:00 PM, which is when the bite really starts to het good. The boat makes about three drops earlier in the evening, to get your appetite wet, but the last drop is when we caught all the fish.
The best gear to use is a sninning rod and reel combo with 12 to 17lb test line. Early in the evening you fish the bottom using weight of up to 1oz depending on the amount of current, then as the snapper come to the surface, switch to flat lining with little or no weight. The boat has rental rods available as well as plenty of gear and bait choices. If you get the chance to take this trip, you are sure to enjoy it.
Everyone on the boat went home with a box full of fish and will surely be back in the future. Remember that the spawn is very short however, so it is best to plan your trip to the keys in early july, before the full moon.

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