Category Archives: Marathon, Florida Fishing
Jumpstarting the annual seven-month stone crab season is a much-anticipated munch-a-thon, the fourth annual Stone Crab Claw Eating Contest for amateur eaters, set for Saturday, Oct. 18.
Staged at Keys Fisheries Market and Marina, located at 35th Street gulfside in Marathon, the lively consumption competition is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Entrants must register and be present by 12 p.m. the day of the event.
Individual entry fee is $50, and two-person teams can register for $100. Contestants must be at least 18 years of age. Interested eaters are encouraged to register early for their bib-wearing spot at the table.
Contestants must crack, clean and eat 25 stone crab claws in the fastest time. Although they are provided with shell crackers, alternatively, entrants can gently smack the shell with the back of a large spoon — an effective method employed by many Keys locals.
In the event of a tie, those competitors must face off in a 10-claw competition to determine the top winner. Prizes are to be awarded to the top three finishers.
Stone crab season runs from Oct. 15 to May 15 and hundreds of thousands of pounds of stone crab claws are steamed, cracked and served at local markets, restaurants and transported around the nation. The Keys are Florida’s top supplier of the succulent crustacean, considered a renewable resource because of the crabs’ ability to re-grow harvested claws.
Event information and registration: www.keysfisheries.com
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner at Tranquility Bay Resort or book online.
October is a great month for some of the most prized flats fish florida has to offer. The cooling water is driving resident populations of tarpon out onto the flats and channels, while the bonefish are tailing up in the backcountry. Permit are also plentiful still on wrecks and reefs, but should be moving into the flats all month. In deep water sailfish, grouper, bonito and tuna are around in good numbers, and the wahoo and kingfish are all over the place and more are being seen all the time.
One of Floridas favorite seafoods, the stone crab, will once again be open for harvest next week on Oct. 15. These delicious crustaceans will be collected from all over the Florida Keys, which produces about 40% of the total 3.1 million pounds of stone crab produced each year in florida. The large claws, closer in size to a maine lobster than the blue crab, are eaten right off the dock, often paired with mustard sauce and lemon. For more information you can check out the NOAA page by clicking here.
Right now is one of the most diverse times of year for fisheries in the deep ocean and close to shore. During daylight hours there are great bites of tuna and marlin in the open ocean, while close to shore yellowtail and tarpon are still available in pretty good numbers. The heat of the day makes night fishing more attractive this time of year, and luckily there are currently plenty of night bites from mutton snapper, mangrove snapper and yellowtail. Shark fishing is at a peak right now, its suggested to always keep a bait ready incase a monster comes to investigate, you could hook into a world class fight.
One of the Florida Key’s most frenetic and delicious anual traditions is the Mini Lobster Season. Each year for two days in July, this year on the 27th-28th, the Florida lobster season reopens and thousands of boats head out in search of lobster. The whole of Monroe County will be teeming with divers and boaters searching for adult florida lobster. This years limit is 6 per day, and measuring devices will be required on all boats along with a fishing licence and lobster endorsement.