October Fishing Report

Bonefish

Bonefish

     

       Sorry for the lack of reports recently, were just starting to get back to normal since Hurricane Irma.  Thank you to all my clients who made it down to fish in October, I know some people had to change hotels and some restaurants were not fully operational, but your business means everything to this little island.  If anyone is hesitant to visit Key West after the storm, don't be. We are ready for the holiday season and the fishing has been excellent.  The wind has started blowing from the north now and the tunas have been biting offshore.  We were able to get out one evening earlier this week and we caught a few blackfin tunas, plus a couple dolphin.  The sailfish started showing up too and hopefully we get a consistent bite throughout the winter.  Also the wahoo fishing should be getting good around the December and January full moons, if anyone has interest in live bait fishing for wahoo, that would be a great time.  

 

Tarpon

Tarpon

       We did a lot of backcountry fishing October, once the water started clearing up after the storm, the fishing turned on in the shallows.  There were plenty of schools of small tarpon around.  They were chasing bait around the mangroves.  We did a lot fishing for them with live pilchards, but you can cast artificial lures and flies at them as well.  The bonefishing was also great after the storm, we saw a lot of big schools of bonefish pushing around the flats.  Now that the weather is starting to cool down, we have seen less bonefish and we are starting to do more barracuda fishing on the flats.  Winter is a great time target barracudas in the backcountry; they like the cooler water temperature.  The barracudas have a super aggressive bite, the fight well and they will jump too.  They are an awesome predator to target in shallow water with either light spinning gear or with a fly rod.

                

Snook

Snook

July Fishing Report

mutton snapper

       Fishing around Key West in July has been consistent this past month; we probably had the best weather all year, with fairly light winds and sunshine.  There has been a lot of little mahi mahi offshore, there are still some big ones around, but not as many as earlier in the season.  We fished the Key West Marlin Tournamnet again this year, but we did not do well.  We raised a couple billfish, but we couldn’t get one to eat and we pulled the hook on the other one.  All we caught were small dolphin; we saw a lot of life offshore, like Dolphins (mammals), Pilot Whales and sea turtles.  It was slow fishing for everyone, with only 1 marlin caught in the tournament.  Besides the offshore fishing, it has been good around the deep wrecks, we have been catching mutton snappers, amberjacks and a few blackfin tunas.  The fish have been eating both jigs and different types of live baits.  The big mangrove snappers have been spawning on the reef and they have been biting well too.  We have been catching our biggest snappers on live pinfish.

       July is a great time to fish the backcountry waters surrounding the lower keys.  Bonefishing was really good and we saw fish all over the place.  I would expect the bonefishing to stay good through the rest of summer and into the fall.  July is also the end of our tarpon season, we will get some fish to hang around as long as it is warm, but most of the big schools tend to take off in July.  We still have a lot of smaller tarpon that hang out and we find them around the mangroves, eating bait.  They are usually happy fish and it is fairly easy to get them to eat a fly. They are a lot of fun on lighter gear.

bonefish

June Fishing Report

     

mahi mahi

mahi mahi

     June was a super busy month here in the Florida Keys, but the weather was not cooperative.  For the most part in June I was either fishing for mahi mahi offshore or fishing for tarpon inshore.  The offshore bite has been fantastic when we were able to make it out there.  The water quality out deep has been much better than last year and the fishing is much better too. There have been a lot of small mahi around with some big ones mixed in.  As usual we've found a lot of mahi under weeds and other floating debris, but some of the bigger fish we found were under frigate birds.  There have also been some billfish offshore and some scattered tunas mixed in.

     In the backcountry, the tarpon bite has been the most consistent it has been all year, despite the weather.  There have been a lot of fish on the oceanside and the bite has been good, but again the weather has often prevented us from fishing there.  We have also had some great early morning and evening bites.  The worm hatch was awesome this year, we fished further east from Key West, but there were a lot worms out and the the tarpon were taking flies.  The permit fishing picked up in June, a lot of the fish seemed to be done spawning and heading back into the shallows.  We saw a lot of permit causing the oceanside flats, mixed in with the tarpon, but there are a bunch of permit in the backcountry as well. 

           

tarpon

tarpon

April Fishing Report

Mutton Snapper

Mutton Snapper

 

       We have had some horrible weather this month, it has been cold, windy and rainy, but the fishing has been good when we have made it out.  Mahi mahi are starting to show up offshore and the water is looking great, much better than it did last year.  The sailfishing has also been good, particularly the past 2 weeks.  Flying kites with live baits is the most productive way to fish them. Earlier in the month, the blackfin tuna bite was great, that has slowed up recently, but there are still some tunas around.

       The tarpon have finally started to show up around Key West, it took them a long time to make it here, but finally they are around.  They were not eating well at first, but they have since settled in and started biting much better.  We have had a few successful evening trips where we have hooked a few tarpon on Hogy Lures and flies.  There have been some big mutton snappers biting inshore too.  That has been great because we have been fishing inshore a lot due to weather.  There have been some Grouper eating as well and hopefully that will continue this month so we can keep a few and eat them.

 

Tarpon jumping, hooked on a Hogy Lure

Tarpon jumping, hooked on a Hogy Lure

March Fishing Report

Blackfin Tuna

Blackfin Tuna

     Overall, the fishing in Key West was good in March, the tuna fishing was awesome offshore, but we did not have the sailfish bite we were hoping for.  We did catch a few sails, but not in any great numbers.  The afternoon tuna trips have been really popular with my clients and the bite was consistent.  Besides tunas, the wrecks offshore have been productive with amberjacks, mutton snappers, rainbow runners and a few african pompano.  There has also been a lot of action with kingfish and bonitas as well.  The water offshore has looked beautiful and hopefully in April, we will start to see some mahi show up out there.

     In the backcountry we kept busy catching barracudas on the flats, they have been biting really well.  We had a good speckled trout bite in the basins.  That was really nice on windy days when working the flats was tough, you can drift the basins and catch trout and other species.  When the water has been warm enough, we have seen some permit and bonefish, but March was probably the coldest month this winter.  The tarpon have finally started to show up around Key West, we haven't seen any big schools yet, but the fish we have found have been eating.    

Rainbow Runner

Rainbow Runner

February Fishing Report

Sailfish Release

Sailfish Release

We have had a great month of fishing here in Key West and the winter weather has been cooperative too.  The tuna bite offshore has been awesome, typically we have been doing afternoon/evening trips to target the tunas with live pilchards around the offshore wrecks.  We have caught plenty of other fish on the pilchards as well, such as bonitos, amberjacks, jack crevalles and mutton snappers.  The sailfish bite has been consistent over the last month; we have had a few days with multiple hook ups, including one day when we caught 5 fish out of 5 bites.  All the sailfish have been caught on live baits like, goggle eyes, pilchards, and ballyhoo.  There has been a lot of action on the reef with some nice mutton snappers and kingfish.

We have being seeing a lot fish in the backcountry this past month too.  The typical winter species like barracudas, sharks, and jacks have been around, but there has been a good amount of bonefish and permit.  The Tarpon haven't really showed up yet around Key West, but any day now we should start to see some big schools of fish popping up.         

Blackfin Tuna

Blackfin Tuna

January Fishing Report

The winter fishing in Key West is in full swing.  There have been sailfish, wahoo and tuna around offshore.  Leading up to this full moon, we spent most of our time targeting tunas and wahoo on live baits.  The tuna bite on pilchards has been fantastic around the wrecks, particularly later in the afternoon.  The wahoo have been eating larger live baits, such as blue runners and they have been around the edge of the reef.  We have had some very breezy weather this week and some of the trips haven't made it offshore.  Instead we fished some of the inshore rock piles and patch reefs.  The mutton snapper bite has been good around the nearshore rock piles. Most of them have been eating live pilchards or ballyhoo.  As a bonus, the porgy bite has been red hot around the patch reefs too.

The backcountry fishing has been good, when the weather has been warm enough there have been some bonefish around.  This week with the colder weather though, we have been seeing more barracudas on the flats.  The basins have been holding a lot of life, from snappers to trout to jacks.  The mud slicks have been thick and we've also been seeing the jacks chasing schools of ballyhoo around the backcountry.

     

Mutton Snapper

Mutton Snapper

wahoo

wahoo

Oct. 20, 2016

Fall fishing has been great so far around Key West.  We're getting some heavy winds this week and next week, but the fishing has been good if you can handle the rough conditions.  The tunas have been biting well on the wrecks, both on live bait and on vertical jigs.  There have been a few sailfish showing up and hopefully this weekend we will be targeting them.  In the backcountry we have been targeting bonefish and the bite has been great.  There have been some groups of small tarpon chasing baits around in the backcountry and they are a lot of fun on smaller gear.   

Sept. 10, 2016

I got back from New Jersey this past week, I was fishing a tournament up there.  We caught some nice Yellowfin Tunas up to 70lbs, but nothing big enough to put us in the money.  The fishing up there was great and I had a lot of fun.  Since Ive been back, I'm been mostly fishing the back country, looking for Bonefish.  The Bonefish are definitely thick down here and they are eating flies real well.  We have also seen a bunch of Permit around too.  

August 15, 2016

Starting to slow up and do a less charters this time of year, but we have still been doing some fishing.  The Cobia fishing in the Gulf has been great. There has been a bunch of small fish around, but there have been plenty of keepers too.  The Mangrove Snappers bite on the reef continues to be great. The backcountry fishing has been good as well. We fished the Marquesas a few days ago and there were pods of Tarpon popping throughout Mooney Harbor. We had a few Permit and Bonefish shots as well.     

July 27, 2016

Just getting back into normal chartering after the Key West Marlin Tournament.  The tournament was a great time and and we wound up finishing in second place overall with a White Marlin and a Sailfish.  We caught a few Mahi as well, but they did not qualify because they were small.  I did one charter yesterday. We started out on the wrecks and caught a few Amberjacks and Bonitas.  Then we went out and did some deep dropping with electric reels and that worked out great.  We caught 1 Snowy Grouper and 3 Big Yellowedge Groupers.  

July 8, 2016

We spent the last few days fly fishing on the flats. We spent a good bit of time looking for Tarpon, we had some decent shots, but no hook ups. There are still some tarpon around, but we are seeing a lot less fish then last month. Thats to be expected as we get to the end of season, but there should still be some fishing hanging around for the next month or so. We did see a lot Permit last week and we got a few of them on live crabs. I've also been doing a lot of deep dropping offshore from 500 feet to a 1000 ft. Thats been great, there has been a lot of Golden Tilefish, Blue Line Tiles, Snowy Groupers and Rose Fish. We've had a few schools of Mahis come around the boat when we've been deep dropping and we got a few of these on fly and lite spinning gear. They didn't have much size to them though.

June 8, 2016

I have not fished the last couple days due to Tropical Storm Colin, but the Tarpon fishing was pretty good before that.  The storm definitely through the Tarpon bite off, but it should be back on track later this week. The bite offshore had been pretty slow slow still, there had been some Mahi around, but not as good as it typically should be this year. Hopefully the storm mixed things up and brought some fish in. We had been seeing a lot of Bonefish around on the flats too and that should continue well into the fall. 

May 29, 2016

I have been Tarpon fishing a lot recently and it has been great. There are a lot of fish around and most of them seem to be willing to eat. We have had a number of days where we hooked 5 or more fish. The Permit fishing on the wrecks has also been good. I've been finding them on the Gulf side as well as the Atlantic. The offshore fishing has been pretty slow for this time of year.  I haven't found a lot of Mahi recently and the ones I have found do not have any size to them. The reef fishing has been pretty good, from Yellowtails to Muttons to Black Groupers.     

May 16,2016

I've been fishing a lot recently and that fishing has been excellent.  Ive been offshore three times this past week and we found Mahis each time, some as big as 15lbs. There has been some big Amberjacks, Blackfin Tuna, Bonitas and other species on the wrecks as well. On the reef there has been a really consistent Yellowtail bite. The tarpon bite in the backcountry has really been getting good and there have been some big fish around too. 

May 1, 2016

Fishing has been great this past week. We got offshore this past week a few times and each trip we found Mahis. We found them on the troll, but the school responded really well to live baits and that is how we landed the majority of out fish. We did get into a few Mahis on the fly as well. Other than that I have been doing mostly Tarpon fishing and the bite is slowly becoming more consistent. Yesterday we finished the day 2 for 3 on them and we hooked all 3 fish in the last hour. Today is the first day of Grouper season so we're going to see if we cant find any keepers close by because we have some wind today and we can't get out to where we want to be.   

April 17, 2016

We have had some really nice weather this past week and the fishing has been pretty good. We are starting to see more schools of tarpon pushing in and we are seeing them in up on the flats now too. The Tarpon bite in the harbor has still been hot and cold, but that should get more consistent as season moves forward. We had a great night tarpon bite a few nights ago way up to the east. They were blowing up schools of Mullet so we were casting large baitfish flies at them and it worked well. I fished way out in the Gulf yesterday on some wrecks. It was decent fishing, with a lot of nice size Snappers and a Goliath Grouper, but we didn't find any Cobia out there. The Sailfish bite offshore has been great and we got a lot of bites using live ballyhoo. This week might even be better for it because we are getting a good northeast wind. We are also starting to see some big Mahi showing up way offshore  

April 7, 2016

The reef has been great this past week. There have been some nice size yellowtails, a few Mutton Snapper and other species around. The Permit have been showing up around the reefs and wrecks to spawn as well.  The Tarpon bite slowed up earlier this week when a cold front pushed in, but the bite should be getting better over the next few days. The Sailfish have been showing up in better numbers and this a good month to fish them. Also, the wahoo bite has been pretty good offshore.     

March 30, 2016

Today I fished on the center console, we looked for tarpon early, but we weren't seeing a lot. We switched gears and went out to the reef and it was great fishing out there. We caught a big Mutton Snapper and a nice Yellow Jack, along with a bunch of Yellowtail Snappers and a couple Blacktip Sharks. The flats fishing has been pretty good recently. We got a Barracuda on fly yesterday and the day before that we saw a lot of tarpon and we got 1 bite on fly, but we pulled the hook pretty quick. The  offshore Tuna bite was great on Monday, we caught 12 Blackfins on a half day trip, along with Bonitas and Skip Jacks. I'm really looking forward to fishing in April.