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.