Key West Fishing Report
Inshore fishing has been pretty solid this last week. The temps are what affects the flats fishing and backcountry fishing first and that has not been an issue with air temps staying comfortably steady in the upper 70s during the day. This keeps the larges amount of different species available in the shallows that we see all year. The winter and summer fish are all here and feeding like kings on the incredible amount of bait we are seeing out in the shallows. Our anglers are still getting shots at tarpon, permit and bonefish on or near the flats. Everything else imaginable is available all over like Spanish mackerel, lady fish, snappers, barracudas, sharks and a dozen other species that keep the rods bent and people having fun. What’s really nice is the inshore fishing is NOT affected by the higher winds we get typically in November. And this month we have had our share.
Out on the reef fishing front let’s talk snappers. Yellowtail snapper, mangrove snapper and mutton snappers are all being asked to dinner. The winds have been pretty strong on many of the days keeping our reef fishing trips closer the the dock. North winds are not so bad but the South Easterlies can really turn up the seas making folks a little uncomfortable. That said, if you can get out and pick your day the fishing is pretty stellar with loads of bait on the reef. The snappers and groupers are there to eat. We are finding fish in the deep reef all the way into the shallow stuff.
Let’s get deeper and take a look at out deep sea fishing. This has been our hit or miss category of fishing this last week. With the ever changing conditions of summer heading way to winter the deep sea trolling has been difficult some days. My crew got into some big sailfish last week and this week there is bad bay grass, mediocre current and not much happening outside of the occasional mahi and bonito. Most of the Key West deep sea fishing boats were fishing the reef to put a pull on the rod and meat in the box.
Key West Fishing Forecast
Inshore on the flats and in the backcountry I expect things to stay the same which as I mentioned are pretty good. We are unseasonably warm and that will change a bit next week as we dip into the low 70s later in the week and then warmer later into the forecast period.
The hardest part of the reef fishing are the conditions and those will be changing. Through the Thanksgiving day weekend I see things are good though Monday then the winds come up out of the North as a small cold front is ushered in. By the end of the week into December 1 things are going to get a little snotty with Easterly winds cranking up to 20-25 by Saturday the 2nd and that might make the reef fishing a little tricky.
The best news here next to the wahoo full moon on Monday is that the Gulf Stream is ticking in closer and closer each day. Today it is just 15 miles out past the reef. With the less windy conditions things will clean things up in the blue water. Either way the shot at a nice wahoo will increase tomorrow through next Wednesday. Then with the North winds coming up next week I suspect the tuna bite and sailfish bite will also improve. Won’t have to go out far to get to the fish as they will be just past the reef.
As soon as it starts to cool off. I mean water temps and air temps the food fish such as snappers will move in closer. They actually already have. Fishing for shallow water snappers in less than 10 feet of water will be a thing. I use lots of artificial lures for this and do very well keeping my folks out of the rougher waters and still catching some dinner.
Deep sea fishing don’t run over fish to catch fish. Color changes and birds are key to the fishing out there and patience is main ingredient. We catch most of our good fish inside 500 feet of water this time of the year. This includes sailfish, tuna, wahoo, kingfish.
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