Hello from Key West, This is captain Paul Tryon with Key West PRO Guides and Tailchaser Charters, here with your April and May fishing report:
Spring has arrived! Great weather, nice light to moderate winds and plenty of sunshine! We are still experiencing fronts, but they are much milder than last year at this same time. A day or so before each front, we experience the winds shift and create opportunities for many different styles of fishing. When the winds are from the South, we can sometimes have great offshore fishing and even boat some nice Dolphin. When the winds are from the North, we have our best chance for the sailfish just off of the reef. No matter where the winds are coming from there are always great spots to have some fun fishing. The bait of choice this time of the year and through the Spring will be the Pilchards or “greenies” these baits are the best you could hope to fish with and they are pretty abundant if you know where to find them.
Here’s how things are shaping up…..
The Gulfstream has averaged between 9 and about 30 miles to the south. With the winds changing direction more through out the week, this will keep some of the larger weed lines from forming. As the winds start to blow from the south east with more consistency, we should see more weed lines forming and the dolphin fishing pick up. The scattered weed lines that we are finding are finding are holding some schoolies and on the deeper trolled lines we are picking up a few nice 20-30lb Dolphin. Just south of the reef anywhere from 30 feet to about 240 feet, we have been doing quite well on the Sailfish. We have been hooking them up both drifting and on the deep troll. Most of them have been pretty good size, averaging about 6 ˝ to 7 feet long. When trying for Sailfish, look for high flyers, or North American Frigate birds, there usually on some of the bigger fish.
Deep off the Reef:
The deeper wrecks off of the reef have still been good with Amberjacks, African Pompano, Barracuda, Bonita and smaller sharks. We are coming up on the first of a few spwans, so the Mutton snapper action should also increase. If the wind and current conditions are right, anchoring up from them is a great way to drum up some action. Dropping whole ballyhoos to the bottom has produced nice Black and Gag Groupers along with my favorite the Mutton Snappers. Dropping a fresh live Ballyhoo to the bottom is sure to get nailed! Now that we have the water temps. stabilizing, the blackfin tuna have spread out over more of the deeper wrecks. On days where you can get further out in to the gulf, the shrimp boats provide nonstop action for these bruts. They seem to prefer the late afternoon and sunset hours and having a live well full of big Pilchards can be deadly for them. If you have never experienced this type of fishing, you are missing out on an awesome experience.
The gulf wreck action has been really good. Now that the water temps. are cooling off some, the sharks are very aggressive and the smaller 3-4 foot Lemon and Blacktips are just everywhere. As soon as you get a good chum slick started they are as far back in it as you can see. These powerhouse fish are very strong fighters and a challenge on light tackle. We have been battling nice size schools of Bonita at some of the other farther out gulf wrecks and by tying off to any of the dozens of shrimp boats anchored in the gulf. Shrimp boat fishing is some of the best action trips you could possibly go on. The cobias are abundant and there are some nice schools of them starting to show up. You have to run a bit further than usual to find them, but when you do, the schools are large and the fish average about 30-40lbs. The snapper bite along the reef has been good lately with the Greys and Yellowtails eagerly feeding in the chum slick and the smaller mackerels are still hanging in strong. These very aggressive fighters are a blast on light tackle using live ballyhoos. The grouper bite is good, lots of Reds, Gags and some Blacks hitting live bait steadily.
This is Captain Paul Tryon, Give me a call to book your day with some of Key West s best guides here at Key West PRO Guides and have some fun fishing! Until next month, keep those reels screaming! For booking information with Key West PRO Guides or TailChaser Charters, you can call me at 305-296-6602 or visit my website:
Capt. Paul Tryon