Hello from Key West, This is captain Paul Tryon with Key West PRO Guides and Tailchaser Charters, here with your March fishing report:
Seems and feels like spring will not last to long and summer might be just around the corner. We have had very mild temps lately, some days even a bit on the warm side. The water temps have been fluctuating between the high 60’s to the mid 70’s, perfect for so many different species. There have had a few cold fronts move through, none to strong, so the weather has stayed warm and sunny. The past few weeks have been very productive on the wrecks and reefs and we are seeing the backcountry and flats fishing starting to heat up too. Get ready for some great spring action!
Here’s how things are shaping up….
The Gulf Stream has averaged between 6 and 44 miles to the south of Key West, this has helped to give us a few different currents close to shore. In about 180 to 220 feet of water there has been a great color change that has produced some good Sail fishing. Setting up for a troll or drift along this color change can make for great Sailfish and Wahoo action. The Black fin Tuna have finally started to show up, many in the high teens to lower twenties, all great fighting and eating. When the conditions are right, we have been able to head offshore to fish for the Dolphin, the weed lines are nice and large and the schoolies eager to feed. Next month should prove to be outstanding with the calmer conditions out there. Our live bait situation is pretty good, we have been able to consistently catch more than enough and anyone who knows their fishing knows you need the livies.
Deep off the Reef:
Deeper off of the reef, the wrecks have been producing plenty of Amberjacks, Muttons, nice Black Groupers and a real treat, Red Snappers! These wrecks are in about 220 to 240 feet of water. When the stream is very close the currents are a little strong and we need to use lots of weight, but on the days the stream is far out, you’re in for a real treat. When the currents are light and the wind is in the right direction, we have been anchoring up on the deeper wrecks lately and simply having our way with the fish! 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 temperatures starting to stabilize, the Black fin tuna have been showing up in real good numbers and are starting to spread out over more of the deeper wrecks. The last few deep water wreck trips have each found a few hungry black fins and what a blast they are on the light tackle.
The King fishing has been red hot. The schools are very large and the sizes of the Kings have been anywhere from 12 to more than 30lbs. These awesome fighters will hit any live bait thrown their way and will steady slam the jigs. It gets no easier than King fishing a large school when they are balled up like this. We have been catching our limit in less than an hour each trip! The gulf wreck action has been very hot on the Cobias. These brutes are averaging between 20 and 40lbs., some even topping 62!, and have been in really large schools. The Cobias have been showing up lately on the closer in wrecks and reefs and always like to hang on the channel markers, hoping we toss a bait there way. The snapper and grouper bite has been good with gray snappers being caught up to about 5 lbs. The sharks are very active; most of them are Bulls, Black tips and Lemon sharks. 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 are still getting into 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.
We have had the luxury of a warm winter that has kick started our flats and backcountry fishery. We are already getting schools of Tarpon around the Harbor and in the channels. The schools are quite large, most of them in the 70 to 120lbs classes. The Permit have been showing on the edges of the flats in pretty good numbers, most schools are between 4 and about 10 each. The waters are clearing since the storm and we are finding plenty of new channels, thanks to Wilma, to fish! The Barracuda and Sharks are all over the flats; just about any bait thrown their direction is sure to get looked at. Basically any species that you target on the flats will be a good choice for a very productive trip in March.
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