Hello from Key West, This is captain Paul Tryon with Key West PRO Guides and TailChaser Charters, here with your October fishing report: Summer looks like it has finally released her grip. We have started to see a few cool fronts move our way, none to cold, but definitely a cooling down. Lately we have been dealing with quite a bit of wind, for about 5 days now a persistent high pressure system has given us a brisk 20kt east wind that has kept a few boats at the dock. The water temps are starting to cool down a little, great news for our winter fishing and even better news concerning hurricanes. We are still seeing temps around the mid to lower 80s on the reef and in the shallows, the gulf stream has averaged between 22 and 36 miles offshore from Key West, providing some great fishing excitement, heres how things are shaping up for this month.
The Gulf Stream has averaged between 22 and 36 miles to the south of Key West, we have had our color change pretty close, anywhere from just off of the reef in about 100feet to almost 280 feet of water. There have been a few Sailfish landed, but the bite is a bit slower than we would like. This should all improve tremendously when we get a few cold fronts our way to push these fish further south.
Deep off the Reef:
Deeper off of the reef, the wrecks have been producing plenty of Amberjacks, Muttons, a few Black fin Tuna, plenty, I mean plenty of Bonita and still some real nice Black Grouper. Our live bait situation is improving, we are seeing large schools of Spanish Sardines showing up and the Pilchards are getting bigger and showing up on our grass flats. When the currents are light and the wind is in the right direction, we have been anchoring up on the deeper wrecks and simply having our way with the fish! There are a few nice Black fin showing in the large schools of Bonita some of the Black groupers hitting the docks are in the 20-30lb range with a few more than 40lbs. 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!
The gulf wreck action should start heating up for the Cobia soon. The wrecks and reefs out in the gulf provide lots of great Cobia fishing in the fall and winter months. Now that the grey snapper spawn has been over for a few months, we have been seeing really nice schools on the shallow wrecks. The average size is around 3lbs, some topping 5 lbs. all real nice fish. On some of the target wrecks the schools of Barracuda are simply outstanding, we have had several trips with more than 50 fish landed, per day! We are still seeing nice schools of Permit, biggest one to the boat was around 20lbs.
Atlantic Wrecks and Reefs:
The yellowtails are here in great numbers and sizes; the average has been about 3 pounds and they are eager to feed. We have had a few top 5 lbs., Yellowtails these sizes are called Flags, they are a true beauty to catch and look at. (Not bad in the skillet either!) We usually fish the 60 to 110foot depths over the backside of the reef and set up a real good chum slick, where they stack up behind the boat turning the water yellow. Getting your limit this time of the year is pretty quick and easy if you know where to go. The Yellowjacks are taking over some of our better reef spots, these brutes are sometimes a bit tricky to get on the line, but great fighters and great eaters!
We still have our resident schools of Tarpon around, they are quite large with most fish averaging between 40 and 60lbs. a pass through the channels on the gulf side will blow your mind at the sheer numbers of them just cruising by. We are consistently seeing these large schools and they are all eager to slam any top water plug tossed there way. We are still seeing lots and lots of monster Permit around on the edges of the flats; most schools have had more than a dozen fish in them. The Bonefish are also all over the flats, schools of 10 to 20 each and great conditions to stalk them. As always 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 October.
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Capt. Paul Tryon