Hello from Key West, This is captain Paul Tryon with Key West PRO Guides and TailChaser Charters, here with your January fishing report: They say January is one of the coldest months of the year, maybe in the Midwest, but not here in Key West. The weather feels more like spring than winter and the fishing is definitely different. We have been having beautiful conditions on the water more days than not. Beautiful weather and great fishing has provided some spectacular fishing opportunities these past few weeks; this should continue for some time and only get much better as the months go by. Take a look at what we have been doing and what we see ahead for this month.
The Gulf Stream has averaged between 18 and 32 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 300 feet of water. There have been quite a few Sailfish caught with an outstanding showing of Wahoo the past few weeks. The biggest Wahoo to hit the dock last week was more than 56lbs.!! We have had reports of much larger ones on the hook, but these guys were far to big to get to the boat. The slow troll has been the key in getting the larger ones to bite, we have had a very nice showing of Speedos to use for live bait, the amount of hookups of Sails, Wahoo and Barracuda have once again proven these baits to be the best. As we get into the later part of this month we hope to see the Black fin Tuna show, they have been around here and there, but no real numbers yet.
Deep off the Reef:
Deeper off of the reef, the wrecks have been producing a few Amberjacks, some nice Muttons, decent Black Grouper and still just a few Black fin Tuna. Our live bait situation is pretty good. We have plenty of Pilchards on the grass flats, lots and lots of 8-12” blue runners in the channels and plenty of big fat Threadfin Herring on the markers. 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 are still 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 is simply awesome, we have been getting very large schools of Redfish showing up, most well over the slot limit and some topping 28lbs. the schools are very large, the fish very hungry and the action non-stop. We hope this will continue for some time as they are great battlers and the smaller ones great eating. The wrecks and reefs out in the gulf are providing some great Cobia action, we have been limiting out each trip with the biggest to the dock at moiré than 46lbs. These brutes are hitting just about anything thrown their way and are providing some great fights. The Kingfish action has been picking up steadily now, the school fish are in the upper teens to more than 20lbs. for an average and are pretty easy to get turned on. We have also been slow trolling for them with great results, most in the upper twenties to mid thirties, great fighters as well.
Atlantic Wrecks and Reefs:
The yellowtails are here in good numbers and sizes; the average has been between 2 to 4lbs. and they are very eager to feed. 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 Yellow jacks 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. With the water temps not as cool as they should be, we have actually been targeting them more with some success. There are a few permit around, you will find them feeding on the shallow flats where the water is a little warmer from the sun, also very eager to take you crab and run! The Pompano have finally showed this winter, some of them are very nice sized and in good numbers. We haven’t seen as many Sea trout as past seasons; we hope this will change soon. 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 January.
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