The weathers perfect, the natives are friendly and the fishing is excellent…welcome to Key West.
Things are settling into our predictable summer fishing patterns of late. This is a time of light winds, blue bird skies, calm seas and banner days with several species both inshore and offshore. Fishing has been consistent and the action fast paced and steady most days recently. As the water temperatures continue to rise early take off’s and the morning bite dominates in the shallows. As for offshore, fish are moving steadily deeper looking for the cooler temperatures and higher oxygen levels. Here’s what the Key West Pro Guides team report….
The Dolphin schoolies are plentiful but scattered of late in the 200 to 300 ft range. The larger Bull & Cow Dolphins to 35 pounds however, are much deeper some reported as far offshore as 2000′. Sailfishing has been good with the best bite near the reef’s deeper edges. Marlin action is on the rise…Blue’s are showing up and a number of White’s have been seen and hooked up in the shallower depths traveling with schools of Bonitos. July typically brings good Wahoo action with the Black Fin Tuna bite waning now. Giant Barracudas have been very plentiful as always and willing to battle.
Wrecks and Reefs:
The deeper reef locations are producing exceptional Mutton Snapper and Grouper action. Shallower reef and wreck sites have been fishing a bit slower due to a lack of current last week but are improving over the past few days. The Kingfish and Bonita catch has been the exception on the shallower fishing grounds. Yellowtail Snapper continue to fill the fish boxes and dinner plates with some of the Flags hitting 5 to 6 pounds! The Mangrove snapper spawn is gearing up. Any of the shallow reefs and wrecks provide consistent action on these great eating fish. Averaging close to 6 lbs. they readily eat and small live bait dropped their way.
Key West Harbor Tarpon:
The action has been awesome! The best bite has been on the incoming tide when the Tarpon school up on the edges of the main ship channel. Any live bait tossed their way is getting quickly devoured! Our average fish has been 50-140lbs. Most of us are averaging 3-4 out of 5-7 to the boat each trip! These fish are hungry and easily blow up on any bait thrown their way, live or artificial.
Our Key West Pro Guides team reports for the Back Country:
Tarpon! Tarpon! Tarpon! Key West remains the very best place on the planet to pursue Tarpon in the shallow, protected waters of our back country. With the water temperatures rising in the shallows the first light and early bite is the most productive. As the sun gets higher the Tarpon action will slack off. So, plan to target the Silver Kings first then move onto the several other quality species of the back country. Key West Pro Guide Captain Jackson reports boating several nice Tarpon this week up to 140 pounds with a behemoth estimated at 180 pounds plus! Live baiting for these brutes has been deadly. Live Pinfish, Crabs and Threadfin are all Tarpon candy! The Permit are coming back in from their annual spawn and are hungry. Lots of the shallow wrecks and reefs are holding decent sized schools, many to 25lbs. The Mangrove snapper bite along the mangroves has been very good. Many average in the 2-3lb. range, they are getting ready for their annual spawn and easily take any small live bait or plug. All in all, the back country is in great shape providing some fantastic days of fast paced action. Fly fishers are enjoy great conditions and lots of action as well.
Fishing remains as good as it gets! Not for the faint of heart…Captain Chuck reports Bulls, Lemons and Black Tips from 75 pounds to 300 pounds plus, are ready to go head to head with the light tackle angler in the shallows. Capt. Paul lost count with more than 22 Lemons, Black tips and a nice bull shark around his boat on Tuesday!! The three hour excursion yielded 17 sharks to the both with a father and son team pouring it on them. This is truly awesome action not to be missed…
The flats and backcountry trips are heating up really good now. The waters are nice and clear and we are finding plenty of fish. The Permit are the big target species, most are on the edges of the flats and seem to be enjoying the cooler waters we are getting. The average size permit the past few weeks has been around 20- 25lbs. and very eager to feed. The Bonefish have been equally as good, most in the 7 to 11lb. range, most of the schools are 12-20fish thick. On our Monster Shark Challenge, the Sharks are absolutely on fire. We target them in the shallows, 3-4 feet deep where you see the shark take the bait and watch the whole fight right before your eyes! At times we are losing count with more 40 sharks around the boat at the same time. Most are Lemons and Bulls, all 5 to 7 feet in length. We use light spinning and conventional gear, making for nice long runs in the skinny water, an absolute blast.
So, now’s the time to book your trip for some of the years best action over the next few weeks and months here in Key West. with the island’s top pro’s…Key West Pro Guides.
This is Captain Paul Tryon, Come experience what World Class light tackle angling is all about. 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 1-877- 290-4413 or visit my website:
Capt. Paul Tryon