Spring is finally here and the bite is great!!
The Flats and shallow waters of our amazing Key West backcountry are alive and the action is world class. Anglers from around the world are here to pursue the awesome Tarpon action. Daily reports of multiple behemoth Tarpon is routine on the Key West Pro Guides docks at Hurricane Hole Marina.
These pre-spawning Tarpon are super aggressive and just crushing baits early and well into the day but the night time bite is just on the verge of going crazy! The largest Tarpon taken nearly every season come at twilight. Those fish ranging beyond the 150 pound range always feed heavily at dusk…this provide you the ultimate light tackle fishing experience.
Can you imagine sitting calmly on the dark waters as twilight blankets you overhead. The gentle sea breezes are comforting and the sounds of the Key West night life filters out from the shore. Then…all hell breaks loose! A massive 6’ long “Silver Rocket” explodes from the surface in a wildly acrobatic leap of escape. You are hooked up my friend and the next hour may be the most memorable of your angling life.
Meanwhile life on the flats is good. Perfect water clarity, plenty of bright sunshine and finally some calm winds have brought us the perfect combination for excellent flats fishing. Bonefish are plentiful and ranging in size from about 4 pounds to a few double digit monsters on the high side on the early moving tides. Our elusive Permit are being pursued on the flats deeper edges and often times well out to the patch reefs so it is fair to say Permit are scattered but reasonably plentiful and on average very nice size. A 20 pound Permit is an awesome fish on light tackle and we are boating them regularly and for the most part it is the live bait presentations getting the job done.
About the Mangrove islands and smaller shallow bays we are still enjoying the outstanding action with big schools of Jacks. These “thugs” just move through and area and create havoc…the surface waters begin to boil as hundreds of Jacks surround the bait fish herding them into ever tightening bait balls before exploding through to forage. These feeding frenzy appear out of nowhere and if the angler is ready…that first cast right into the heart of the school can get the fishing rod knocked from your hands!
Often mistakenly overlooked the predator fishing in the back country can be amazing. Sharks are everywhere and beyond the resident species such as our Black Tip, Lemon and others now is the time of the apex sharks such as the awesome Bull Shark and occasionally the awe-inspiring Hammerhead. These monsters can exceed 12’ in length and tip the scales in the several hundreds of pounds and we choose to go “head to head” with them every day armed only with light tackle and the desire for unequalled violence. Shark fishing in the back country with Key West Pro Guides is legendary!
Offshore conditions are finally near perfect. After periods of high winds and rain, the persistent early season cold fronts are finally behind us and we enter into some of the most productive angling of the entire calendar year.
The Sailfish spawn is upon us and producing those multiple fish days we are so well known for here in Key West. As we type this report the Key West Sailfish Championship is on day 2 and 48 Sailfish have been released!! Guys the bite is on, many anglers have already scratched “SAILFISH” from their personal Bucket List. No other species sings of offshore light tackle action as does the Sailfish while they “tail walk” across the surface!
The early arriving Dolphin are beginning to flood our weed lines and color changes. The offshore boats are reporting fish in 700ft and on the wall, there have been decent weed lines with the south winds of lately, most fish in the teenage size, a few in the low 20’s. We love to see the Dolphin reach our waters as they truly become our “bread & butter” offshore species, and why not. What’s not to like about these absolutely beautiful, plentiful fish that strike like a lightning bolt, often times making high leaps into the air, offer up long battles and stand shoulders above most fish as table fare.
As the winter month species such as the Kingfish begin to bid us farewell migrating away from our waters we welcome our newly arriving spring time pelagic species such as the magnificent Wahoo. Spanish and Cero Mackerel remain in numbers and Black Fin Tuna continue to amaze even the most seasoned Key West veterans with banner catches. The last couple of weeks have been good to us on the Tuna. Capt. Chip has been on fire with the tuna, averaging 17-209 a trip fishing the shrimpboats. We have experienced the most sensational Black Fin Tuna fishing many of us can remember in years this season so far. Spring time is also the time of the predator as Giant Barracuda now cruise the surface waters. For sheer excitement a larger Barracuda will provide the light tackle angler as much excitement as any fish in the ocean.
Let’s talk about the reefs and wrecks!
The Reef & Wrecks are on fire friends! Although we have already enjoyed some outstanding reef & wreck action this season NOW is the turning point as we dive head-long into the spawn. Mutton Snapper is a perfect example of the May-June-July “spawner” that has already produced amazing catches to those few veteran guides that know our waters. Grouper are red hot however you need to keep in mind our Grouper season remains closed for a few more weeks. Amberjack are patrolling the bottom dwellers in good form and offering the angler his chance at fighting a Volkswagen from the ocean floor!
Goliath Grouper are absolutely everywhere on the deeper wreck sites and we have busted up enough fishing gear already this season! The Yellowtail Snapper is a favorite for those anglers looking for something for the dinner table. We have boated some Jurassic sized “Flag” Yellow Tails recently and it appears we off to an exception Yellow Tail season. The blue collar Mangrove Snapper never fails to keep the action fast paced and the fish platters full!
Sport fishing on the reef & wrecks can be spell binding in the spring. When you look across the surface to schools of huge Permit or a “wolf pack” of mammoth Cobia and your cast going sailing well of target…don’t feel badly. Buck Fever happens on the water as much as in the woods!
All in all friends your timing to visit Key West and get on the water now is perfect! We look forward to the opportunity to share our inspiring waters and world class light tackle angling with you…let’s go fishing!
Call today toll free 866 259 4205 to book your charter! Please keep in mind as we enter the busy “on-season” booking well in advance of your visit is highly recommended. We look forward to your call or on line inquiry to [email protected]
Capt. Paul & Capt. Roc