Winter Fishing in Key West is all about ACTION!
Friends, the fishing action across the board from the flats & shallow back country to the reef and wrecks to far offshore in our blue waters has been awesome! Let’s explore the current activity, recent notable catches and most importantly our predictions for the near future. We hope you enjoy the Key West Pro Guides fishing report for January 2014…
On the “Flats”:
We have been enjoying unseasonably warm water temperatures lately which in turn has brought the flats to life. Bonefish ranging from 4 to 11 pounds plus have been quite plentiful. A wonderful bonus for January reported by our Flats Captain’s Jared Cyr & Dave Irwin is the juvenile Tarpon bite. These smaller but super active Tarpon have been an absolute ball exploding top water plugs and feeding heavily on live baits near the mangrove flats and deeper edges. As always the flats anglers have had no problems in targeting large Barracuda and the shark fishing is impressive. Every shark charter off the docks for the past few weeks have experienced banner catches with several different species of shallow sharks such as Lemon and the racy Black Tip plus the much larger Bull Sharks have been making their presence known often as well. With the forecasted cold fronts moving through, our fishing is changing up bringing the more typical “winter time” species into play. Sea Trout and especially the Redfish are getting aggressive and providing great light tackle action as reported by every Key West Pro Guide fishing shallow.
In the “Back Country”:
Our back country guide team has been on an impressive tear lately in the shallows. The Sea Trout bite has been excellent with fish ranging upwards of the 4-5 pound mark! A few large schools of Redfish have been located and the traditional locations for Reds along the mangrove island are also producing well with several quality “slot fish”. Permit have been the target for many anglers recently and they have not been disappointed. Captain Dave Brucker and Captain Paul Tryon have had the hot hand on the typically elusive sport fish which have been boated in the 12 to 27 pound range this past week alone. Outstanding Mangrove Snapper catches are coming to the docks daily. Yesterday afternoon Captain’s Tryon, Jackson and Brucker teamed up to absolutely fill every inch of the cleaning tables here at the docks. Beautiful fat Snapper was first choice for dinner last night in Key West! The only thing that made the Snapper fishing difficult was apparently the Barracuda and numerous large sharks in the shallows were Snapper fishing also! Our Captain Kelso has been on the Cobia! Cobia are an island favorite species and anglers really appreciate these hard fighting, tasty fish which reach the 15 to 50 pound weights in our local waters quite easily. The recent traditional winter time cold fronts have affected the back country favorably turning the larger Redfish on and bringing into the bays those largest “Gator Trouts” Key West is so well know for…our back country team has been impressive keeping the anglers coming home happy with limits every day. The best news is there is nothing on the horizon we see to change this exceptional back country action for now…
The Natural “Reef and Ship Wrecks”:
The Key West Pro Guides renowned Veach brothers have set the standard for YellowTail Snapper and Mutton Snapper of late. These brothers have been on the fish in impressive numbers and weights. Both Tyson and Ryan Veach have had astonishing catches for their many guests over the past few weeks and there is no stopping them for now. Although the season to keep Grouper has closed on January 1, the bite has been outrageously good. It seems the big Grouper understand we must release them! Captain’s Chuck and Brad have found a “honey hole” for huge Kingfish reaching the 43 pound mark on the scales over the past few days. Kings are sought after for their tenacity when hooked up and a 43 pound King is akin to being slammed by a speeding freight train friend! Fishing the deeper wrecks has been quite productive recently when targeting Black Fin Tuna like Captain Chip has been doing. On these same deep wreck sites we have encountered numbers of Bonito and Kingfish as well. We are all awaiting the next full moon stage on January 15 which should turn on the super aggressive Wahoo and the action will likely be off the scale! We are predicting catches of Wahoo that exceed the 40-50-60 pound weights both on the deeper wrecks and for the offshore “blue water” anglers.
January is Sailfish time in Key West! The offshore guides are reporting good Sailfish numbers and action. Captain Logan scored with an impressive 35 pound Wahoo this week, a beautiful fish. The Black Fin Tuna have been providing some fast paced action for the entire offshore guide team. Bonito have been plentiful as well. Captain Brad make quite a statement bringing in two very nice Dolphin for this early in our season. Taking a Bull (male) and Cow (female) to about 15 pounds caused quite a stir around the cleaning tables for sure. More so when the folks at our marina’s waterfront restaurant served them up to the lucky guests fishing with Captain Brad that day. Offshore the full moon on the 15th of January will turn things up a notch for certain. The Wahoo bite will explode!
All in all friends the bite is on and it’s your turn on the rod! Let’s go fishing! Give us a call at toll free 866 259 4205 or on line at [email protected] for our immediate reply. We look forward to hearing from you soon! Check us out on our Face Book page or catch our latest reviews on Trip Advisor. Thanks for your interest in our January fishing report as written by Captain Paul & Captain Roc of Key West Pro Guides.