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“As our tropical sun relinquishes its grip allowing water temperatures to cool the fishing action heats up!”
As we transition into our fall patterns fishing especially in the shallows improves. Falling water temperatures assisted by recent cooling rains and the appearance of abundant forage for the sport fish have brought the flats and back country into excellent condition and the fish have responded. Let’s explore the action anglers are experiencing now and for the near future here in Key West…
On the flats: The action and overall number of fish migrating back onto our flats of recent has been promising. October looks to be exceptional for targeting large Bonefish. The patient angler will be rewarded with quality Bones ranging from 4 pounds to those double digit behemoths Key West is renowned for. Likewise the Permit action has improved drastically of late on the flats. Holding primarily to the deeper edges and the channels adjacent to the flats quality Permit are being taken. Captain Jared reports some outstanding action over the past ten days on large Bonefish on fly.
As expected the predators have followed suit moving back into the shallows in numbers. Barracuda are once again plentiful and aggressive on the flats. Sharks are patrolling during the deeper tide stages providing anglers once again with multiple species to pursue. On the deeper flats and at higher tides Ladyfish have now ventured out so Sea Trout cannot be far behind. All in all the flats are back and improving everyday. If you are that angler that enjoys the chase of elusive sport fish…book now for tomorrow through the end of October for some awesome late season action on the flats.
In the Back Country: Things could not be better in the back country friends! Those same cooler water temperatures have really turned up the action. The Key West Pro Guides “back country” team reports fast paced action on a variety of species most trips off our docks of late. Captain Ryan is on the Bonefish & Permit once again reporting larger than average fish being taken recently. Bones in the back country are tipping the scales at 3 to 7 pounds routinely while Permit are averaging in the 12 to 15 pound arena but are ranging up to 25 & 30 pounds. The Permit have moved in from deeper waters to reached the outer edges of the back country. Many Permit are cruising in the channels of the back country now in search of forage, most have been found recently on the “patch reef” areas and shallow wrecks sites in small “wolf packs”. As the water temperatures continue to fall and the fish adjust to the season, Permit will push shallower soon reaching all the way into the bays and about the Mangrove Islands shorelines. A live Crab or large Shrimp is the ticket!
Captain Dave reports the conditions in the grassy bottomed bays and basins are near perfect and the fish are responding. He remarked the Redfish bite is on! Dave also continues to locate schools of large Ladyfish and a even a few early arriving Sea Trout in many of the grassy bays to the east. Moving towards our fall season the Trout action is just so perfect for families and novice anglers to experience incredible catches and numbers of fish ever charter comes home a winner. This is such a fun time in the back country! Captain Kelso says shortly after Sea Trout come to life we look for the exciting Pompano to appear (typically here by mid-October). Pompano are action packed schooling fish that are marvelous as table fare. Typically prized by anglers for everything good a fish can provide day in and day out in the shallows…great action, easy to locate & catch and so tasty on the dinner table…a perfect combination.
Captain John has been on fire lately targeting the predators! The Barracuda are on a tear and the shark population is growing daily in the back country. In the coming few days and weeks the predator fishing will definitely explode! If you enjoy sight casting to large aggressive fish on light tackle this is the perfect time to take things to the limit…sharks in the shallows on light tackle…awesome experience for all.
On the Reef: For the deeper water oriented angler conditions for our natural reef fishing in the Atlantic is as good as it gets for this time of year. The Yellow Tail Snapper bite is crazy good and knowledgeable anglers are loading up on these tasty and challenging fish. In general the Snapper and Grouper action is dependable and these heavy weight bottom dwellers are providing our anglers with plenty of “winner takes all” tug o’ war battles. We love it when our guests put the fishing rods to the limit on the Mutton Snapper and that is exactly what has been happening for the past few weeks now!
Deep dropping the wrecks: “With an early start and plenty of Pilchards out on the deeper wrecks…we’ll bring you back exhausted!” so says Captain Brad. The Key West Pro Guides “offshore” team has been on huge YellowJack’s and Amberjack’s for some time now resulting in banner days for the angler looking to go “head to head” with these hard fighting fish. The entire “Jack” family is prized for tenacity and the Yellow Jack and AJ sit at the head of the table! Captain Chuck says the early bite and most later afternoons have been exciting as Black Fin Tuna are all over these deeper wrecks. Captain Tyson has also been on the Bonito in these same type locations. Both Captains are chumming up these sport fish with live bait offerings setting reels screaming for our anglers. If you like moving away from the land mass this is hands down the best action in the deep.
Offshore: As is often the case friends in most fisheries…when one area lights up another slows and that is exactly what has happened here in Key West. The “Blue Water/Deep Sea” angler has had to work hard for his fish offshore. The few scattered weed lines are holding some late season Mahi but they are on the smaller size now as their season here draws to a close. By end of October the Dolphin action is typically over for the year. The Sailfish are slow but should begin to improve in October building towards year’s end when the Sailfish really turn on. “Troller’s” are focusing more on the Black Fin and Bonito for action now on the deep wrecks. Many are dropping baits on their way back to the docks for the AJ action on scattered deep wrecks as well to round out the day.
Key West Pro Guides…the island’s most productive guide team! Thanks for reading our local fishing report today friends, we trust you found the information helpful and we guarantee its accuracy. If we may assist you in any way…if you are ready to get on the water today or sometime in the future please give us a call at toll free 866 259 4205. Daily we staff our phones from 7 AM to 11 PM and we respond to on line interests and inquiries 24/7. Let’s go fishing!
Capt. Paul & Capt. Roc