Here comes the sun…and the fish to Key West!
The fishing action has been good although nature has dealt us a blow of cooler wind and water temperatures making for necessary adjustments to presentation and locations. No matter…things are about to explode in our waters. Our world class fishery is soon to be home to many of those “bucket list” sport fish and predators we all day dream about battling…So stop dreaming and book your charter today!
Let’s take a look at the entire fishing spectrum we offer our anglers at Key West Pro Guides.
Recently the action has been steady with our typical sport fish. Kingfish have been plentiful and of good size. Blackfin Tuna and been productive most days ranging up to 30 pounds of late. We have taken some Sailfish as well on those windy north wind days. The Gulf Stream dominates our offshore action this time of year and is running about 22 miles south of the reef. This has brought us some early season Dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi-Dorado) but things are beginning to get hot!
The Kingfish and Tuna action is going to explode! Sailfish numbers will continue to increase as they move towards spawning. Look for the Sailfish action on the color changes to go crazy! With the much cooler water temperatures to the north and the Gulf Stream making its seasonal move closer to the land mass a couple of things will follow. Dolphin will turn on and the resulting more defined “color change” offshore will also increase the Cobia bite as they aggressively patrol these areas in small “wolf packs”. All in all the near future is bright for the offshore angler.
Offshore “Deep Wrecks”:
This is where the most predictable action is today friends. Always a good choice for true heavy weight bottom fish these remote and isolated deeper wrecks have been holding plenty of bait therefore the action has been steady most days on big Mutton Snapper (ranging easily in the 12 to 14 pound range daily) Margate Snapper have been plentiful as well. Blackfin Tuna, Kingfish and Bonitos are cruising these deep wrecks in numbers. Drifting has been very productive while free lining live Pilchards but deep jigging is just as good with tipped artificial’s. An outstanding option over the past few weeks has been to anchor and chum heavily to draw in nice Cobia an the occasional bonus Sailfish.
Atlantic shallow wrecks and reefs:
The YellowTail Snapper fishing has been excellent with “Flag Tails” running to the “XL” sizes. Here again the Mutton Snapper bite is very good and the typical day results when fishing the patch reef areas south of the island is a nice mixed bag of Snapper and Porgy’s..perfect for the table fare angler.
The Gulf Wrecks:
As one of the very few operations in Key West possessing the necessary Federal Waters Charter Permits we have legally been making the long runs into the Federal waters of the Gulf to target Grouper. Plenty of Red, Black and Gag Groupers are there for the taking. Cobia have been plentiful on many of the distant wreck sites for us also…these areas few charter operators are willing to run too for their anglers but we do. Remember we often fish the Tower’s (see Specialty Charters on our www.keywestproguides.com site) to the west of the island and when there the Kingfish have been super aggressive to about 35 pounds, the Cero Mackeral will eat your arms off!
We are entering the “soft opening” stages of our Tarpon season. By March typically we begin to target Tarpon in earnest with reasonable expectations. Tarpon will remain a bit “hit or miss” for a while yet but the juvenile fish have started coming to life for us on the warmer days. Permit have been decent and certainly improving lately. The best trips have been for the faster paced bite of the schooling species such as marauding big Jack Crevalles and larger Mangrove Snapper to twenty inches recently. We have a few nice schools of tasty Pompano located fishing to the east of the harbor in the smaller shallow bays and basins. Predator fishing is amazing…with the large overall population of fish in the back country the sharks are everywhere and aggressive. Large Barracuda are common as well. This area provides the best and most predictable action near shore and we highly recommend this trip over the next months.
Bonefish have been in decent size schools (15 to 20 fish) with some fish taken recently to 8 pounds. Permit action on the warmer days has been fair but spotty. This is the time of year we enjoy the Cobia migrating onto the flats following larger Rays. Cobia on the flats is a special type of excitement on light tackle and fly. The Black Tip sharks have made an appearance lately and with a vengeance. Larger Barracuda’s a common especially when keying in on the bottom’s “darker patches” holding a bit of warmth. We have a had a few shots at smaller schools of Tarpon but these fish are just cruising…Tarpon time is just around the corner on the flats but not quite here yet.
Friends the one sure thing we can say is fishing is greatly improving and therefore the demand for our Key West Pro Guides team is growing. Availability for March-April & May every year far exceeds our capabilities so do not hesitate. Book early and ensure we have the opportunity to fish together during your visit to the island.
Reservations: 866 259 4205 daily from 7 AM to 11 PM. We look forward to your call…let’s go fishing!
Captain Paul Tryon
Key West Pro Guides