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With September we continue through a period of good late summer time action overall, and now have the highest water temperatures of the entire year behind us. The late afternoon hours will continue to be noticeably slower than the morning’s more productive time frame especially in the shallows. We suggest early departures fishing until early afternoon for the best success most days.
Our offshore fishing continues with good Mahi Mahi action. The Mahi bite has remained excellent for August but the slowing for these awesome fish is on the horizon in September. Mahi (Dolphin fish-Doradao) are plentiful, schooling fish that provide excellent action at a blistering pace most days. High leapers when hooked up, beautiful colored fish that also are a favorite for many on the dinner plate. Wahoo are prized and very sought after, elusive sport fish that peaked during July & August in our waters. Wahoo will be migrating away from Key West during September so as we get deeper into the month the Wahoo will noticeably lessen. September brings improvements to our already quite good Spanish and Cero Mackerel action as they now enter into the “excellent” range which lasts for several months.
The predators remain aggressive with September also being an awesome month for large Barracuda. We have moved into an exciting period for offshore angling however, we always believe a ½ day charter still has some challenges with ever changing travel times between marina and fishing grounds. Best bet book at least the ¾ day (six hour trip) especially if you are a party of three or four or more and get on the water early.
Light Tackle Reef & Wreck:
September is a calmer time for the angler with concerns about rough sea conditions to head out to the offshore reef and wreck sites. The Grouper and Snapper family continue to produce. Yellow Tails Snapper and cousin the Mangrove Snapper are plentiful and tasty nowadays and become the stars on the reef for table fare species to target! Our elusive Permit is always challenging but September remains a good time for these prized sport fish. Cobia remain in decent numbers and provide quality action but are now out of the “excellent” range let’s say more the “good range”. Spanish and Cero Mackerel action improves and becomes quite good for September and can be counted on for fun with lighter tackle. Amberjack will continue to provide brutal battles for the light tackle angler for early September but will be slowing later into September. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be good.
Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year remains an excellent time for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters. With the shallows we continue to battle higher water temperatures so look to the morning half of the day to be far more productive. Tarpon are off our radar as the spawning migration that brought thousands of adult Tarpon to our waters has taken them away now. We do have a small year round resident population of Tarpon however their level of activity is slower in the higher water temperatures found in our back country. A Tarpon taken in September is a “bonus fish” for sure. Permit and Cobia take the lead for the most desirable sport fish to pursue. September remains a decent time to target these nomadic fish as they free roam the back country. Several additional sport fish species, edible fish, and predators are in the near shore shallows now to target. Snook most days take up their positions on the mangrove shorelines and channel eddies with early morning low light conditions being the most productive to pursue them. The Snook bite slows from the August levels but remains good. Key West is not a huge Snook fishery, nothing in comparison to the Everglades just 130 miles away but we do enjoy them here. September water temperatures remain too high for any real Redfish action. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide the best action most days. Just a few of the schooling species remaining in our bays now are the ever present brutish Jack, Lady Fish, Blue Runners, Grunts, Porgies…the list is nearly endless again in September that keeps the younger anglers happy with the super-fast bite of schooling fish. A perfect trip for the hard core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family. The back country is also a fly fishers dream come true with protection from the wind for casting and plentiful fish which will readily pursue a fly most days.
The ½ day to ¾ day trips with early departure times continue to produce well but the afternoon water temperatures are still high. Therefore in September the later part of the day our action slows. The Mangrove Snapper fishing continues to be very good in the back country for those who intend to save a few “keepers” for an evening meal. For serious “table fare” harvest we certainly recommend the reef & wreck trips now. The predator fishing continues. Giant Barracuda and several species of Sharks in the shallows are on the hit list. Our Monster Shark charters are awesome and continually produce multiple larger sharks even on the ½ day trips. September remains predator time so anglers can count on these aggressive species to be ready to go “head to head”. We highly recommend a back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters but get off the docks early.
Our Bonefish action remains solid for September. Permit have been rather scarce on the flats during the high water temperatures of August. With September things begin to improve later in the month especially. Permit prefer lower water temperatures than the extremes of the super shallow flats still. Some morning activity can be expected on the flats with Permit but by late morning the Permit typically will have retreated to more comfortable water conditions of the back country. The flats angler should certainly be including Barracuda and sharks on his hit list. Just a remainder that we provide a true “flats fishing experience” and this should not be confused with the back country fishing. These are two totally different experiences and if you are unsure of the differences call us at 866 259 4205 for more insights.
We recommend fishing morning trips for September as the air temps and in turn water temps continue to slow the afternoon bite. Fish early and understand 90% of the fish will be taken before 2:00 o’clock. Reef trips in the afternoon fishing slightly deeper waters along with the patch reefs can be good trips for later in the day departure times as the depths are not as drastically affected. Sharks are plentiful and active. Pursuing these heavy weight monsters on light tackle is challenging to say the least and talk about something you cannot do at home!
Let’s go Fishing!
Call Key West Pro Guides today to book your charter 866 259 4205 daily 7 AM to 9 PM. We look forward to your call!