June 2018 Fishing Report

For today’s action call 866-259-4205

It is June and we continue to experience outstanding action, some of the best fishing action of the entire year in fact. The Tarpon dominate the action in the back country, schools of Bonefish are feeding heavily on the flats. Mahi become plentiful in the blue water while the first-choice reef species Grouper remain aggressive and in big numbers. It’s a time of exceptional action when fishing the waters of Key West!

Deep Sea/Offshore:
Our offshore fishing will return to normal after the first named storm of the season passes through. The winds and rains of late May should now be well behind us so the more typical weather for our June days brings offshore action that can become spectacular. The iconic Sailfish bite continues but is waning for June! Mahi action swings into high gear during June & July and is now the angler’s bread & butter species. Mahi (Dolphin fish-Doradao) are plentiful, schooling fish that provide excellent action at a blistering pace. High leapers when hooked up, beautiful colored fish that also are a favorite for many on the dinner plate. When the Mahi are biting as they do in June, businesses close on the island…it gets that good! Black Fin Tuna continue to be on a tear but will be slowing as we get well later into June. There are few species of pelagic fish capable of the total chaos when a school of big Black Fin or Mahi show up. June does announce the arrival of a prized elusive sport fish from the deep…Wahoo arrive and begin a feeding rampage…awesome fish of size, aggressiveness and speed!

The predators remain aggressive with June 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.

Light Tackle Reef & Wreck:
Our gentle June winds are typically light and refreshing and very welcome after the stiff breezes of May. Gone are the gusty days of April and May with them the rougher sea conditions. This is a much calmer time for the angler with concerns about rough sea conditions to head out to the nearer shore wreck sites as well. Grouper season opened May 1 and it has been “Katie bar the door!” The Snapper family continues to produce. The larger Mutton Snapper will continue to provide some exceptional days on the reef as they play out the last of their spawning rituals now. 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 June & July are a peak action time for these prized sport fish. Cobia remain in numbers and provide quality action but are now out of the “excellent” range let’s say more the “good range”. Spanish and Cero Mackerel remain in the “good” range and can be counted on for fun with lighter tackle. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be crazy good.

Back Country:
Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year remains an excellent opportunity for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters now filled with behemoth Tarpon. The overall population of Tarpon in the back country has reached epic proportions. Plus, 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 eddy’s. Redfish linger a for a while yet before rising water temperatures affect their behavioral patterns sending many Redfish towards deeper/cooler locations. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide non-stop 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 June 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.

Tarpon action is epic. The population of Tarpon has grown and now peaked at one of the largest in recent years. Tarpon fishing in Key West is prolific. These behemoth sport fish are on every saltwater angler’s “bucket list” and rightfully so. Key West now offers the angler a high level of success to landing possibly the largest fish of a life time. The sunset Tarpon feeding activity is stellar therefore so are our Sunset Tarpon trips. These trips are spectacular when conditions (primarily the tides) are optimal. We do not recommend more than 3 anglers as a max on our Tarpon bay boats for night trips. If you have more than three anglers understand the time restraints in catching multiple Tarpon and the need for larger vessels to accommodate the chaos that comes with a 100-pound fish going berserk at boat side.

The ½ day to ¾ day trips continue to produce well as the afternoon water temperatures are still far from the highs coming in July and August so the later part of the day with good tides can still be productive but no so much for Tarpon in particular. The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing continues to be very good in the back country. For serious “table fare” harvest we certainly recommend the reef & wreck trips now but to include a few “keeper” fish for lunch or dinner will not be a problem in our shallows. 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. Remember where you find large Tarpon schools you find feeding sharks. June remains predator time especially in the Marquesas so anglers can count on these aggressive species to be ready to go “head to head”. We “highly recommend” a backcountry charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters.

Our Bonefish action remains steady for June…June can certainly still produce those Grand Slam events where the anglers successfully lands a Bonefish, a Permit and a Tarpon in the same day…a rare feat at the very pinnacle of flats fishing accomplishments. Permit have been rather scarce on the flats until lately but the action is peaking now. Tarpon are still primarily found at home in the backcountry but are beginning to venture out and can be found on the deeper flats and channel edges now. 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 backcountry 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 still recommend fishing morning trips if going shallow as they remain the most productive over the later afternoon hours for the serious angler looking primarily for Tarpon action, but again the afternoon trips are good and Tarpon are certainly possible. The PM half day trips continue to be good action trips as the population of fish in the shallows remain very large. The afternoons can be quite enjoyable especially for those people just looking to stay in calm waters and enjoy a fun few hours catching fish. Reef trips in the afternoon fishing slightly deeper waters along with the patch reefs can be very good trips for later in the day departure times. 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!