August 2019 Fishing Report
For today’s action call 866-259-4205
With August we continue through a period of outstanding action overall, but now have the highest water temperatures and humidity of the entire year to contend with. The late afternoon hours will 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.
Our offshore fishing continues with Mahi Mahi action as our bread and butter. The Mahi bite remains excellent for August but the slowing for these awesome fish is on the horizon towards 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 are also a favorite for many on the dinner plate. Mahi are super-fast-growing fish that can reach up to twenty pounds in their first year therefore we are entering a time frame of catching some of the largest Mahi of the season over the next few weeks. Wahoo are prized and very sought after, elusive sport fish that peak in July & August in our waters and the Wahoo bite has been quite good so far with several trips offshore taking multiple nice fish. August still provides some good Spanish and Cero Mackerel action but here again these species will be slowing by months end.
The predators remain aggressive with August also being an awesome month for large Barracuda. We have moved into an exciting period for offshore angling however a ½-day charter for pelagic species has 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:
August is referred to as “the calms” by boat captains in Key West. This is the time of our “calmest waters” so for the angler with concerns about rough sea conditions now is your best time frame to head out to the more remote and isolated offshore wreck sites. The Grouper and Snapper family continue to produce very well. 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 Mangrove spawn this year has been awesome and produced countless “banner days” for the angler. Our elusive Permit is always challenging but August remains a good time for these prized sport fish but be prepared to fish remote locations well offshore. Cobia typically remain in decent numbers and can 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. Amberjack will continue to provide brutal battles for the light tackle angler for August. We have been consistently on behemoth Amberjack on the deeper wrecks along with some rare Tilefish of late. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be almost too good as the sharks are so plentiful, they can interrupt the table fare fishing from time to time. When the sharks move in on your action this time of year the angler has two choices…move the boat to a new location or simply start shark fishing.
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. Tarpon for the most part is off our radar by early August as the spawning migration that brought thousands of adult Tarpons 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 after August 1 is a “bonus fish” for sure. The night Tarpon bite is over leaving our back country as home to the remaining juvenile Tarpon ranging from 10 pounds to about 30 pounds but these juvenile Tarpon are finicky and unreliable for daily action. To leave the dock after August 1st looking for Tarpon puts the angler’s success rate much lower than in July. However, 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 with early morning low light conditions being the most productive to pursue them. Key West is not a huge Snook fishery, nothing in comparison to the Everglades just 130 miles away but we do enjoy them here. The same can be said for Redfish. Although we have continued to catch Reds to date this year by August with our soaring water temperatures the Reds become more and more lethargic. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide decent action most days and should be looked to as the “fun fish”. Just a few of the schooling species remaining in our bays now are the ever-present brutish Jack, these Jacks can reach 20 pounds and will knock a rod from your hands. The schools are aggressive and will provide the ultimate light tackle fun for the family. The fact that these particular species of Jack eat very well makes them a prime target species while fishing the shallows. Lady Fish, Blue Runners, Grunts, Porgies…the list is nearly endless again in August 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 ½ day to ¾ day trips with early departure times continue to the most productive but the afternoon water temperatures are high. Therefore, in August the later part of the day is when our action slows drastically. The Mangrove Snapper and tasty Jack 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 to be outstanding. 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. August 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 but we get off the docks early.
Our Bonefish action remains solid for August. Permit have been rather scarce on the flats during July and August remains about the same. Permit prefer lower water temperatures than the extremes of the super shallow flats now. Some early morning activity can be expected on the deeper edges of the flats with Permit but by late morning the Permit typically will have retreated to more comfortable water conditions of the back country. The Tarpon action on the true flats is done. The flats angler should certainly now 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 August as the air temps and in turn water temps 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 but still not our recommendation. 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!