January 2024 Fishing Report

January Fishing Report—For today’s Live Fishing Report 305-747-4650

Now that January is here, we ramp up towards some of our most productive periods for Wreck & Reef angling. The Wrecks and Reefs remains fast paced with the widest variety of sport fish to predators for the light tackle angler to pursue.

It’s a great time to fish the waters of Key West!

Reef & Wreck:

January can bring winds therefore the waters on the reef verses further offshore will remain far more comfortable most days. This continues to be a good time for the angler with concerns about rough sea conditions to head out to the nearer shore wreck sites as well. The “reef donkey” remains active and ready to test the anglers resolve. Amberjack fishing remains good for January before slowing for a short period in February. The Cobia action is in the excellent range for the next few months. The Snapper family continues to produce and with January comes the Mutton! The YellowTail and Mangrove numbers finally slow for January but only briefly as February arrives, they both improve significantly. The Grouper family will usually not disappoint for January however the harvest of Grouper ends January 1 with the season now closed until May in Monroe County (all of the keys). Our elusive Permit typically take a brief break during January. Always challenging, the Permit is a sought after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet but January is far from a stellar month to pursue them.

Near Shore:

“A new option” which essentially combines “some” backcountry, and “some” reef & wreck type action yet remains in calmer waters. We target “Patch Reefs”, natural formations away from the land mass about halfway to the coral reef 6 to 8 miles offshore. These patch reefs remain in more protected waters keeping everyone comfortable, and within sight of land (very important to many people). You are fishing in deeper waters than in the back country pursuing a different variety of fish species than you would typically find in the bays and mangrove areas. The techniques remain very non-technical for the novice angler however we can easily take things up a notch to challenge more experienced anglers.


This is a time of more stable water temperatures so fishing conditions in general will settle in, friends. We still recommend fishing morning trips if going shallow as they remain the most productive over the later afternoon hours for the serious angler but again the afternoon trips are good. The PM half day trips have improved and can be quite enjoyable especially for those people just looking to stay in calm waters and enjoy a few fun 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 305-747-4650 daily 8 AM to 9 PM. Remember 2-4 weeks in advance is recommended for peak fishing season dates December through June. We look forward to your call!