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Archived Fishing Reports

Winter Fishing Report January 24, 2013

It may be "Old Man Winter" in the North but Key West is on fire!

The New Year brought red-hot fishing action to the local waters of Key West. Fishing has exploded from the flats to offshore. Newly arriving pelagic species now commingling with our resident species has grown the population of fish on the reef and deep wrecks to staggering proportions, in turn providing the light tackle angler with the most prolific fishing grounds on the planet. Straight from the docks of the Key West Pro Guides team, comes our most recent fishing report...

This is the time to head for the abundant "blue waters" offshore with the professional's of Key West Pro Guides. The angler willing to commit to the time and distances required to reach these fertile fishing grounds is rewarded with Sailfish, Black Fin Tuna and Kingfish when presenting live Pilchards to the deep. A slow troll with Speedos brings elusive Wahoo to the battlegrounds as well. Although it remains premature for Dolphin, the signs for coming action are promising. Be prepared for a ľ-day or better yet, a full day charter on the water to take full advantage of the offshore bite for now. Captain Tyson and Captain Ryan V. among several others on the Key West Pro Guides offshore team have been on limits of huge Black Fin Tuna almost daily. The recent Tuna action is the best for many years here in Key West. Great tenacity and wonderful on the dinner table makes the Black Fin an excellent choice to target for the offshore anglers and there are none better to guide you than the Key West Pro Guides team. Check out the pictures posted to our Face Book pages of late for awesome Black Fin Tuna catches.

Deep Wrecks:
Heavyweight Snapper rule the bottom and structure while pelagic Kingfish and Tuna patrol the middle of the water column over the remote offshore wreck sites. "Deep-dropping" live baits is always productive however "chunking" of late has been exceptionally fruitful as well. The angler needs to prepare for a serious “tug of war” on the isolated wreck sites known so well to the Key West Pro Guides team. Captain Grant has been slamming the large Kingfish with many exceeding the 30-pound range working these deep wrecks. Captain Brad has steadily been on the deeper wrecks recently providing some absolutely banner days on quality Snapper over 20 pounds on average. Massive Amberjacks have been in Captain Zach’s cross hairs for the past few trips to these well offshore sites producing some tired but smiling anglers returning to our docks. Wrecks located in deeper water depths require exceptional skill to fish properly. Few guides on the island can match these talented Captains on the deep water sites. Reef: Non-stop action awaits the angler on the plentiful reef now. Both Grouper and Mutton Snapper are abundant and especially the prized Yellow Tail for the table fare anglers. Kingfish are routine and the Cero Mackerel bite has been excellent. Predictably, the predators are always near-by with Barracuda taunting our Key West Pro Guides guests to go “head to head”. Captain Chuck has “been the man” on the reef for the past few weeks. He has the Mutton Snapper pinpointed and has been slaying them! Captain Chuck's guests fishing the reef have been consistently filling the fish box every trip off the dock. Check out our Face Book pages picturing Captain Chuck and his happy guests around the cleaning table! Captain Ryan L. has been on the Yellow Tail with a vengeance as well. "Flag" Yellow Tail is the norm for now. Great family trips are here for the asking with the Key West Pro Guides reef team.

Gulf Wrecks:
Several "Bucket List" species of the light tackle angler present themselves on the remote Gulf wrecks preferred by the Key West Pro Guides team now. Permit and Cobia cruise the near-surface waters atop the most secluded sites while Gag Grouper, Reds and plentiful large Mangrove and Lane Snapper keep the action fast paced and fun. Captain Paul has been the Permit "Master" recently onboard the TailChaser. Enjoy the numerous pictures of prized Permit on our Face Book page depicting Captain Paul and his many satisfied guest anglers. For the past few weeks Captain Paul has consistently produce 25 to 30 pound Permit in the Gulf. Captain John on a group outing this week boated several quality Cobia from the near shore "patch reef's" and shallow wreck sites in the Gulf. Some Cobia were taken on plugs while others willingly "crushed" live baits cast to them on the surface. Watch for the daily tweets about the backcountry action on our Key West Pro Guides Twitter posted on our homepage.

The shallow and pristine waters of the backcountry are absolutely teeming with quality fish. From the migratory Redfish and Sea Trout to the resident Mangrove Snapper, Pompano and huge wintertime Jacks, the light tackle and fly fisher are challenged at every turn. Tantalizing sight-casting opportunities to juvenile Tarpon and Permit when conditions are favorable keeps the Key West Pro Guides staff alert for that "fish of a lifetime" for our many guests traveling into the backcountry. Numerous species of sharks confront the not so “faint of heart” in the shallows. Black Tip, Lemon and Spinner sharks brazenly defy anglers while easily found foraging near the mangrove islands and channels. The half-day backcountry charters are seldom as productive as this time of year. Captain Dave B and Captain Johnny have ruled the backcountry shallows. Our Face Book posts have featured several notable catches by these two guides recently. Captain Johnny is a top Pompano guide and has been producing these action-filled fish from large schools to 7 pounds! Few guides in Key West have the local knowledge to consistently locate these nomadic fish as they roam about the vast backcountry. Captain Dave has been on the big wintertime Jacks and Sea Trout routinely. Captain David I has turned some heads with juvenile Tarpon in the 20 to 30 pound range over the past few weeks and the trend looks to continue. Captain Mitch has set his sights on afternoon sharks and has really come through for our hard-core backcountry anglers.

Our wintertime weather patterns and water temperatures are dominating the flats. Wind and cooler air temperatures fashion a "day by day" approach to targeting the juvenile Tarpon, Permit and Barracuda on the flats recently. The Key West Pro Guides "flats team" are of the finest guides on the island and are acutely attune to these conditions. The flats action is ready to ignite at any time! Captain Mike and Captain Pete are working very hard and enjoying success on the fickle flats this month. Reports of some Bonefish but better Permit action on the incoming tides is inspiring for the shallow water sight casters. Check out the Permit "beauty" boated by Captain Mike on our Face Book page in early January! Captain Eric has targeted the many large Barracuda cruising the flats lately for action. A great shot of repeat guest and friend to Key West Pro Guides professional guide and renowned flyfisher James Hybarger with his awesome "giant cuda" taken on fly is posted on our Face Book pages! Captain Jared has quietly been on juvenile Tarpon as well, most coming in the 20 to 30 lb range. All agree the flats action is steadily improving.

Save yourself from the daunting "cabin fever" of the icy north by visiting our tropical island home. Come experience for yourself what Hemingway, Zane Grey and today's leading anglers all agree on...the Key West waters offer world class action from the flats to offshore!

Call today toll free 866 259 4205 to book your charter! Please keep in mind as we enter the busy "on-season" booking well in advance of your visit is highly recommended. We look forward to your call or on line inquiry to

Capt. Paul and Capt. Roc

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