May Fishing Report 2022

For today’s live action call us at 305-296-6602 

  Our KEY WEST Fishing has Exploded! 

  May is all about angling options and variety from Tarpon to Sailfish & Mahi-Mahi in Key West. Here are some helpful insights to anglers interested in targeting these iconic sport fish. 

  Sailfish are spawning well offshore. These are elusive nomadic sport fish that remain in constant motion. Time is the number one tool for success for the angler and guide as they work in concert to pursue these “bucket list” impressive fish. 

Tarpon are pursued in shallow waters primarily in our “Back Country” Night Tarpon charters can be awesome when the tides are favorable…the biggest Tarpon come shallow to feed at sunset. Tarpon feed nocturnally therefore early morning and sunset are the most productive time frames…Let’s go fishing!   

May arrives and our fishing continues to improve with outstanding action both shallow and offshore. Over the next few months some of the best fishing of the entire year comes to us and in every location from the backcountry to the light tackle. Here, anglers in the backcountry, reef & wrecks and blue waters well offshore are in for a blast. 

The huge schools of migrating Tarpon have flooded into the shallows of the back country and their spawning rituals are well underway. Key West is now one of the most prolific Tarpon fisheries on the planet. May becomes the last month for “excellent” Sailfish action. However, most anglers favorite pelagic the Mahi-Mahi will dominate the blue water. The reef and wrecks are holding massive populations of true heavy weight gladiators ready to go head-to-head with Grouper season opening May 1, for harvest. Grouper is the first choice of bottom fishers and with a massive population untouched since January 1, the Grouper action becomes epic. It’s a time of exceptional action when fishing in the waters of Key West! You may have the fishing rod knocked out of your hand over the next few months friends. 

Deep Sea/Offshore: 

 As we enter May conditions improve for the anglers looking to fish deep. The iconic Sailfish is still in high gear! Our Sailfish action so far this year overshadows recent past years easily and we look to an exceptional May. May continues the aggressiveness of Black Fin Tuna which remain consistently plentiful and of quality size. Mahi action moves into full swing, during May so becomes the angler’s bread & butter species. Mahi-Mahi (Dolphin fish-Dorado) are plentiful, schooling fish that provide excellent action at a blistering pace while keeping things non-technical for the angler. High leapers when hooked up, beautiful colored fish that are also a favorite for many on the dinner plate. When the Mahi-Mahi are biting, businesses close on the island…it gets that good! By late May we expect Wahoo to come into the limelight. From about the end of May and for the following one hundred days Wahoo become the talk of the dock. 

The predators remain aggressive with May always 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: 

May brings calm winds and small seas conditions on the reef verses further offshore will remain far more comfortable for the angler concerned about motion discomfort. Outstanding Cobia action continues throughout the month. Cobia typically slow slightly over the next few months. Grouper season opens to harvest May 1, for Monroe Country (all of the keys) with a frenzy. Amberjack action is off the charts as well during May. The Snapper family continues to produce and with May we can count on exceptional action when targeting the Mangrove and Yellowtail. The larger Mutton Snapper will continue to provide some exceptional days on the reef especially as we move into their spawning time best the few days prior to and just after the full moon on May 16th. (Check our web site for Mutton Spawn Trips on our “Specialty Charters” page! Our elusive Permit is always challenging, the Permit is a sought-after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. May continues with outstanding Permit action over the next few months. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be crazy good.

Back Country:  

 Always a fun and productive trip, the backcountry this time of year remains an excellent choice for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters now filling with behemoth Tarpon. The overall population of Tarpon in the back country continues to grow throughout the month joining with several additional sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target. Snook get busy in May and continue improving so better by mid to late May. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide non-stop action most days and the list is nearly endless again in May that keeps the younger anglers happy with the super-fast bite of schooling fish. It remains a productive time to pursue larger Jacks. A perfect trip for the hard-core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family.  

Tarpon: 

Tarpon spawning rituals are well underway, so the action is exploding. Tarpon fishing in Key West by May is prolific. These behemoth sport fish should be 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 lifetime. We continue witnessing the sunset Tarpon feeding activity. Our Sunset Tarpon trips are spectacular when conditions (primarily the tides) are optimal. Tarpon “Split Day” charters are offered for the hard-core Tarpon aficionados where we fish from 6 AM to 10 AM return to the dock and depart the same day at 4 PM returning at 8 PM on the same day fishing the absolute peak Tarpon feeding/activities windows.     

Tarpon are pursued in shallow waters primarily in our “Back Country” waters. Night Tarpon charters are underway. Tarpon feed nocturnally therefore early morning and sunset are the most productive time frames…Let’s go fishing! We do not recommend fly fishing from back country bay boats.   

The 1/2 day to 3/4 day trips continue to produce well as the afternoon water temperatures are still far from high so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. Good Cobia fishing continues and can produce some quality fish and action in the back country. The Mangrove and Yellowtail Snapper fishing continues to be very good in the back country in May. 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 1/2 day trips. Remember where you find large Tarpon schools you find feeding sharks. May becomes peak 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 back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters.   

May is a spectacular time frame to make the 28 mile run to the west to fish the fabled Marquesas Atoll. The schools of Tarpon are being targeted by the apex predator sharks. Giant Barracuda can be counted on for memorable days in the atoll during May. You may refer to our very concise “Marquesas” page on www.keywestproguides.com 

Notable: 

This is a time of more stable water temperatures so fishing conditions in general have settled in and improved, 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 fun few hours catching fish. Reef trips in the afternoon fishing in 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 305-296-6602 daily 8 AM to 9 PM. Remember peak fishing season dates are from December through July. April, May and June are the busiest months of our entire fishing calendar! Our legendary guide team is always in high demand. We look forward to your call! 

  

 

2022-05-05T13:49:16+00:00May 5th, 2022|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on May Fishing Report 2022

January 2022 Fishing Report

As January arrives, we ramp up towards some of our most productive periods for offshore angling. The back country 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!

Deep Sea/Offshore:

Our offshore fishing continues too vastly improved. The iconic Sailfish bite is on daily as we move closer to spawn time for these magnificent sport fish! January is also the real kick off for one of our most productive time frames offshore which continues for months into the spring. January is all about Kingfish action. Big “Smoker” Kingfish continue providing excellent action well offshore and occasionally nearer the reef. The Mackerel family is here in huge numbers in general with quality size Cero and Spanish. January remains an excellent time to target the action-packed Black Fin Tuna. There are few species of pelagic fish capable of the total chaos when a school of big Black Fin show up. We continue taking the solitary Wahoo during January. Soon as we begin thinking the Mahi action is slow, we will have a few days of great action fire up…there seems to always be a few Mahi around in our waters but in fairness to the angler…think of them as a wonderful bonus fish when they come in the boat during January. The apex predators remain active with January being a good month for large Barracuda. We are moving into an exciting period for offshore however, we believe a 1/2-day charter still has some challenges with ever changing travel times between marina and fishing grounds. Best bet book at least the 3/4 day (six-hour trip) especially if you are a party of three or four or more.

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 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.

Back Country:

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year moves into an excellent time for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters. The overall population of fish in the back country continues to grow with several sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target but also numerous schooling species have now arrived to provide non-stop action most days.

The 1/2-day to 3/4-day trips continue to produce well however the afternoon water temperatures are not as high now so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. The Redfish action during January is as good as we enjoy in Key West. Good Cobia fishing continues and can produce some quality fish and action in the back country. Snook are certainly not super active with our cooler water temps, but we do have those rare days of mild air temperatures and calmer winds that can bring the Snook to life in the back country. This is a time of fast paced “excellent” action in general from the schooling species such as Jacks including some huge Yellow Jacks, Sea Trout, Pompano and more. The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing can slow in January even in the back country. For serious “table fare” harvest we 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 1/2-day trips. January is 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 back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters. Just a few of the schooling species in our bays now are Trout and Pompano, Jacks, Lady Fish, Blue Runners, Grunts, Porgies…the list is nearly endless in January. Tarpon time is slow generally in the back country during January but on the given day the bonus Tarpon shows up. Remaining is our small resident population of juvenile Tarpon and the angler needs to keep in mind these fish are super sensitive to changing conditions and become very “hit or miss”. A small Tarpon population remains here but we typically do not target them for the next few months. A perfect trip for the hard-core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family or groups numbering up to 4 anglers. 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.

Notable:

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 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 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!

2022-01-26T18:40:41+00:00January 26th, 2022|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on January 2022 Fishing Report

December 2021 Fishing Report

December is here bringing several newly arriving fish species to pursue. Fantastic action for Key West angling continues through years end.

From the Backcountry to Offshore the overall population and wide variety of species in our local waters is changing yet still offers the light tackle angler so many options…

Deep Sea/Offshore:

Our offshore fishing conditions will settle in vastly improving our light tackle action. Gone are the warm water species replaced with some outstanding and explosive species for the trolling fan. December kicks off the Kingfish action. Big “Smoker” Kingfish are providing excellent action well offshore and occasionally nearer the reef. The Mackerel family is here in huge numbers in general with quality size Cero and Spanish of late. December remains an excellent time to target the action-packed Black Fin Tuna very respectable and excellent eating fish. There is nothing better than crossing paths with a school of Black Fin on the hunt…total chaos but crazy fun.

The Wahoo action will greatly increase during December, these speed demons can get up to 50+lbs. And are not only insanely good eating, but know to smoke lots of drag too. The iconic Sailfish bite continues to improve with January being the real kick off for our most productive period which continues for months into the spring. Unfortunately, we say good-by for the most part to the wonderful Mahi (Dolphin fish) as the cooler water temperatures force a migration for most of them away from our local waters. Soon as this is said we will have a few days of Mahi action fire up…there seems to always be a few Mahi around in our waters but in fairness to the angler…think of them as a wonderful bonus fish when they come in the boat.

The apex predators remain active with December being a good month for large Barracuda. We are moving into an exciting period for offshore however, we believe a 1/2-day (four-hour) charter still has some challenges with ever changing travel times between marina and fishing grounds. Best bet book at least the 3/4 day (six-hour trip) especially if you are a party of three or four or more.

Reef & Wreck:

December can bring winds however the waters on the reef verses further offshore will remain 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” is here in big numbers and ready to dislocate the angler’s shoulders. Amberjack fishing is typically very good for the next few months especially deep dropping on the most remote deeper wreck sites.

The Cobia action becomes excellent for the next few months leading into new year. Cobia typically run in decent sized groups of 3 to 5 fish, often at the surface providing some outstanding sight casting opportunity to the angler. The Snapper family continues to produce numbers during December as typically the Yellowtail and Mangrove numbers make up for solid numbers, as well as the larger Mutton Snapper. The Grouper family will usually not disappoint for December as the last month to harvest Grouper before our season closes in Atlantic waters on January 1. Our elusive Permit will still be making their presence known but at best I would place them in the “good” range. Always challenging, the Permit is a sought-after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. December will still offer the angler a fair chance for success.

Backcountry:

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year moves into an excellent time for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters. The overall population of fish in the backcountry continues to grow with several sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target but also numerous schooling species arrive to provide non-stop action most days. Schooling species such as Trout and Pompano, huge schools of Jacks, Lady Fish, Blue Runners, Grunts, Porgies…the list is nearly endless in December keep it fun all day long and great for the younger anglers with maybe a bit shorter attention span. A perfect trip for the hard-core light tackle angler to the novice angler. A perfect trip for the family or groups numbering up to 4 anglers per boat. Backcountry boats are 4 passenger maximum vessels.

Tarpon time is over in the backcountry. Remaining is our small resident population of juvenile Tarpon however these fish are super sensitive to changing conditions and become very “hit or miss”. Some Tarpon are still here but we typically do not target them for the next few months. A bonus fish during December for sure.

The Mangrove and Yellowtail Snapper fishing remains excellent in the backcountry. For serious “table fare” harvest we definitely 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 1/2-day trips. December is predator time so these aggressive species are always 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.

Notable:

This is a time of lower and more stable water temperatures so good fishing conditions continue, 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 based upon the tides of course. The PM half day trips 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!

Species to key on:

Offshore: Sailfish-Kingfish-Blackfin Tuna-Wahoo-Barracuda

Reef & Wreck: Grouper (season closes to harvest December 31 in Atlantic waters)-Amberjack-Cobia-Yellowtail, Mutton & Mangrove Snapper-Barracuda-Sharks

Back Country: Snook-Snapper-Redfish-Sea Trout-Cobia-Permit-Barracuda-Sharks

Let’s go Fishing!

Call Key West Pro Guides today to book your charter!!

1-866-259-4205 daily 8 AM to 9 PM. We look forward to your call!

2021-12-02T15:39:09+00:00December 2nd, 2021|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on December 2021 Fishing Report

November 2021 Fishing Report

  

November has arrived with cooler temps and several newly arriving fish species to pursue.  

Fantastic action for Key West angling continues through the fall time frame.  

  

Deep Sea/Offshore: 

Our offshore fishing is rapidly changing and vastly improving for light tackle action. Gone are most of the warm water species replaced with some outstanding and explosive species for the trolling fan. November typically brings red hot Kingfish action. Big “Smoker” Kingfish with numbers growing daily will be providing excellent action from the reef to well offshore. The Mackerel family is here in huge numbers in general with quality size Cero and Spanish of late.  

November is an excellent time to target the action-packed Black Fin Tuna. There is nothing better than crossing paths with a school of Black Fin on the hunt…total chaos but remarkably fun. We already have had several outstanding catches of Blackfin this season. We often see a spike in the Wahoo action during November. Wahoo are fish that produce memorable takes, and long line stealing runs not soon forgotten by anglers. The iconic Sailfish begins to come to life with each cold front that pushed them south to our waters 

Unfortunately, we say goodbye for the most part to the wonderful Mahi (Dolphin fish), as the cooler water temperatures force a migration away from our local waters. In fairness it seems we always have a few Dolphin here but the most productive time frame is behind us for this year. The apex predators remain active with November being a good month for large Barracuda…Barracuda are aggressive in the cooler water temps and will provide outstanding violent strikes and great battles especially for the light tackle fans. We are moving into an exciting period for offshore, however, we believe a 1/2-day charter still has real limits for the remainder of our next few weeks/months. Our recommendation is to book at least the 3/4 day (six-hour trip) with the full day giving us all the tools to work with for you.   

  

Light Tackle Reef & Wreck: 

November can bring some light to medium winds, however the waters on the reef verses further offshore will remain 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” is here in big numbers and ready to dislocate the angler’s shoulders. Amberjack fishing has already been red hot and will remain so for a couple of months now. The Cobia action remains solid with good numbers and average to larger sized fish being taken regularly through the end of November.  

The Snapper family continues to produce numbers. November is not typically a great Mutton month here but of late we have had some outstanding Mutton trips…who knows if or when it may end. The Yellowtail and Mangrove numbers make up for any Mutton’s absence most days. The Grouper family will usually not disappoint for November for the table fare anglers. Our elusive Permit will still be making their presence known but will be slowing from a peak activity month in October. Always challenging, the Permit is a sought-after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. November will still offer the angler a good chance for success.  

  

Back Country: 

Always a fun and productive trip, the back country this time of year also offers an abundance of visible marine life and tropical birds on the Mangrove Island shorelines with mirror calm, crystal clear waters. The overall population of fish in the back country remains large with several sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target. A perfect trip for the hard-core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family or groups numbering up to 4 anglers.  

  

Tarpon time is over in the back country as the migration of adult fish has taken place. Remaining is our resident population of primarily juvenile Tarpon and these fish are super sensitive to changing conditions and become very “hit or miss”. Some Tarpon are still here, but we typically do not target them now! On the days when conditions are right, we have been hooking up on juvenile Tarpon, those fish to about twenty pounds or so and still great fun on light tackle. Not the Tarpon action certainly of March through July but if you happen to hit it right there is some fun to be had.  

The 1/2 day to 3/4-day morning departure trips continue to produce well. However, the afternoon water temperatures are not as high now so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. Permit can be pursued on the shallow patch reef and isolated shallow wrecks of the back country and the bite is good on quality size fish most days. The Redfish action kicks off during November most years while Snook on the given day continue but we would place them in the “good” to “fair range” now.  

Cobia fishing continues as we locate small “wolf packs” of say two to five cruising Cobia to pursue. This is also a time of fast paced “excellent” action from the schools of BIG Jacks, including some huge Yellow Jacks continue to be red hot. Not only are the Yellow Jacks an absolute blast on light tackle and top water, but they are also delicious! Towards the middle of November, we should see the ramping up for Trout fishing. Speckled Sea Trout are already here but the action has not exploded as of now…stay tuned friends! These are one of the best “indicator” species to showcase the full transition into our fall patterns.  

The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing remains good in the back country. For serious “table fare” harvest we definitely recommend the reef & wreck trips however 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 menu. Our Monster Shark charters are awesome and continually produce multiple larger sharks even on the 1/2-day trips. This is predator time so these aggressive species are always ready to go “head-to-head” so you adrenaline junkies out there should try sight casting top water lures to cruising Barracuda!  

 

Notable: 

This is a time of lowering and more stable water temperatures so good fishing conditions continue to improve from already good action, 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. 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 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 in the shallow waters of our back country. 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 8 AM to 8 PM. We look forward to your call! 

2021-11-19T18:39:08+00:00November 19th, 2021|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on November 2021 Fishing Report

October 2021 Fishing Report

October is here bringing cooler water temperatures, improving our action for the Key West angler. 

From the Back Country, out to the Reef & Ship Wreck sites to the Blue Waters Offshore the overall population and wide variety of sport fish and predator species in our local waters now offers the light tackle angler so many options…

 

October Weather Averages:

Air Temperature 85/76

Rain Days 11

Wind 10 MPH

 

Deep Sea/Offshore:

This is the time of year when the offshore angler understands our run times and distances become a bit longer to reach the more productive fishing grounds offshore. Our recommendations are for early take off times but the “slightly better” fall afternoon air temperatures do allow the angler to remain comfortable providing a now much better full day charter to be experienced. However, we believe a 1/2 day charter still has real limits for the remainder of our next few weeks/months. October weather can be somewhat unpredictable therefore our captains will adjust and fish to the conditions of the day for the best results.

The Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) bite remains good but is dwindling somewhat from the past few months. Dolphin ruled the offshore weed lines through September. Late October draws the Dolphin action pretty much to a close. Black Fin Tuna will pick up providing the angler with some outstanding days. October usually kicks off the Blackfin action for a couple of exceptional months. When the Blackfin Tuna fire up it signals the soon to be arriving Kingfish. Typically during October we enjoy the beginning of several months of excellent Kingfish action. Our Spanish and Cero Mackerel remain quite active traveling in large schools. October continues to be a time frame for behemoth Barracuda as these apex predators remain super aggressive. The rare Marlin “can” come this time of year well offshore way beyond the ½ day charter range however will always be extremely “hit or miss” in our local waters. Anglers should keep in mind that although a bit smaller in variety to pursue most of these arriving pelagic species are “schooling fish” so when contact is made it becomes total chaos with strikes on every line in the water…a great problem to deal with for sure!

 

Reef & Wreck:

October continues with calmer waters on the reef verses further offshore. This continues to be a perfect time for the angler with concerns about rough sea conditions to head out to the remote wreck sites as well. The elusive Permit is schooled up on the shallower Gulf Wrecks and typically October can produce some quality trips and individual large fish. Amberjack come to life late in October providing outstanding battles on light tackle gear. Cobia are commonly taken from these same locations and remain in the “good range” for action through November. Our resident reef and wreck species such as Snapper family and Grouper family continue with predictably good action. This is a particularly productive period for large Yellow Tail Snapper on the reef. On the shallower “patch reef’s” the Red Grouper should be plentiful if not huge. Many calm days our Back Country guides will fish these same “patch reef” areas with great success as is commonly done based upon conditions. Most days we fill the fish box with those wonderful “table fare” species such as Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper along with the tasty Jack family found in our waters in huge numbers. Sharks and large Barracuda are absolutely everywhere and if you feel well rested, friends they are always ready to go “head to head”. This is the best charter in our recommendation this month to be enjoyed on a 1/2 to 3/4 day charter.

 

Back Country:

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year also offers an abundance of visible marine life and tropical birds on the Mangrove Island shorelines with mirror calm, crystal clear waters. The overall population of fish in the back country remains large with several sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target. A perfect trip for the hard core light tackle angler that enjoys “sight casting” to fish to the novice angler or the family or groups numbering up to 4 anglers looking for non-technical yet fast paced action. 

Tarpon time is over in the back country as the migration away from Key West of adult fish has taken place. Remaining is our resident population of primarily juvenile Tarpon and these fish are super sensitive to changing conditions and become very “hit or miss”. Some Tarpon are still here but we typically do not target them now! Consider a Tarpon in October as a wonderful “bonus” fish.

The 1/2 day to 3/4 day morning departure trips continue to produce well however the afternoon water temperatures are not as high now so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. Permit can be pursued on the shallow patch reef and isolated shallow wrecks to the west of Key West and the bite is good on quality size fish most days. Snook on the given day continue near the Mangrove Island shorelines and deeper channel edges, jetties, etc. and we would place them in the “good” range. Cobia fishing continues again in the “good range”. This is a time of fast paced “excellent” action from the schools of BIG Jacks including some huge Yellow Jacks which continue to be red hot with the larger fish going north of 25 pounds…an absolute blast on light tackle and top water! Towards the end of October we should see the ramping up of both Redfish and Trout fishing. These along with the schools of Pompano are the first of the fall, cooler water temperature, species to signal the transition from summer time angling.

The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing remains excellent in the back country. For serious “table fare” harvest we always recommend the reef & wreck trips but to include a few fish for lunch or dinner this is never a problem in our shallows. 

The outstanding 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 1/2 day trips. This is predator time! These aggressive species are always ready to go “head to head” so you adrenaline junkies out there could be sight casting top water lures to cruising Barracuda! The Bonefish population in the back country can provide some fun on the deeper flats especially to the west of the island, and we should continue to enjoy this bonus back country action for all of October before slowing somewhat. For the serious Bonefish angler the flats are still your trip but to include the possibility of Bonefish on the back country trips for a while yet is reasonable. We “highly recommend” a back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip. Note…if you have fly fishing in mind…head to the flats, we do not recommend hard core fly trips from our bay boats.

 

Notable:

This is a time of still warm but falling water temperatures, so good fishing conditions continue, friends. We still recommend fishing early morning trips as the most productive over the later afternoon hours for the serious angler. The PM half day trips 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. Sharks are plentiful now and active in the shallow waters of our back country. Pursuing these heavy weight monsters on light tackle is challenging to say the least and talk about something you cannot do at home! Black Tip, Lemon and at times Bull are the more common of the several sharks cruising the shallows. Shark fishing in the shallows will provide you with memories of a lifetime. Are you up for it?

 

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!

2021-10-01T18:18:16+00:00October 1st, 2021|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on October 2021 Fishing Report

May 2020 Fishing Report

May Fishing Report 2020—For today’s live action call 866 259 4205

Our KEY WEST Fishing has Exploded!

May is all about angling options and variety from Tarpon to Sailfish & Mahi Mahi in Key West. Here are some helpful insights to anglers interested in targeting these iconic sport fish.

Sailfish are spawning well offshore. These are elusive nomadic sport fish that remain in constant motion. Time is the number one tool for success for the angler and guide as they work in concert to pursue these “bucket list” impressive fish.

Tarpon are pursued in shallow waters primarily in our “Back Country” although the “Flats” angler can target them as well. Night Tarpon charters can be awesome when the tides are favorable…the biggest Tarpon come shallow to feed at sunset. We do not recommend more than 3 anglers to a back country boat with Tarpon as a primary target. Tarpon feed nocturnally therefore early morning and sunset are the most productive time frames…Let’s go fishing!

May arrives and our fishing continues to improve with outstanding action both shallow and offshore. Over the next few months some of the best fishing of the entire year comes to us and in every location from the fly fishers on the flats to the light tackle anglers in the back country, near shore, reef & wrecks and blue waters well offshore. The huge schools of migrating Tarpon have flooded into the shallows of the back country and their spawning rituals are well underway. Key West is now one of the most prolific Tarpon fisheries on the planet. Impressive schools of Bonefish are feeding heavily on the challenging flats with Permit and Tarpon all present…the docks speak of Flats “Grand Slams”. May becomes the last month for “excellent” Sailfish action however most anglers favorite pelagic the Mahi Mahi will dominate the blue water. The reef and wrecks are holding massive populations of true heavy weight gladiators ready to go head to head with Grouper season opening May 1, for harvest. Grouper is the first choice of bottom fishers and with a massive population untouched since January 1, the Grouper action becomes epic. It’s a time of exceptional action when fishing the waters of Key West! You may have the fishing rod knocked out of your hand over the next few months friends.

May Weather Averages:

  • Temperature—85/76 average
  • Rainy Days—3/7 on average
  • Wind Speed—10 mph average

Deep Sea/Offshore:

As we enter May conditions improve for the anglers looking to fish deep. The iconic Sailfish is still in high gear! Our Sailfish action so far this year overshadows recent past years easily and we look to an exceptional May. May continues the aggressiveness of Black Fin Tuna which remain consistently plentiful and of quality size. Mahi action moves into full-swing during May so becomes the angler’s bread & butter species. Mahi (Dolphin fish-Dorado) are plentiful, schooling fish that provide excellent action at a blistering pace while keeping things non-technical for the angler. High leapers when hooked up, beautiful colored fish that are also a favorite for many on the dinner plate. When the Mahi are biting, businesses close on the island…it gets that good! By late May we expect Wahoo to come into the limelight. From about the end of May and for the following one hundred days Wahoo become the talk of the dock.

The predators remain aggressive with May always 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.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience-maximum 6 passengers per vessel. 6 passenger vessels are limited availability and it is understood when larger groups are aboard it may affect the experience.

No more than 4 passengers for all “Specialty Charters” (Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks, Towers, Tortugas, Mutton Spawn)

May Deep Sea/Light Tackle Offshore ………….Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Blackfin Tuna…”Excellent”
  • Dolphin (Mahi-Dorado)…:”Excellent”
  • Marlin…”Excellent” (However the Marlin population is small in our waters therefore very hit or miss for the angler’s success)
  • Sailfish…”Excellent”
  • Swordfish…”Good” (Specialty Charter)
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Mackerel…”Excellent”
  • Wahoo…”Slow but improving daily”

Light Tackle/Reef & Wreck:

May brings calm winds and small seas conditions on the reef verses further offshore will remain far more comfortable for the angler concerned about motion discomfort. Outstanding Cobia action continues throughout the month. Cobia typically slow slightly over the next few months. Grouper season opens to harvest May 1, for Monroe Country (all of the keys) with a frenzy. Amberjack action is off the charts as well during May. The Snapper family continues to produce and with May we can count on exceptional action when targeting the Mangrove and Yellow Tail. The larger Mutton Snapper will continue to provide some exceptional days on the reef especially as we move into their spawning time best the few days prior to and just after the full moon on May 7th. (Check our web site for Mutton Spawn Trips on our “Specialty Charters” page! Our elusive Permit is always challenging, the Permit is a sought after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. May continues with outstanding Permit action over the next few months. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be crazy good.

We do not recommend more than 4 anglers for the ultimate light tackle reef and wreck experience. Remember light tackle boats operate without a deck-mate. Regardless of experience, talent or effort one pair of hands may assist only so many anglers timely. We do have six passenger licensed vessels in our fleet with guides willing to accommodate these larger parties however it should be understood more than 4 anglers aboard will have some affects and likely will lessen the experience. Rarely do conditions allow for more than four anglers to be fishing simultaneously.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience-maximum 6 passengers per vessel. 6 passenger vessels are limited availability and it is understood when larger groups are aboard it may affect the experience.

No more than 4 passengers for all “Specialty Charters” (Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks, Towers, Tortugas, Mutton Spawn)

Light Tackle Reef & Wreck …..Target Species:

  • Amberjack…”Excellent”
  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Excellent early in May but slowing slightly into the Good range by months end”
  • Grouper…”Excellent” (season open to harvest May 1)
  • Mangrove Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Mutton Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Yellow Tail Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Permit…”Excellent”
  • Shark…”Excellent”

Some Pelagic Species possible on Reef & Wreck trips:

  • Blackfin Tuna…”Excellent”
  • Sailfish…”Excellent” (Just beyond the reef on rare days)

Near Shore:

Anglers take note: We have recently added a number of Hybrid Back Country boats to our fleet.

Hybrids are the next generation of leading edge technology and design for the shallow water enthusiast. Hybrid boats retain the back country experience yet provide additional “creature features aboard such as an enclosed marine head (potty), T top for shade, some carry additional seating and a second elevated station for the captain so helpful when sight casting to elusive sport fish in the shallows. These larger vessels have the ability to comfortably fish our slightly deeper “patch reef areas” as well depending upon the conditions of the day. Rates are slightly higher for these larger vessels that can accommodate families from 4 up to 6 total. We do not fish 6 adults from these vessels.

“A new charter fishing option” which essentially combines “some” back country and “some” reef & wreck type action yet remains in calmer waters. We target “Patch Reefs”, natural formations away from the land mass about half way to the coral reef 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 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.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience near shore-maximum 6 passengers per vessel for “families with children”. We do not offer Near Shore charters for more than 4 adults on Hybrid vessels. It is possible to fish larger groups of adults aboard Light Tackle Center Console vessels in Near Shore waters.

Near Shore ……Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Good”
  • Grouper…”Excellent” (season opens May 1)
  • Permit…”Excellent”
  • Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Snook…”Good” early and improving

Back Country:

Anglers take note: We have recently added a number of Hybrid Back Country boats to our fleet.

Hybrids are the next generation of leading edge technology and design for the shallow water enthusiast. Hybrid boats retain the back country experience yet provide additional “creature features aboard such as an enclosed marine head (potty), T top for shade, some carry additional seating and a second elevated station for the captain so helpful when sight casting to elusive sport fish in the shallows. These larger vessels have the ability to comfortably fish our slightly deeper “patch reef areas” as well depending upon the conditions of the day. Rates are slightly higher for these larger vessels that can accommodate families from 4 up to 6 total. We do not fish 6 adults from these vessels.

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year remains an excellent choice for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters now filling with behemoth Tarpon. The overall population of Tarpon in the back country continues to grow throughout the month joining with several additional sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target. Snook get busy in May and continue improving so better by mid to late May. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide non-stop action most days and the list is nearly endless again in May that keeps the younger anglers happy with the super fast bite of schooling fish. It remains a productive time to pursue larger Jacks. A perfect trip for the hard core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family.

Tarpon spawning rituals are well underway so the action is exploding. Tarpon fishing in Key West by May is prolific. These behemoth sport fish should be 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. We continue witnessing the sunset Tarpon feeding activity. Our Sunset Tarpon trips are spectacular when conditions (primarily the tides) are optimal. Tarpon “Split Day” charters are offered for the hard core Tarpon aficionados where we fish from 6 AM to 10 AM return to the dock and depart the same day at 5 PM returning at 9 PM on the same day fishing the absolute peak Tarpon feeding/activities windows. We do not recommend more than 3 anglers as a max on our Tarpon bay boats especially 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 plus fish going berserk at boat side.

Tarpon are pursued in shallow waters primarily in our “Back Country” although the “Flats” angler can target them as well. Night Tarpon charters are underway. We do not recommend more than 3 anglers to a back country boat with Tarpon as a primary target. Tarpon feed nocturnally therefore early morning and sunset are the most productive time frames…Let’s go fishing! We do not recommend fly fishing from back country bay boats. Fly fishers interested in pursuing Tarpon are welcome on our flats skiffs designed with the fly caster in mind. Note Flats skiffs are two passenger maximum vessels and we will fish one flat caster at a time with the second angler “backing up” with spin gear if they choose too.

The ½ day to ¾ day trips continue to produce well as the afternoon water temperatures are still far from high so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. Good Cobia fishing continues and can produce some quality fish and action in the back country. The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing continues to be very good in the back country in May. 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. May becomes peak 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 back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters.

May is a spectacular time frame to make the 28 mile run to the west to fish the fabled Marquesas Atoll. The schools of Tarpon are being targeted by the apex predator sharks. Giant Barracuda can be counted on for memorable days in the atoll during May. You may refer to our very concise “Marquesas” page for more information.

4 passenger maximum on all Back Country boats.
2-3 passengers recommended for Tarpon Charters

Back Country …..Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Good”
  • Jacks “Excellent”
  • Permit…”Excellent”
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Snook…”Good and improving daily”
  • Tarpon…”Excellent”

Flats:

Our Bonefish action kicks in big time for May…May typically produces 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 are on the flats now and the action is excellent. Tarpon are still primarily found at home in the back country but we begin are targeting them nearer the deeper edges of the flats in May. 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. If you are a serious saltwater fly fisher you should be fishing the flats. To include a little fly fishing while in the back country is one thing but if you are seeking a hard core fly only trip…fish the flats.

Fly fishers are welcome on our flats skiffs designed with the fly caster in mind. Note Flats skiffs ate two passenger maximum vessels and we will fish one fly-caster at a time with the second angler “backing up” with spin gear if they choose too.

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.

2 passenger maximum on all Flats Boats.
1 Fly-Fisher maximum casting at any time.

Flats …..Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Bonefish…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Good” (on the days when Cobia are sighted following Rays on the flats)
  • Permit…”Excellent”…(a friendly reminder of just how elusive this sport fish can be especially on fly)
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Tarpon…”Excellent” (there are always far greater numbers of Tarpon found and caught in the back country)

Notable:

This is a time of more stable water temperatures so fishing conditions in general have settled in and improved, 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 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 8 AM to 9 PM. Remember 2-4 weeks in advance is recommended for peak fishing season dates December through June. April and May are the busiest months of our entire fishing calendar! Our legendary guide team is always in high demand. We look forward to your call!

2020-04-09T16:29:40+00:00April 9th, 2020|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on May 2020 Fishing Report

April Fishing Report 2020


April Fishing Report 2020—For today’s live action call 866 259 4205

Our KEY WEST Fishing is Exploding!

April is full on Tarpon and Sailfish season in Key West. Here are some helpful insights to anglers interested in targeting these iconic sport fish.

Sailfish are spawning well offshore. These are elusive nomadic sport fish that remain in constant motion. Time is the number one tool for success for the angler and guide as they work in concert to pursue these “bucket list”  impressive fish.

Tarpon are pursued in shallow waters primarily in our “Back Country” although the “Flats” angler can target them as well. Night Tarpon charters begin around April 1. We do not recommend more than 3 anglers to a back country boat with Tarpon as a primary target. Tarpon feed nocturnally therefore early morning and sunset are the most productive time frames…Let’s go fishing!

April arrives and we enter into a period of outstanding action. Over the next few months some of the best fishing of the entire year comes to us. The huge schools of migrating Tarpon have arrived and are flooding into the shallows of the back country. Key West is now one of the most prolific Tarpon fisheries on the planet. Impressive schools of Bonefish are feeding heavily on the challenging flats. We expect to experience an outstanding Sailfish seasons this year possibly one of the best in the last decade. Now comes Mahi Mahi time to dominate the blue water. The reef and wrecks are holding massive populations of true heavy weight gladiators ready to go head to head with the willing angler plus table fare species, the first choice of bottom fishers, become super aggressive. It’s a time of exceptional action when fishing the waters of Key West! You may have the fishing rod knocked out of your hand over the next few months friends.

April Weather Averages:

  • Temperature—82/74 average
  • Rainy Days—3/6 average
  • Wind Speed—12 mph average

Deep Sea/Offshore:

As we enter April conditions improve for the anglers looking to fish deep. The iconic Sailfish is in high gear! Our Sailfish action so far this year overshadows recent past years easily and we look to an exceptional April and May…always elusive however the recent success rate for Sailfish day to day has remained quite high. April does signal the end for our Kingfish action unfortunately but Kings typically go out with a bang. April sees an explosion in the aggressiveness of Black Fin Tuna which have consistently plentiful and of quality size for some time already. There are few species of pelagic fish capable of the total chaos when a school of big Black Fin show up. Mahi action enjoyes a huge upswing during April and will rapidly become the angler’s bread & butter species. Mahi (Dolphin fish-Dorado) are plentiful, schooling fish that provide excellent action at a blistering pace while keeping things non-technical for the angler. High leapers when hooked up, beautiful colored fish that are also a favorite for many on the dinner plate. When the Mahi are biting, businesses close on the island…it gets that good!

The predators remain aggressive with April 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.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience-maximum 6 passengers per vessel. 6 passenger vessels are limited availability and it is understood when larger groups are aboard it may affect the experience.

No more than 4 passengers for all “Specialty Charters” (Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks, Towers, Tortugas, Mutton Spawn)

April Deep Sea/Light Tackle Offshore ………….Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Blackfin Tuna…”Excellent”
  • Dolphin (Mahi-Dorado)…:”Excellent”
  • Kingfish…”Slowing”
  • Marlin…”Excellent” ( However the Marlin population is small in our waters therefore very hit or miss for the angler’s success)
  • Sailfish…”Excellent”
  • Swordfish…”Good” (Specialty Charter)
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Spanish Mackerel…”Excellent moving to Good”
  • Wahoo…”Slow”

Light Tackle/Reef & Wreck:

April brings calmer winds and smaller seas typically yet still the conditions on the reef verses further offshore will remain far more comfortable for the angler concerned about motion discomfort. Outstanding Cobia action continues throughout the month. Cobia typically slow slightly over the next few months. Amberjack explode to a frenzy for April most years and so far the bite on large “Reef Donkeys” has been outstanding. The Snapper family continues to produce and with April we can count on steady action targeting the Mangrove and YellowTail action. The larger Mutton Snapper will continue to provide some exceptional days on the reef especially as we move towards their spawning time. The Grouper family as always provides outstanding action however the harvest of Grouper ended January 1 with the season now closed until May 1 in Monroe county waters (all of the keys). Our elusive Permit is always challenging, the Permit is a sought after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. April typically shows a marked improvement from the last few months and we are on the way to excellent Permit action over the next few months. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be crazy good.

We do not recommend more than 4 anglers for the ultimate light tackle reef and wreck experience. Remember light tackle boats operate without a deck-mate. Regardless of experience, talent or effort one pair of hands may assist only so many anglers timely. We do have six passenger licensed vessels in our fleet with guides willing to accommodate these larger parties however it should be understood more than 4 anglers aboard will have some affects and likely will lessen the experience. Rarely do conditions allow for more than four anglers to be fishing simultaneously.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience-maximum 6 passengers per vessel. 6 passenger vessels are limited availability and it is understood when larger groups are aboard it may affect the experience.

No more than 4 passengers for all “Specialty Charters” (Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks, Towers, Tortugas, Mutton Spawn)

Light Tackle Reef & Wreck …..Target Species:

  • Amberjack…”Excellent”
  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Excellent”
  • Grouper…”Excellent” (season closed to harvest during March)
  • Mangrove Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Mutton Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Yellow Tail Snapper…”Very Good and improving”
  • Permit…”Excellent”
  • Shark…”Excellent”

Some “Pelagic Species” possible on Reef & Wreck trips:

  • Blackfin Tuna…”Excellent”
  • Kingfish…”Slowing”

Near Shore:

Anglers take note: We have recently added a number of Hybrid Back Country boats to our fleet. Hybrids are the next generation of leading edge technology and design for the shallow water enthusiast. Hybrid boats retain the back country experience yet provide additional “creature features aboard such as an enclosed marine head (potty), T top for shade, some carry additional seating and a second elevated station for the captain so helpful when sight casting to elusive sport fish in the shallows. These larger vessels have the ability to comfortably fish our slightly deeper “patch reef areas” as well depending upon the conditions of the day. Rates are slightly higher for these larger vessels that can accommodate families from 4 up to 6 total. We do not fish 6 adults from these vessels.

“A new charter fishing option” which essentially combines “some” back country and “some” reef & wreck type action yet remains in calmer waters. We target “Patch Reefs”, natural formations away from the land mass about half way to the coral reef 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 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.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience near shore-maximum 6 passengers per vessel for “families with children”. We do not offer Near Shore charters for more than 4 adults on Hybrid vessels. It is possible to fish larger groups of adults aboard Light Tackle Center Console vessels in Near Shore waters.

Near Shore ……Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Excellent”
  • Grouper…”Excellent” (season closed to harvest during March)
  • Permit…”Very Good”
  • Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Snook…”Slow” Improving towards months end.

Back Country:

Anglers take note: We have recently added a number of Hybrid Back Country boats to our fleet.

Hybrid’s are the next generation of leading edge technology and design for the shallow water enthusiast. Hybrid boats retain the back country experience yet provide additional “creature features aboard such as an enclosed marine head (potty), T top for shade, some carry additional seating and a second elevated station for the captain so helpful when sight casting to elusive sport fish in the shallows. These larger vessels have the ability to comfortably fish our slightly deeper “patch reef areas” as well depending upon the conditions of the day. Rates are slightly higher for these larger vessels that can accommodate families from 4 up to 6 total. We do not fish 6 adults from these vessels.

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year remains an excellent choice for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters now filling with behemoth Tarpon. The overall population of Tarpon in the back country continues to grow throughout the month joining with several additional sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target. Redfish are all but done by months end as our water temperatures begin a seasonal rise. Snook are a bit “hit or miss” in early April but are improving so better targeted in later April. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide non-stop action most days and the list is nearly endless again in April that keeps the younger anglers happy with the super fast bite of schooling fish. It remains a productive time to pursue Speckled Sea Trout and several species of larger Jacks. A perfect trip for the hard core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family.

Tarpon time is exploding. The population of Tarpon will continue to increase daily until about mid-April. The spawning migration that brings adult Tarpon to Key West is well underway and the activity and productivity on Tarpon is rising towards seasonal highs. Tarpon fishing in Key West by April is becoming prolific. These behemoth sport fish should be 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. We begin seeing the sunset Tarpon feeding activity increase in early April most years so we begin offering 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 plus fish going berserk at boat side.

Tarpon are pursued in shallow waters primarily in our “Back Country” although the “Flats” angler can target them as well. Night Tarpon charters begin around April 1. We do not recommend more than 3 anglers to a back country boat with Tarpon as a primary target. Tarpon feed nocturnally therefore early morning and sunset are the most productive time frames…Let’s go fishing!

We do not fly fish from back country bay boats. Fly fishers interested in pursuing Tarpon are welcome on our flats skiffs designed with the fly caster in mind. Note Flats skiffs are two passenger maximum vessels and we will fish one flat caster at a time with the second angler “backing up” with spin gear if they choose too.

The ½ day to ¾ day trips continue to produce well as the afternoon water temperatures are still far from high so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. Good Cobia fishing continues and can produce some quality fish and action in the back country. The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing continues to be very good in the back country in April. 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. April 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 back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters.

April is a spectacular time frame to make the 28 mile run to the west to fish the fabled Marquesas Atoll. The arriving Tarpon brings with is the apex predator sharks and the biggest of Giant Barracuda can be counted on for memorable days in the atoll. You may refer to our very concise “Marquesas” page on www.keywestproguides.com web site for more information.

4 passenger maximum on all Back Country boats.
2-3 passengers recommended for Tarpon Charters

Back Country …..Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Excellent”
  • Permit…”Excellent”
  • Pompano…”Good but slowing”
  • Redfish…”Good early to fair by months end”
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Snook…”Fair early but better by months end”
  • Tarpon…”Excellent”
  • Trout…”Good but slowing”

Flats:
Our Bonefish action kicks in big time for April…April is the first of a few months that typically 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 are venturing on to the flats more so now and the action is improving. Tarpon are still primarily found at home in the back country but we begin seeing them nearer the deeper edges of the flats in early April. 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. If you are a serious saltwater fly fisher you should be fishing the flats. To include a little fly fishing while in the back country is one thing but if you are seeking a hard core fly only trip…fish the flats.

Fly fishers are welcome on our flats skiffs designed with the fly caster in mind. Note Flats skiffs ate two passenger maximum vessels and we will fish one fly-caster at a time with the second angler “backing up” with spin gear if they choose too.

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.

2 passenger maximum on all Flats Boats.
1 Fly-Fisher maximum casting at any time.

Flats …..Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Bonefish…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Excellent” (on the rare days when Cobia are sighted following Rays on the flats)
  • Permit…”Excellent”…(a friendly reminder of just how elusive this sport fish can be especially on fly)
  • Redfish…”Possible” on the flats on a given day but the Back Country is home to Reds in Key West
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Tarpon…”Excellent” (there are always far greater numbers of Tarpon found and caught in the back country)

Notable:
This is a time of more stable slowly rising water temperatures so fishing conditions in general will settle in and improve, 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 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 8 AM to 9 PM. Remember 2-4 weeks in advance is recommended for peak fishing season dates December through June. April and May are the busiest months of our entire fishing calendar! Our legendary guide team is always in high demand. We look forward to your call!

2020-03-20T16:21:12+00:00March 20th, 2020|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on April Fishing Report 2020

March 2020 Fishing Report

For today’s Live Fishing Report 866-259-4205

KEY WEST “Fishing…Its On”

With March’s arrival the fishing action explodes in Key West! We are entering a time of some of the best fishing action of the entire year. Tarpon have begun to arrive and are flooding into shallows of the back country. This becomes our fastest paced action trip with a wide variety of sport fish and predators for the light tackle angler to pursue. Sailfish are offshore, Permit are cruising the flats and the bottom dwellers of the reef and deeper wrecks are gathering in numbers. It’s a time of exceptional action when fishing the waters of Key West!

March kicks off our Tarpon season in Key West. See “Back Country” helpful insights to anglers interested in Tarpon fishing.

March Weather Averages:

  • Temperature—78/70 average
  • Rainy Days—3/4 average
  • Wind Speed—12 mph average

Deep Sea/Offshore:

The iconic Sailfish bite is on! March remains an excellent period for Kingfish action as well. Big “Smoker” Kingfish continue providing excellent action offshore and recently nearer the reef. March sees an explosion in the aggressiveness of Black Fin Tuna. There are few species of pelagic fish capable of the total chaos when a school of big Black Fin show up. Mahi action for early March remains slow but towards the end of March seemingly overnight they will come to life as there are more and more Mahi around in our waters every day. The predators remain super aggressive with March being an awesome month for large Barracuda. We have moved into an exciting period for offshore angling however, we 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. We do not recommend more than 4 anglers for the ultimate light tackle offshore experience. Remember light tackle boats operate without a deck-mate. Regardless of experience, talent or effort one pair of hands may assist only so many anglers timely. We do have six passenger licensed vessels in our fleet with guides willing to accommodate these larger parties however it should be understood more than 4 anglers aboard will have some affects and likely will lessen the experience.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience-maximum 6 passengers per vessel. 6 passenger vessels are limited availability and it is understood when larger groups are aboard it may affect the experience.

No more than 4 passengers for all “Specialty Charters” (Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks, Towers, Tortugas, Mutton Spawn)

Deep Sea/Light Tackle Offshore ………….Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Very Good”
  • Blackfin Tuna…”Very Good”
  • Dolphin (Mahi-Dorado)…:”Fair to Good” improving vastly by months end.
  • Kingfish…”Excellent”
  • Marlin…”Fair” ( Marlin population is small in our waters)
  • Sailfish…”Excellent”
  • Swordfish…”Good” (Specialty Charter)
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Spanish Mackerel…”Excellent”
  • Wahoo…”Slow”

Reef & Wreck: “Light Tackle”

March typically has some wind with it, 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 Cobia action continues to be outstanding. Cobia should remain excellent for the next few months and always provides hard fought battles with great yields for the table fare anglers. The Snapper family continues to produce and with March we expect steady action targeting the Mangrove and Yellow Tail action. The large Mutton Snapper provide some exceptional days on the reef now. The Grouper family as always provides outstanding action however the harvest of Grouper ended January 1 with the season now closed until May 1 in Monroe county (all of the keys). Our elusive Permit is always challenging, the Permit is a sought-after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. March typically shows a marked improvement from the last few months and we are on the way to excellent Permit action always by April. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be crazy good.

We do not recommend more than 4 anglers for the ultimate light tackle reef and wreck experience. Remember light tackle boats operate without a deck-mate. Regardless of experience, talent or effort one pair of hands may assist only so many anglers timely. We do have six passenger licensed vessels in our fleet with guides willing to accommodate these larger parties however it should be understood more than 4 anglers aboard will have some affects and likely will lessen the experience. Rarely do conditions allow for more than four anglers to be fishing simultaneously.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience-maximum 6 passengers per vessel. 6 passenger vessels are limited availability and it is understood when larger groups are aboard it may affect the experience.

No more than 4 passengers for all “Specialty Charters” (Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks, Towers, Tortugas, Mutton Spawn)

Light Tackle Reef & Wreck …..Target Species:

  • Amberjack…”Slow” improving greatly by months end.
  • Barracuda…”Very Good”
  • Cobia…”Excellent”
  • Grouper…”Very Good” (season closed to harvest during March)
  • Mangrove Snapper…”Very Good”
  • Mutton Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Yellow Tail Snapper…”Very Good”
  • Permit…”Excellent”
  • Shark…”Excellent”

Some “Pelagic Species” possible on Reef & Wreck trips:

  • Blackfin Tuna…”Very Good”
  • Kingfish…”Excellent”


Near Shore:

Anglers take note: We have recently added a number of Hybrid Back Country boats to our fleet. Hybrids are the next generation of leading-edge technology and design for the shallow water enthusiast. Hybrid boats retain the back-country experience yet provide additional “creature features aboard such as an enclosed marine head (potty), T-top for shade, some carry additional seating and a second elevated station for the captain so helpful when sight casting to elusive sport fish in the shallows. These larger vessels have the ability to comfortably fish our slightly deeper “patch reef areas” as well depending upon the conditions of the day. Rates are slightly higher for these larger vessels that can accommodate families from 4 up to 6 total. We do not fish 6 adults from these vessels.

“A new charter fishing option” which essentially combines “some” back country and “some” reef & wreck type action yet remains in calmer waters. We target “Patch Reefs”, natural formations away from the land mass about half way to the coral reef 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 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.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience near shore-maximum 6 passengers per vessel for “families with children”. We do not offer near shore charters for more than 4 adults on Hybrid vessels. It is possible to fish larger groups of adults aboard Light Tackle Center Console vessels in Near Shore waters.

Near Shore ……Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Excellent”
  • Cobia…”Excellent”
  • Grouper…”Good” (season closed to harvest during March)
  • Permit…”Very Good”
  • Snapper…”Very Good”
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Snook…”Slow” Improving towards months end.

Back Country:

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year easily moves into the “excellent” range and becomes our first recommendation. The ½ day to ¾-day trips continue to produce well however the afternoon water temperatures remain cooler so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome.

Back Country fishing in March is all about fast paced action while pursuing a very wide variety of species that include sport fish, predator, table fare and schooling fish. March in the back country brings renewed interest in Tarpon. We typically think of March as the kick off to our Tarpon insanity that takes over with anglers from around the planet traveling to our island home in pursuit of their “bucket list” Tarpon. A truly iconic sport fish in every way. Key West during the spawn cycle and migration becomes a prolific Tarpon fishery where the angler’s success rate soars!

March is also about transition from these newly arriving, migratory Tarpon to an upswing in the Redfish activity, Cobia become a preferred target for the light tackle angling that enjoys sight casting. Speckled Sea Trout remain in the bays for most of March and the Jack population remains large providing some outstanding family fun trips. The tasty Pompano (a locals favorite table fare species) remains in the heavily mangrove areas of the back country for those willing to search them out. More easily found Snapper is a great choice for “keepers” for the dinner table. Albeit early some years, Snook can get fired up late in the month. Predator fishing for the adrenalin junkie remains impressive with multiple species of larger sharks moving into the shallows during March. Many anglers believe the Bull Shark spawns in the early spring and it has been my experience that the sheer numbers of larger Bull Sharks in the bays and basins of the back country does seem higher in March and into April than the remainder of the year.

March is a spectacular time frame to make the 28-mile run to the west to fish the fabled Marquesas Atoll. The arriving Tarpon brings with is the apex predator sharks and the biggest of Giant Barracuda can be counted on for memorable days in the atoll. You may refer to our very concise “Marquesas” page on www.keywestproguides.com web site for more information.

4 passengers maximum on all Back-Country boats.
2-3 passengers recommended for Tarpon Charters

Back Country …..Target Species:

  • Barracuda…”Very Good”
  • Cobia…”Excellent”
  • Permit…”Very Good” and improving daily.
  • Pompano…”Excellent”
  • Redfish…”Excellent”
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Snapper…”Excellent”
  • Snook…”Slow” early but better by months end
  • Tarpon…”Very Good” improving to “Excellent” by mid-month.
  • Trout…”Excellent”

Flats:

Flats fishing in March is challenging no question. Early in the month can be slow in the extreme shallows however as the month progresses the activity levels most certainly improve. Bonefish are not plentiful on the flats yet but stay tuned it won’t be long. With the winds of March do come the Permit. Our most elusive sport fish in the shallows now makes its presence known to the shallow water anglers and fly fishers beginning in March. Still too early for any real Tarpon activity near the flats really. For Tarpon head to the back country.

One notable event takes place every March that should be a tip off for the serious flats/fly fisher…the annual Merkin Permit Fly tournament takes place…a great indicator of promising Permit action! It would be fair to say that fishing the flats in early to mid-March is a Permit fishing trip and not much else beyond the resident Barracuda and some shark action most days.

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. 

2 passengers maximum on all Flats Boats.
1 Fly-Fisher maximum casting at any time.

  • Flats …..Target Species:
  • Barracuda…”Very Good”
  • Bonefish…”Slow” early but improving vastly by month’s end
  • Cobia…”Excellent” (on the rare days when Cobia are sighted following Rays on the flats)
  • Permit…”Excellent”…(a reminder of just how elusive this sport fish can be)
  • Redfish…”possible on the flats on a given day but the Back Country is home to Reds)
  • Shark…”Excellent”
  • Tarpon…”Slow” (Look to the back country for Tarpon action in March)

Notable:

This is a time of more stable slowly rising water temperatures so fishing conditions in general will settle in and improve, 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 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 8 AM to 9 PM. Remember 2-4 weeks in advance is recommended for peak fishing season dates December through June. Our legendary guide team is always in high demand.
We look forward to your call!

2020-03-18T18:03:55+00:00March 1st, 2020|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on March 2020 Fishing Report

February 2020 Fishing Report

For today’s action call 866 259 4205

February arrives bringing one of our most productive early season periods for offshore angling. The shallows of the back country remain fast paced with the widest variety of sport fish and predators for the light tackle angler to pursue. It’s a time of “options” fishing the waters of Key West!

Deep Sea/Offshore:

Our offshore fishing has continued to improved. The iconic Sailfish bite is on! Always elusive the Sailfish is a true “bucket list” species for most saltwater anglers. February remains an excellent period for Kingfish action. Big “Smoker” Kingfish continue providing excellent action offshore and more occasionally nearer the reef during February. The Mackerel family is here in huge numbers in general with quality size Cero and Spanish. February sees an increase in the aggressiveness of Black Fin Tuna. There are few species of pelagic fish capable of the total chaos when a school of big Black Fin show up. We see a slowing down momentarily for the solitary Wahoo during February that will last until mid-May. Mahi action improves for February so we will have days of great action when these outstanding pelagic get fired up…there seems to always be a few Mahi around in our waters but in fairness to the angler…think of them as still a wonderful bonus fish when they come in the boat during early February especially. The apex predators remain active with February being an awesome month for large Barracuda. We are moving into an exciting period for offshore however, we 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.

Reef & Wreck:

February can bring wind therefore the waters on the reef verses further offshore will remain far more comfortable most days. This is also a time when the light tackle angler may want to consider our new Hybrid boats fishing the patch reefs. These “patch reefs” rest about half way between the land mass and the natural reef 6 to 8 miles offshore. The patch reefs may just check off a lot of boxes for some anglers. Check out this option under the “back country” report for more in depth details…

In Key West the speed of the wind and the direction of the wind are both factors we must deal with and sometimes compensate for during late winter. 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 Cobia action continues to be in the excellent range for the next few months. Cobia are a favorite target species for many knowledgeable anglers as these pelagic species of larger, aggressive fish travel from our back country to the weed lines well offshore. Here today and gone tomorrow, out guides always have an eye out for Cobia. The Snapper family continues to produce and with February we see a significant increase with the Mangrove and YellowTail action. The large Mutton Snapper continues to provide us with some exceptional days on the reef and wrecks as well. Snapper is a perfect species to pursue with table fare in mind. The Snapper family is wonderful on the table and plentiful in our waters and the angler is awarded a nice daily bag limit for “keepers”. The Grouper family will offer some outstanding action however the harvest of Grouper ended January 1, with the season now closed until May in Monroe county (all of the keys). Our elusive Permit are always challenging, the Permit is a sought after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet and February typically shows much better action from the last few months on the way to excellent Permit action by March. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be outstanding.

Back Country:

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. The overall population of fish in the back country continues to grow with several sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target and also numerous schooling species will provide non-stop action most days. Just a few of the schooling species in our bays now are Trout and Pompano, Jacks, Lady Fish, Blue Runners, Grunts, Porgies…the list is nearly endless in February of that mangrove island shoreline fish. A perfect trip for the hard-core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family.

NOTE: We have recently added a number of new state of the art, larger “bay boats” (26-28 footers up to 6 passenger max vessels in some instances-perfect family boats/trips) we refer to as “Hybrids”. This is the future for Bay Boats/shallow, near shore angling).  Boats are fully loaded, complete with enclosed marine heads, additional comfortable seating arrangements, t-tops, many with second stations in short towers yet these boats retain the ability to fish shallow as well as the mid point reef & shallow wrecks via GPS controlled Trolling Motors, Power Pole anchoring systems, Garmin Electronics and more.

Tarpon time is still not here so generally speaking Tarpon will remain hit or miss in the back country during early and mid February however on the given day the bonus Tarpon shows up. In our back country waters in February is our resident population of mostly juvenile Tarpon and the angler needs to keep in mind these fish are super sensitive to changing conditions and become very “hit or miss” with a fast moving front, or cooler winds on the surface being enough to turn them off. Tarpon are here but we typically do not target them until about the first of March.

The ½ day to ¾ day trips continue to produce well however the afternoon water temperatures are not as high now so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. The Redfish action during February is as good as we enjoy in Key West. In fairness we are not the Redfish fishery of the Everglades and upper keys but the Reds we have are typically good “slot size” fish. Good Cobia fishing continues and can produce some quality fish and action in the back country especially near shallow structure and cover. Snook are certainly not super active with our cooler water temps but we do have those rare days of mild air temperatures and calmer winds that can bring the Snook to life in the back country. This is a time of fast paced “excellent” action in general from the schooling species such as Jacks including some huge Yellow Jacks, Sea Trout, tasty Pompano and more.

The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing improves greatly in the back country in February. 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 improves greatly for February. 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. February is predator time especially in the Marquesas so anglers can count on these aggressive species to be ready ready to go “head to head” if you are willing to make the long runs to this fabled atoll.. 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. The back country is relaxing, serine and far from crowded…paradise and just maybe what Key West is all about.

Flats:

Short periods of “decent” Bonefish action continue for the patient angler in February. This is still early in the flats fishing year so not typically a great month for the flats. Permit will be scarce on the flats and Tarpon are completely out of action on the flats for a little longer. The flats angler should now include 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. This is the perfect boat/guide combination for the fly fisher…the only trip we recommend when fly casting becomes part of the game plan and considerations.

Notable:

This is a time of more stable water temperatures so fishing conditions in general have settled 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 only continue to improved and 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 our new “Near Shore” patch reefs can be very good trips for later in the day departure times also. 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!

2020-03-18T18:02:50+00:00February 1st, 2020|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on February 2020 Fishing Report

January 2020 Fishing Report

For today’s action call 866 259 4205

As January arrives we ramp up towards some of our most productive periods for offshore angling. The back country 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!

Deep Sea/Offshore:

Our offshore fishing continues to vastly improved. The iconic Sailfish bite is on daily as we move closer to spawn time for these magnificent sport fish! January is also the real kick off for one of our most productive time frames offshore which continues for months into the spring. January is all about Kingfish action. Big “Smoker” Kingfish continue providing excellent action well offshore and occasionally nearer the reef. The Mackerel family is here in huge numbers in general with quality size Cero and Spanish. January remains an excellent time to target the action packed Black Fin Tuna. There are few species of pelagic fish capable of the total chaos when a school of big Black Fin show up. We continue taking the solitary Wahoo during January. Soon as we begin thinking the Mahi action is slow we will have a few days of great action fire up…there seems to always be a few Mahi around in our waters but in fairness to the angler…think of them as a wonderful bonus fish when they come in the boat during January. The apex predators remain active with January being a good month for large Barracuda. We are moving into an exciting period for offshore however, we 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.

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.

Back Country:

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year moves into an excellent time for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters. The overall population of fish in the back country continues to grow with several sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target but also numerous schooling species have now arrived to provide non-stop action most days.

The ½ day to ¾ day trips continue to produce well however the afternoon water temperatures are not as high now so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. The Redfish action during January is as good as we enjoy in Key West. Good Cobia fishing continues and can produce some quality fish and action in the back country. Snook are certainly not super active with our cooler water temps but we do have those rare days of mild air temperatures and calmer winds that can bring the Snook to life in the back country. This is a time of fast paced “excellent” action in general from the schooling species such as Jacks including some huge Yellow Jacks, Sea Trout, Pompano and more. The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing can slow in January even in the back country. For serious “table fare” harvest we definitely 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. January is 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 back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters. Just a few of the schooling species in our bays now are Trout and Pompano, Jacks, Lady Fish, Blue Runners, Grunts, Porgies…the list is nearly endless in January. Tarpon time is slow generally in the back country during January but on the given day the bonus Tarpon shows up. Remaining is our small resident population of juvenile Tarpon and the angler needs to keep in mind these fish are super sensitive to changing conditions and become very “hit or miss”. A small Tarpon populations remains here but we typically do not target them for the next few months. A perfect trip for the hard core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family or groups numbering up to 4 anglers. 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.

Flats:

Short periods of “decent” Bonefish action continue for the patient angler in January and February. Permit typically will have moved off the flats and Tarpon are completely out of action on the flats for now. The flats angler should now include 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.

Notable:

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 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 8 AM to 9 PM. We look forward to your call!

2020-03-18T18:02:07+00:00January 1st, 2020|Fishing Reports|Comments Off on January 2020 Fishing Report
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