By Captain John Smouse

Key West Cold Front Fishing Report

Another cold front is coming through here in Key West. What that really means down here is higher winds, as it rarely gets below 70 degrees during the day. I sure am gald I have the 17’ Maverick Master Angler during these times. This boat just cuts right through the chop. We are able to go fishing when other flats boats have to stay at the dock. The great thing about fishing in Key West is that no matter what the wind is doing there are places to go and get into some fish.

Christi and Delphi came all the way from upstate Florida to do some Backcountry fishing. With the Cold Front also came some rain, so after postponing a little to let the rain pass we headed out. With a 20 plus knot North wind we decided to fish some of the channels around Key West. They were both first timers, but by the end of the trip they had it down and were catching fish hand over fist. They both caught Jacks, Ladyfish, Snappers, Trout, and Christi caught her first shark. All but a couple trout were released to fight again. I am sure they enjoyed a fresh Trout dinner.

By Captain John Smouse

Great Day in the Back Country

A gorgeous day to be in the Florida Keys Backcountry, 78 degrees and sunny, Yep it is January here.

Jimi Watson, from Virginia, was onboard today. With a light southeast breeze I just knew it was going to be a beautiful day. Our main objective today was to bend the rod on some fish and have a good time. The basin fishing has been red hot the last couple of weeks. We have been catching some really nice Sea Trout, along with Jacks, Pompanos and the high flying Lady fish. Our first cast was a nice 10 lb Jack and on 6 lb line this fish can’t be beat. They are often overlooked, but don’t ever pass them up because they can really make your day.

You just never know what you might hook in the midst of these basins. Jimi’s next cast was a fifty pound tarpon!!! What a nice surprise!!! The other nice surprise was that we hung on to him all the way to the boat for a release. Not a bad feat on 8 lb gear. Good Job to him!! After that excitement the trout turned on, and Jimi being the good sportsman managed to release 8 trout and countless Lady Fish.

With the sun rising and warming the water on the Flats, we decided to switch gears and look for some Permit and Barracuda. With the tide just starting to rise the Barracudas were laid up everywhere. The first couple were window-shoppers, charging the tube lure, but turning away at the last second. Seeing a large 20 pounder up tide of us, I pushed the boat to him with everything I had. Jimi’s cast was perfect and he was cranking the tube lure right across the Cuda’s nose. This is where it gets really exciting. With a bust of acceleration that would put a Ferrari to shame, Barry the Cuda was tracking his prey. I could only scream, “Faster, reel faster!!”. Finally an explosion, the rod bends and line screams off the 10 pound spinner. All this happening in less than a foot of crystal clear water is something that I think everyone should get to witness. Jimi, an avid fisherman, could only say, “That has to be the coolest thing I have ever seen!!” After a great fight, including several spectacular runs and jumps, we had the fish boat side. It is a great feeling to be able to put it all together and then revive the fish and watch it swim away to fight another day.

All that in just a ½ day fishing. Thanks Again to Jimi and I look forward to fishing with you again.