It may be freezing in other parts of the country, but in Key West the sun is still shining. Although we are experiencing a colder Jan/Feb then usual it still isn’t snowing!!! Above are some of the winter time SeaTrout that frequent our backcountry during the colder months. They may not be the Mighty Tarpon or Elusive Permit, but they sure taste good and provide us with some great action this time of year. Cold Winter = Warm Spring = Huge Tarpon, that is what we have to look forward too!!!!!
With the heavy winds of Ida now passed, Winter is settling in here in Key West. Our days are bright and sunny with winds out of the north. The water temperature is cooling down bringing in our winter time fish. Barracudas are showing up on the flats and this fishery should only get better as the cooler temps continue. There aren’t many fish on the flats as exciting as a Big Cuda. When fishing the shallow waters the fish cannot dive deep, so their only means of escape is going away from the boat. Thus the runs are long and fast. Another winter fish is the Sea Trout, yep we get them down here. Mixed in with the trout are Jacks, Pompano, ladyfish (the poor man’s Tarpon), bluefish, mackerals, and blacktip sharks. Your skill level is not an issue here as this type of fishing is fun for everyone!
Get out on the water to cool off….Summer in Key West can be down right HOT!! A great way to beat that heat is getting out for some fishing in the backcountry. There is usually a breeze out on the water that is not felt on the island. Another great thing about Summer fishing is the lack out fishing pressure. You can fish all day in the backcountry and not see another boat. Dennis and his son came down from North Carolina to take advantage of the “off-season” and it really paid off. It was thier first experience fishing the flats and at the end of the day we had the GrandSlam(catching a Tarpon, Permit & Bonefish all in the same day). Above is Dennis with his trophies. Summer is also the peak time of year to catch the Big Sharks that frequent the shallow water. The most common sharks are the Lemon and BlackTip, both are Big, Mean and SuperFast when hooked in 2 feet of water. Take advantage of the “slow season” and give me a call at 305.587.7669 to get hooked up.
June is such a great time to fish in Key West. This is the month that really kicks off the summer fishing. The winds are calm and the water temps are consistent. The Tarpon are everywhere. The Key West Harbor is holding Tarpon in Huge numbers.Permit and Bonefish are flooding the flats searching for a meal. The Kilburs had a couple great days in Key West fishing on the ShadowCaster. Thanks to some great casting by them we managed to land three permit (pictured above) on Day one. Oh yeah, we also landed one Tarpon estimated at 80 lbs. Day two we concentrated more on the Tarpon and got four to the boat after hooking 7. We rounded out Day two with another Permit and a Big Barracuda. So if that sounds like fun to you give me a call @ 305.587.7669 or drop me an email for some Great SummerTime Action.
Fishing in Key West just does not get better than the months of May and June. Above is Eric after fishing on the ShadowCaster. This is Eric’s 3rd year in a row with me and there aren’t many flats species that he hasn’t caught. If calm water, light winds, warm temperatures and Big Fish is what you are after, then this is the time of year to come to Key West for some flats fishing.
Tarpon season is really just getting heated up. Throughout the month of April Key West was experiencing 25-30 mph winds for days and days. It is finally laying down and the fish are Happy!! This is the time of year that we get the light winds out of the SouthEast and that really warms up the water and gets the fishing Red Hot. If you are wanting to catch The SilverKing, May and June are my two favorite months. We have been getting multiple shots every morning. Above is a great picture of a Tarpon right before release. This is also the time if year that the Permit start making their way back onto the flats after their annual spawn in the deep water. I have been doing alot of Permit fishing on the oceanside flats and have been finding some hungry fish, a well presented live crab will usually get the job done.
Big Barracudas and Lemon Sharks are also scouring the shallow water in search of an easy meal. It is really quite a site to see a 6ft. shark cruising in 2ft of water. I haven’t been doing alot of bonefishing yet this season, but I will bet that is going to go-off any time. There are still some open days in June on the ShadowCaster, so give me a call to catch some of these fish that make the florida keys one of the best fishing destinations in the world.
This is the time of year that you really have to take fishing on a daily basis. One day it might be cold with a north wind blowing 25 mph and the next it is sunny and 80 degrees. These types of rapid weather changes keeps the fisherman on his toes. Finding warm water is the key to success this time of year and that water has been on the oceanside flats of the Lower Keys. These flats have been holding alot of barracuda and jacks. When I say alot, I mean alot. Last Saturday I had a father and son from Ohio and we had to see over 100 big Cudas laying up. Not all of these fish were cooperative, but I bet we managed to entice 10 or 12 to eat our tube lures. The Jacks have also been ferocious, and what fun they are on a light tackle outfit in shallow water.
February is here and this is the time of year we start to look for the Tarpon that migrate through our waters in the Spring. Just yesterday we found a large school of the Silverkings rolling in one of thier favorite channels near Key West. Although they wern’t interested in our offerings it was a great sign to see so many fish this early. I think the warm days of February are going to provide us with some great Tarpon action. Permit is another fish that we begin to see in February, above is one we caught this week on an ocenside flat. So fishing is definitly on the rise and I am looking forward to a great Spring. I stiil have some days open in February, so if you want to catch some Big fish on light tackle give me a call.
I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Down here in Key West we had some beautiful weather and great fishing over the holidays. The sight fishing on the flats has been productive for Barracudas and Jacks. The next couple months I really like for the Big Cudas, this is a great species to target on the flats with spin or fly rod. In my opinion Cudas are as exciting to stalk as any other species on the flats and frankly just easier to catch. They are not as spooky or boat shy as other flats species and you can often get multiple shots at them. Trout fishing in Key West has taken off the last couple years. Every year I am seeing more and more boats targeting them. They are alot of fun to fish for and not bad eating either. This is not a fish that you are going to fill up coolers with fillets, but if you are looking to have a great time catching fish and keep a couple for dinner this is for you. I have been seeing alot more of my repeat customers requesting this type of trip because it is not that technical but yet very productive. While you are casting for trout you are catching all sorts of other species, Jacks, LadyFish, Bluefish, Sharks (mainly the super fast BlackaTip), etc.
January and February are great months to be in the Florida Keys, drop me an email or give me a call and we can talk fishing.
Here are a few photos of the guys from North Carolina. We had a great time catching all kinds of fish on light tackle. Will caught his first ever bonefish, while his bro Griffin was battling barracudas, blacktips and lemon sharks. The gin clear waters of the backcountry provided us with a front row seat to watch all the bites.
Thankfully, for us in Key West, the hurricanes of September only brought us a couple days of wind and rain. We did not experience any major damage, just a few days of dirty water. Now all the storms have past, the water has cleared up and flats fishing is great. Yesterday, I had a couple from New York on their first flats fishing trip. They both managed to to land a couple beautiful Florida Keys Bonefish. The incoming tide has been bringing bonefish on the flats to feed in the cooler water. We are coming to the end of the Tarpon fishing here and as the cold fronts move in these fish will head out. But right now there are juvenile tarpon rolling in the back country channels. These fish are very temperamental and react poorly to overfishing. It is very important NOT to fish an area day after day. Another great fish, and my favorite, to target is the Permit. Pictured above is a couple fish we caught just the other day. Permit fishing should only improve during the Fall months. If you want to do some “hands-on” fishing then the Shadowcaster is for you.