September 29, 2014
It’s been a mixed bag of fishing the last month or so. Inshore, there have been a few nice Wahoo and Blackfin Tuna as well as some bonitos for the boats that are trolling. The reef is holding some nice schools of big yellow tail snapper. Generally, yellow tails are not a big snapper, but when they get up to 3-4 lbs it’s amazing how strong a fight they put up. They can pull drag on 20 lb line no problem. In addition, Yellow tail is one of the most delicious eating fish found in the Florida Keys. Talk about a Win-Win situation!
Still a few dolphin offshore, but most days it takes a full day trip to get to where the fish are, but that may be changing. The Gulf Stream current has been way offshore for the last few weeks, but it’s moving in closer to shore and with it, I expect the dolphin should come in too. We’ve had a little bit of a “Fall Run” of dolphin the last few years if we’re going to get it again this year, having the Gulf Stream in close is a good way to get it started. The next week should be a good indication.
July 22, 2014
The near shore water has warmed up and the gulf stream current has moved offshore. Both of these are not good for dolphin fishing. Most of the better Dolphin catches are being had out past the drop-off. If you’re on a half day, odds are you are not going to get there. The good news is that the Yellow Tail and Mangrove snapper bite is definitely on. Great action and great table fare, these fish are a blast to catch on light spinning tackle. Most of the first timers are amazed at how hard they fight for their size, of course the fish has more to lose so they better fight their hardest. Expect the snapper fishing to stay good unless the weather or current picks up. A little current wouldn’t be bad but if the Gulf stream comes in full strength we won’t be able to get our hooks to the bottom. If this does happen, the trolling should pick up and I would expect to see Dolphin, Wahoo, Tuna and Sailfish catches back in half day range
June 17, 2014
Summer is here, Ok, well not officially for a couple of days, but WAY down here in the keys, it gets hot well before the “official” first day of summer. We’ve had temperatures in the high 80’s to the low 90’s and pretty much can expect it to stay there until October sometime. I know everyone I talked to this winter complained about what a brutal winter it was, but ours was pretty mild. I’m hoping the summer isn’t too extreme either. I hope we keep getting a nice breeze from the south. It helps keep the island cool and usually helps with the fishing, (too calm isn’t good). We’ve been seeing daily thunderstorms starting to build up most afternoons, typical Florida weather. It’s not bad when there late in the day, it tends to cool off the island from the heat that’s built up all day. Kind’a sucks when you get those mid-day storms. It just tends to make the rest of the day hot and steamy and we have enough hot and steamy weather with out that!
So far, this years dolphin season has been pretty good. Lots of fish and a few big ones around. The water is warming up but most of the fish are still in close. This is great when you have a half day. Later on, into July and August, as the water warms up the fish tend to move further offshore. The calmer it is, the more the water warms and the sooner the fish will move further out. The current also has an affect on things. Right now, the Gulf Stream is in very close. The current just outside the reef is running very strong to the east. Yesterday, I was trolling West at 1,000rpm and the boat was moving at about 2.5-3kts according to my GPS. When I turned East, I was moving at 8.5-9kts without touching the throttle at all! That’s a lot of current!! The good thing is that, even if you go to the same spot to start each day, you still fishing a different part of the ocean. The water, debris and weed you fished yesterday is at least 50miles east of us and the water, debris and weed you’re fishing today was at least 50 miles West of KW yesterday, so most likely, it hasn’t been fished yet. Kind of like getting a fresh piece of ocean delivered to fish every day! When the current is running like this, you can troll west for 3/4 of your trip to the west and then turn east and get back to where you started or further east in the last quarter of the trip. Likewise, you have to be careful not to troll too far east or you’ll never get home on time.
I’ve had mostly half and 3/4 days the past week, looking forward to my next full day so I can get offshore and see what’s out there! Keep an eye on the catch of the day page
April 8th, 2014
Fishing has been very unpredictable the last 6 months. I think it’s in part due to the many cold fronts that have passed through the area all winter long. Usually we get a week of consistent weather between fronts, but this year the fronts, while mostly mild, have been in rapid secession. This means the wind is almost never in the same direction for more than a day or two and so the conditions are constantly changing. When the conditions change, usually so does the fishing. In the past week we’ve had strong cold winds out of the north, Strong east winds, flat calm almost windless days and today, west winds as another cold front approaches. A big part of this job is based on following the trends of the previous days. That’s why it’s an advantage to fish most every day. It helps with the next days game plan. But when the conditions tomorrow are going to be completely different from today’s and yesterdays it makes it tough to get a handle on things so to speak. For the most part, I think we’ve done a pretty good job at making people happy, but the stress is making my hair line suffer…….and those of you that know me, know all too well, I cannot afford it ;-).
Shark fishing has been outstanding all winter. Lots of Black Tips, Hammerheads and an unusually large # of Tiger sharks have been caught this year. Most are protected now days, so we catch and release them all, but when someone wants to fight a “big” fish, it’s been pretty consistent.
We’ve seen some early dolphin in the last week as well as some sailfish starting to show. I expect to see more after the cold front tomorrow but only time will tell. Hey, At least we aren’t getting any snow!!