Most people around the country look forward to the first warm day of spring. The sun feels like a long lost friend warming your back after a long cold winter. You can go outside with out putting on a jacket and boots. in Key West, it is the exact opposite. We look forward to the first cool day of fall. The tropical sun beats down on us with unrelenting heat from July to September. The temperature is in the mid 80’s at 4 am and that’s the coolest part of the day. it never gets any cooler. Because we are surrounded by water our temperature never gets above 100. With 90+ humidity the heat index commonly does get over 100 degrees.Basically, from LateJune until Mid October, you are either in Air conditioning or you are sweating.
Well, it is Mid-October, and although we haven’t had any real “Cold Fronts” yet, we have had some cooler North winds over the last few days. It’s enough to make a difference. The water is cooling down, It was about 81 degrees when I was fishing yesterday. Not cold even by Key West standards, but it was close to 87 degrees a few weeks ago. I have seen it get as high as 92 offshore, (That will make the fishing go to crap).
When the weather changes, so does the fishing. In the summer, we usually head offshore looking for birds, Sargassum weed lines and debris to fish. Our main target fish is Mahi-Mahi, (Dolphin) and when fishing for Mahi, there is always the chance for a wahoo, tuna or billfish. Now that the water is cooling off, we will be fishing more inshore. Usually from the reef to about 400-500 ft of water. Hopefully, the ballyhoo, (bait fish), will start moving out to the reef. When they do, many of the predator fish we target will come looking for them. We saw a sailfish on the reef yesterday chasing Ballyhoo. We caught 3 wahoo all within 150 ft of water. The cooler the water gets, the more the bait should move out to the reef. Its an exciting time of year to fish and I’m looking forward to the change