Keeping up with the changes in the Florida Keys weather might be one of the toughest tasks Captains down here are faced with. With the ever shifting wind, mostly gusty at times, and unpredictable rain, the winter weather in the Keys might be some of the most inconsistent anywhere. However, thankfully this trend rarely last for very long. One thing though that has been consistent has been the fishing. The gulf stream current has moved itself just off the edge of the reef and has brought a number of pelagic species to tussle with. Sailfish, Blackfin Tuna, Kingfish, Wahoo, and even a few Mahi have been some regular visitors to our baits. Although the weather has been somewhat of a bear, when the fishing is this good, who cares. Get down here asap and see the bite for yourself!
Although the winds were in the constant 20 knots or higher range every day last week, we still managed to get out and have some good days of fishing. Despite choppy sea conditions, and ever changing water quality, some fish were weary , but we were able to convince a few to the box. The weekend was un fishable with winds over 35 knots and a couple inches of rainfall. The upcoming week however looks like great weather and hopefully good fishing. After this blizzard that has just moved through the US this last week, just remember, Key West is 70 degrees or higher. Come On Down!
The fabulous Florida Keys! Never to disappoint, has boasted some of the warmest winter days, even on record. A bit breezy at times, but no more than any other year. However you look at it, most would say (after the get off the plane) that its perfect. With warm temperatures comes warm water, which is holding closely to 80 degrees, and with warm water comes bluewater pelagics from offshore. Species Such as Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna, and Sailfish, are all within a couple miles from the reef, making it very close to Key West.
As the Gulfstream current pulls in close to the reef, large schools of bait get puled away from the safety of the reef rendering them very venerable to predators.This trip started off with a couple of Mahi in 100 feet of water chasing bait just outside the reef. As the day progressed we worked the edge of the current which was creating a rip around 110 feet of water. This rip held some very large Barracuda, which we caught and released. Just a mile or so south of the rip however an area of scattered Sargasso weed was holding a number of Mahi chasing flying fish out of the water. All this activity had about five Frigate birds in frenzy as well. Although the Mahi were a bit shy, we still managed to catch a few more, as well as a nice Bull.
After an hour or so of constant commotion, the bite shut off. The birds vacated the area, and we followed suit. As we worked our way to another area where there has been decent action with Blackfin Tuna in the late afternoon, our baits were attacked by a wolfpack of Wahoo. All six rods going down at the same time, fish going airborne, drags screaming, lines crossing, yes, that kind of mass chaos. Despite all the confusion, We managed to keep ahold of three nice Wahoo which joined their Mahi brethren in the ice bath.
Now with the fish-box heavy, and high fives all around, we finished off the day with couple Blackfin Tuna to add to the list. What an awesome day, in January none the less, for bluewater fishing. With a few forecasts of cold fronts ahead, we cannot be sure if the weather will change the fishing in the next couple weeks, but so far, January has not disappointed.