Southbound Sportfishing Key West Report February 21
February 21, 2011
One thing aboutFishing in Key West is it's always changing. After a tough week of fishing, conditions seem about to change for the better. We’ve had very green water, no current and cool water temps (68’), for the last week or so. Much of this can be attributed to the full moon and an extended period of unusually low tides. None of this is conducive to offshore fishing here. We want blue water, at least some current, preferable eastbound and water temperatures in the 72-74’ range. These variations can make all the difference in the world.
Now that the full moon is passed and hopefully we should see some blue water and east bound current start working its way in shore over the next few days. We’ve been catching fish and having a lot of fun, but we’ve had to change our game plan a bit the last few days. Mostly we’ve been anchoring up and shark fishing along with drifting live ballyhoo for mackerel, Kingfish and whatever else wants to bite. It’s been working very well and the sharks have been a lot of fun. Mostly Black tip and Spinner sharks in the 40 – 80 lb range, not huge, but when you’re catching them on 20 & 30lb test line from an anchored boat, they put up a great fight. We’re getting mostly Cero and Spanish mackerel on the live ballyhoo, but the few Kingfish we are getting are large, in the 25-30lb range.
I've been looking, but for the better part of 2 weeks, I haven’t seen any schools of bait on the reef, but yester day we found a large school of Ballyhoo on the reef. After anchoring and netting a few for bait, the action was non-stop. If you find the bait, you’ll find the fish. We were catching large Cero mackerels, some big Barracudas as fast as we could put the baits out. Using 12 and 20lb spinning tackle really adds to the fun because any fish can put up a great fight. An added bonus was the school of Yellow Tail Snapper that came up in our chum. They’re not as large or strong as Mackerel or Barracuda, but they are excellent table fare.
Feb 22 update Black Fin Tuna are biting! The water is a clear green, not blue, but there are black fins crashing bait everywhere for the last two days. The seas are calm, the weather is warm and the fishing is easy! Gotta’ love it. We caught 10 black fin tuna in a half day yesterday. Only 4 in the morning, (and some bonitos), but that’s still good for a half day, (about 2 ½ hrs fishing time). Yesterday, we used live bait and caught fish up to 27 lbs on 20lb spinning tackle. Today we just trolled, (no time to catch live bait on a half day), but it was just as effective. Off tomorrow, 1st time in 10days, but looking forward to Thursday!