Southbound Sportfishing Key West Report March 23, 2011
I was hoping for this to happen and KeyWest conditions improved and fishing improved as expected this past week. The blue water and strong east current moved in and with it came the Sailfish. Over the weekend we had a beautiful color change and the sailfish were up and “tailing”. For those that don’t know what that is, when conditions are right, usually east current and east wind, (opposing each other). And you have a good color change, (blue water with current meeting green water); Sailfish will swim along the surface and surf down the waves. Often the top of their tail is sticking out of the water, hence the term “Tailing”. When this is happening it’s a lot of fun and very effective to pull the baits in, put your outriggers up and just idle up the change looking for fish swimming along. When you see one, you spin the boat and pitch live bait at them. It’s a fun and exciting way to fish. It’s great for the customers too because they can see the fish from the time it’s swimming toward the boat until it chases and eats the live bait. Often the Sails are eating the baits only 15-20 ft behind the boat, so everybody gets a great view. With these conditions there can be more than one color change- Murky green to powder blue, and powder blue to dark blue. Sailfish can be seen along either change or between them in the powder.
Cobia are also being seen tailing along, mostly along the green to powder change. Sometimes they are hard to spot because they are the same approximate color as the Sargasso weed that tends to gather along the changes.
There have been a large number of bonito and black fin tuna seen along the color change also, but fishing for them is more frustrating than productive. They are headed west and seem to be on a mission with very few stopping to bite. It‘s still an amazing sight, but few are being caught for the time spent trying. Even live bait doesn’t seem to draw their interest.
Still seeing some small “early season” dolphin along the dark blue edge too. Most are in the 3-7 lb range but I’ve heard of a few larger ones being caught. It’s still early for dolphin, the really good dolphin fishing shouldn’t be until May, but these are a nice “time filler” between sailfish for the time being.
If the current stays the fish should stay. Hopefully the fading moon won’t pull the gulfstream offshore anytime soon.
Last edited by NorthernExposure; 03-23-11 at 12:00 PM.