The fishing has been pretty tough of late, with all the boats complaining about a lack of action. Sailfish remain scarce, offshore trolling has been unproductive and there are less Tuna around then in previous weeks. Our strategy has been to anchor down along the most productive reef areas, chum heavy, and draw the fish to us. As the pictures below illustrate, (many of them 1/2 day results) it has resulted in a mixed bag of species and provided decent action during a time of slow fishing.
Monthly Archives: February 2013
Typical winter weather in Key West features cold fronts packing strong North and Northeast wind followed by a couple days of lighter breezes before the next front arrives. If high pressure settles north of us,we also get brisk Southeast winds which makes for sloppy conditions as the sea is building from the open ocean. Fortunately we enjoy relatively short runs to the fishing grounds and the SOUTHPAW is very stable, so we haven’t lost many days to weather. King Mackerel, Yellowtail Snapper, Little Tunny, Amberjack with the occasional Tuna comprise the bulk of our catch. We are producing a lot of light tackle action, although some of the “glamour” fish such as Sailfish remain scarce.Â Pictured above is an estimated 375 pound Lemon Shark just prior to release.
Windy weather has been a big issue over the course of the last ten days or so. Our heavy wind kites have been getting a workout. We have lost a number of trips when it was simply too rough to be comfortable. Here in Key West, wind direction as much as velocity plays a key role in how large the sea will be. If the wind direction is out of the north even with high velocity it is generally fishable because the natural lay of the Keys themselves and the outlaying reefs creates a lee and blocks the formation of large waves. Wind directions with any degree of south in them on the other hand blow in from the open ocean and create larger wave heights. Consequently, 15 knots out of the South East is rougher than 25 knots out of the North or North East. One thing we know for certain is that fish tend to bite more aggressively when there is a chop on the water. There are plenty of King Mackerel, Blackfin Tuna, Mutton Snapper, Black Grouper, Amberjack, Yellowtail, and Cero biting. Also lots of aggresive shark species. “Action” fishing remains strong, Sailfishing continues to be slow with only the occasional Sail hooked.