Summertime has arrived in the Key West area over the last ten days. Temperatures close to 90 degrees, light and variable breezes from the SoutheastÂ with isolated but intense thunder storms developing in the afternoon has become the normal weather pattern. Plenty of Dolphin remain in our offshore waters but the best of the season is now past and the quality of the fishing is more inconsistent. A few Sailfish continue to bite in depths from 120′ to 250′ just beyond the reef edge. Mixed in with the Sails have been plenty of Little Tunny, and the occasional full grown Blackfin Tuna. The reef edge is producing decent catches of Yellowtail and Mangrove Snapper along with a few Grouper.
Monthly Archives: June 2014
Dolphin fishing remains strong which is to be expected this time of year. We have been experiencing unusually strong Gulf Stream current over the last 10 days or so, with blue water pushed in against aÂ distinct color change just offshore of the reef. Many of our larger Dolphin have been caught in this relatively shallow water. In addition to quality Dolphin, there have been quite a few Sailfish bites along the color change as well. We had 3 Sail bites on a morning 1/2 day yesterday and 2 Sail bites the previous 3/4 day. We fished the Mutton Snapper spawn one night but the current was too strong, making it difficult to hold bottom. We caught 4 over 10 pounds and lost that many during the sunset bite.
During the month of June you can expect the Dolphin fishing action to continue unabated. Larger fish tend to become harder to find as the area fills with tremendous numbers of âschooliesâ. Debris as well as weed lines will be holding fish. A subtle reading of whatever birds you find will also give indications as to what size fish they are following. The surest clue is whether the birds are moving east or west. Schoolies are almost always moving to the east while a small group of large fish are almost always moving west- often at a very good clip. Donât be surprised if you stop on some small fish and have a larger fish crash the party. Dolphin are curious, cannibalistic and opportunistic, big fish are often drawn to the feeding frenzy of small fish. Have a designated rod ready to cast to take advantage of this scenario, 20lb spin with a short piece of 60lb-80lb leader is ideal.
With a good deal of calm weather June is also an ideal month to try a deep drop for daylight Swordfish. Depths from 1400â to 2000â outside the wall are where these fish are caught, right on the bottom. This fishing requires an outfit specifically rigged for dropping. The folks up at Cudjoe Sales can help you get set up if you are interested.
The reef fishing in June can be excellent, as long as the water is not too clear and there is current moving the chum. With a full moon during the middle of the month, Mutton Snapper will again form spawning aggregates. Yellowtail Snapper will continue to spawn this month, also look for Mangrove Snapper to begin their spawn which peaks with the July moon.
Lastly a reminder to boaters that June marks the official start of Hurricane season and or the rainy season. With a lot more moisture in the environment, itâs a good idea to check the local radar before heading out least you get caught in a squall.
Good luck and tight lines,
We are probably somewhere near the peak of the Dolphin season. Over the last week our area has been innundated with schools of 4 to 6 pound Dolphin. There are plenty of larger fish still around, it just takes patience and a bit of luck to hook the larger fish with so many smaller fish around. We’ve also been getting a few Sailfish bites on the Dolphin grounds.