Author Archives: CaptainBrad

January 2018

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January 15  |  Blog  |   CaptainBrad

This is the time of year when winter weary residents from the north take getaway vacations to warmer climates. For those with an interest in fishing, Key West is a great location to indulge this urge. Our fishing is close by with the result that little fishing time is wasted on long runs to distant fishing grounds. Even on 1/2 day trips we can have you catching a variety of hard fighting and often good eating species only a half hour from the dock. With so many Charter Fishing operators to choose from, unless you have a referral from a trusted fishing friend it can be hard to settle on the right boat. Here are some things to keep in mind. Don’t automatically choose the cheapest rate you can find. In general you get what you pay for, be suspecious of boats offering rates below the fleet average, one way or another these boats are cutting corners that won’t benefit your fishing experience. Secondly find out what size, make and model of boat you will be fishing on, bigger is not always better but the larger boats do ride better if the sea is choppy. Thirdly find out what sort of fishing the Captain specializes in, does this dovetail with your fishing interests? Ask pointed questions, does the boat use live bait, specifically, Ballyhoo, Pilchards, or Threadfin Herring. In the winter, Charter Boats that don’t routinely use the afore mentioned bait simply don’t catch as many fish as those that do. Avoid a Charter Boat during the winter season that only practices dead bait trolling. If the operator is unwilling to anchor and chum, use live bait, slow troll, put a kite up or do anything but dead bait troll you are probably not well served.
Aboard the SOUTHPAW you are riding on Key West’s finest designed Charter Boat. look at how clean and well organized our vessel is. That Tuna tower isn’t just for show, it helps us catch more fish. Look at our cockpit space- biggest in the fleet. live bait? you bet, every day a live well full. We are expert at all the tactics and techniques neccesary for successful winter fishing in Key West, just look at our catch reports. Don’t settle for less, try Southpaw Fishing.

Jan 14, 2018

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January 15  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

More cold and blustery weather this past week. Good thing the fish don’t seem to mind. Patch and Reef fishing remains good. Plenty of King fish scattered around, also beginning to catch a few Blackfin Tuna. Sailfishing remains slow.

Jan 2, 2018

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January 2  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

We’ve had relatively good fishing action during the Christmas week and beyond. Plenty of action on the patch reefs for Cero, Grey Snapper, Yellowtail and throwback Grouper. The deeper reef edge has yielded Jumbo sized Yellowtail and a good number of King Mackerel including a few over 30 lbs. Sailfish are relatively scarce, but we are getting in front of a few.

Dec 10, 2017

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December 10  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

After Surviving Hurricane Irma in September and a Boat yard trip in October, The SOUTHPAW resumed Charter fishing In early November. The last month has seen very good fishing for a whole variety of species, from late season Dolphin to early season Tuna and Wahoo. The patch reefs are also alive with fish.

July 29, 2017

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July 29  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

Mid summer in Key West can be a challenging time of year. Offshore the Dolphin fishing is less consistent than in previous months. Dolphin remain but they tend to be on average smaller fish, located further offshore. A minimum of a 3/4 day is required to have a fair chance for success. Fortunately there are other options for shorter trips or for those seeking fish other than Dolphin. The reef action for Snapper has been consistent and at times excellent for Grey Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper and Mutton Snapper. Dropping live baits on deep water wrecks is producing decent Amberjack action. Inshore trolling is producing action from Little Tunny, Cero and a few Wahoo.

June 2017

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June 19  |  Blog  |   CaptainBrad

A year ago we were experiencing one of the worst Dolphin fishing seasons in anyone’s memory. This year the Dolphin fishing is much improved with steady action over the last three weeks or more. We have not seen many of the classic east west weedlines which were a feature of Dolphin fishing in the past but there have been plenty of areas of scattered weed holding fish and plenty of birds to show us the way. The most important birds indicating the presence of Dolphin include Frigate birds, Noddy’s and Bridled Terns. The shearwaters which are also common typically indicate Skipjack Tuna. To maximize my clients chances for success, I spend all day in the Tuna Tower which gives me a superior observation post. Plenty of lithium batteries to power the stabilizing feature in my binnoculars allows me to find birds far on the horizon which would be invisible to the naked eye.

June 19 2017

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June 19  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

The last month has featured very steady and on some days excellent Dolphin fishing. While the Dolphin run was late to get started, it remains to be seen how long it will last. So far so good. Finding birds, weed and debris have been the key to a successful day. In addition to Dolphin we have been catching Skipjack Tuna, Blackfin Tuna and a few Sailfish.

May 22,2017

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May 23  |  Fishing Reports, Uncategorized  |   CaptainBrad

Dolphin season is in full swing with most of the action relatively inshore in water depths of 300 feet to 500 feet. A period of strong and sustained east winds beginning around the 15th seemed to turn the fish on. In addition to Dolphin, we are catching good sized Blackfin Tuna and the occasional Sailfish. Reef action for Snapper and Grouper has been good when we have had green water on the reef.

April 15, 2017

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April 15  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

Sail fishing has improved dramatically over the course of the last several weeks. A spring migration of Sailfish is typical in April so we are happy to see them here. Most of our Sails are being caught on live bait fished from kites. We are also catching Kingfish, Little Tunny and a few Blackfin Tuna off the kite. Amberjacks have moved in on the wrecks along with a few Cobia. On the reef, Yellowtail Snapper and Mutton Snapper are biting pretty well although Sharks have been a problem on a lot of spots. We are seeing a lot of tailing Hammerhead Sharks as is also typical this time of year.

March 17, 2017

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March 17  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

We have been working hard over the last several weeks to produce decent catches for our clients. As is always the case with fishing, some days are better than others. Staying flexable and being willing to employ lots of different tactics, all in the same day has been the key to success. I have often counted more than 20 different rods and reels that need to be put away at the end of the day because we’ve been trolling, kite fishing, and bottom fishing all on the same trip. Here are a few photos of quality fish from the last several weeks.