Author Archives: CaptainBrad

Feb 7 2019

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February 7  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

For clients who want a lot of action, the last month has been terrific. King Mackerel and Little Tunny are everywhere and have provided constant rod bending action. The Snapper bite has been fair,  some days a decent bite other days a slow pick. Lots of large Bull Sharks around for those who want to tangle with them. Cero, Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo and a few Mahi also available. Sailfish remain scarce.

Jan 19, 2019

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January 20  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

Back to back cold fronts have brought local water temperatures down to the mid 70’s and with the cooler temps an influx of King Mackerel. We catch these hard fighting fish on light tackle, typically 15lb spinning outfits. We anchor and chum and then cast live baits and jigs. We also deploy a larger kite bait. The action is often fast and furious with continuous hook ups. The fish range in size from “snakes” of 5-7 pounds up to 25 pounds and more. In addition to the Kings we are catching Blackfin Tuna, Little Tunny, Cero and various Snapper species. Sailfish are currently scarce. A few Dolphin are caught on days with SE breezes.

Jan 1, 2019

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January 1  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

Overall the fishing has been very solid for the last several weeks. Dolphin, large Blackfin Tuna and Sailfish have dominated the action. We have also had success with Yellowtail Snapper on trips when we have anchored down on the reef. The wind has been an issue with lots of days featuring 15 to 20 knots or above. The harder it blows the better the fishing has been.

Dec 8, 2018

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December 8  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

Fishing over the last several weeks has produced a number of outstanding catches ranging from Dolphin and Tuna to Mutton Snapper and Yellowtail. On days with the wind direction out of the SE the Dolphin fishing has been pretty good even though we are well off season for this species. On days with N or NE wind we have done a combination of trolling and bottom fishing to produce results. Sailfish remain somewhat scarce, catching one every once in a while.

Nov 20, 2018

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November 20  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

We are still waiting on cooler weather to bring water temperatures down and get our winter fishing kick started. In the meantime there are Blackfin Tuna and a few Dolphin outside of the reef edge, Amberjack on the wrecks and Yellowtail, Cero, Yellow jacks and assorted Mackerel on the reef.

July 9, 2018

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July 9  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

After a disappointing start to the Dolphin season as noted in our last fishing report, the last several weeks has offered by far the most consistent Dolphin fishing of the entire season. As is always the case in fishing, no two days are ever the same and some days are better than others but we have been averaging 12 to 20 fish per trip. Most of these fish range in size from 7 to 12 pounds and most days include fish 15 to 20 pounds.


June 6th 2018

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June 6  |  Fishing Reports  |   CaptainBrad

We are now well into Dolphin season and the results have frankly been disappointing. Very few large fish have been caught, even during the mid May period when historically the bigger fish migrate through our area. The volume of schoolie fish, those between 4 and 8 pounds is also down. Not withstanding the tough fishing we have been able to produce decent catches by working really hard to track down birds, floating debris and scattered weed. One bright spot over the last month has been the quality SAilfishing which is late in the season for these fish. A dramatic color change has been in place outside the reef edge featuring green water on one side and blue water with strong east current on the other. Live baiting has produced most of the action. There have also been full sized Blackfin Tuna in the 20 to 30 pound range mixed in.

April 2018

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April 25  |  Blog  |   CaptainBrad

The month of April can often offer Key West’s best fishing of the year. The variety of fishing opportunities from Sailfish to Snapper is unmatched
by any other time of year. One reason for this is the seasonal overlap of species. Winter residents such as King Mackerel and Blackfin Tuna linger on
while spring and summer residents such as Dolphin are arriving in the area. Meanwhile warming water temperatures on the reef edge stimulate the Snapper bite.
Ultimately however, successful fishing on any given charter date requires that we take advantage of the specific conditions that exist on the day in question.
First, we are paying attention to wind direction and velocity, a north wind at 15 knots means something quite different than light and variable southeast. Secondly,
we are checking for the amount of current and it’s direction along the reef edge, combined with overall water clarity. Theses variables are in constant flux, dirty water and heavy current in one direction will often give way to very clean water with current in the opposite direction overnight. All of this effects the behavior of the fish we target and gives us a good idea of what to fish for and what tactics will be successful. We know from long experience that its not a good idea to “fight the conditions”, so for example if we have our hearts set on kite fishing for Sails but we find there is no wind and that the water in the targeted depth is dirty and full of scattered weed, kite fishing isn’t going to work out and we better go to plan B. We recommend you Fish for what’s biting and enjoy the day.

April 17, 2018

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April 17  |  Fishing Reports, Uncategorized  |   CaptainBrad

Many people believe that the month of April is the best fishing month of the year in Key West.
This is because no other month offers as much variety. All the winter species are still biting, while the spring migration
is adding to the abundance of Sailfish, Dolphin, Amberjack, Permit and many others. We have been Kite fishing with live bait
to produce Sailfish action, anchoring and chumming the reef for Snapper and making forays into the deep water for early season Dolphin.

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.

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