Happy New Year
Several hard cold fronts have helped really bring our winter time fishing into full swing here in the Lower Florida Keys. Hopefully, we’ll be able to settle into a semi-regular pattern of fronts moving through (bringing strong north winds), then settling down and opening a wide array of fishing for us.
In between cold fronts, our pelagic fishing should be excellent, with sailfish, blackfin tuna, king mackerel and the occasional wahoo keeping things exciting. Southerly winds between fronts could also bring some large, unseasonable dolphin into the picture as well.
If things get calm enough, there could be a chance to deep-drop for some of the largest broadbill swordfish of the year; during winter months, larger fish move into the Florida Straights to spawn thanks cooler water temperatures.
On the bottom, new grouper closures in effect will slow some fishermen down, but those interested in packing their coolers should have plenty of opportunity with mutton and yellowtail snapper, cobia, bar jack and a host of other species. This fishing is excellent on the reef as well as the shallow patch reefs, and gives us something to do even when the cool breezes start out of the north.
Once things settle, the Gulf of Mexico should offer some great fishing for king mackerel, cobia, mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snapper. All of these species are available to anglers with both light tackle and fly rod.
Flats fishermen can expect some great sight fishing for sharks and large barracuda, offering some exciting bites. In between fronts, when the sun shows and waters warm, expect bonefish and permit to sneak up onto the flats, making them vulnerable to crabs and shrimp cast on light spinning outfits. Fly fishermen can also get in on the action with streamers imitating their favorite foods.
Season is upon us! Give us a call and check out some of the fantastic deals we’ve got on package rates with our partner, the Doubletree Grand Key Resort — the most angler-friendly hotel in the Lower Keys.
I hope to get you out on the water!
Capt. Ted Lund
OverUnder Key West