This lit up wahoo couldn’t resist a lipped-diver. The high-speed planer rigs require pretty stout drags, so the smaller fish simply tripped Hunter’s planer and never really took out any line. Some days they are everywhere and other days, you can’t rent one. With all their thrashing around on the deck, they can inflict some serious wounds if those jaws ever hit flesh. Wahoo tend to stay deep so getting down to their level is very important. Speeds of 8 to as much as 18 mph will do the trick, depending on the lure and the day. Wahoo can be extremely dangerous, if you’re anywhere near their razor-sharp teeth. Located right between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, you can head out of the dock in any direction and you’re sure to hook into massive big game fish—and lots of them. There’s no telling when you will run into a wahoo. It also helps if you have calm waters—a brisk wind seems to put them down. I’d really never used planers before and learned a lot that day. Book Your Trip Wahoo can be caught off Key West year-round, but the best time to chase them here is November through February when schools move in near the reefs. Simple. Welcome to my channel. Key West Fish & Chips, 633 Duval St., is an ideal combination of food truck and traditional restaurant with an outdoor courtyard and table service. Nothing like a 50-pound wahoo to brighten up your summer day. It’s rarely windy and seas are mostly calm, so it is easy to get out for some of the best fishing of the year as the Sailfish come in and action on the reef picks up with the bait … Fishing Key West is your best most experienced resource for flats, deep sea, reef and backcountry fishing charters since 1994. We’ve seen kingfish, bonito, tuna, jacks, mahi, sailfish and even wahoo suddenly appear in the chum, so we always have a rod rigged with a wire leader and some chunks ready to go. Food. At this stage of my life I’m more interested in photographing fish than I am in catching them, so I’m eager to hop on a boat on short notice while promising to never pick up a rod. FS, Published Florida Sportsman Magazine December/January 2021, © 2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. At times wahoo are so thick off Key West that bluewater divers can actually spear them, but the trick is always to find them. Both these methods require special equipment and heavy tackle because the baits need to be moving fast. Here’s how to score. I caught my first and only wahoo on fly in Bermuda while chunking and throwing a fly that was just a big ball of dark red fur… it looked just like a chunk of bonito. No. Many Key West fishing charters go out to what’s called the “patch reefs” to catch an assortment of snappers, groupers, and porgies. We fish anywhere from form 1 mile out for giant Tarpon to 90 miles out past the Dry Tortugas for a variety of exotic species. Both had blackfin tuna in their stomachs. Fishing charters are another way to experience world class Key West fishing, but the price can run a bit higher, starting at about $500 for a half day trip. 4 Featured Trips. Key West Flats Fishing makes for unforgettable angling adventure as you hunt trophy game fish and Sharks in the crystal-clear waters of the Keys Backcountry. test Key West Web Design | Things To Do In Key West | Things To Do In Key West I rode along with Ledbetter last September after he reported catching wahoo when they weren’t supposed to be there. Wahoo are at the very top of everyone’s highlight list for fly fishing and there’s no reason that they can’t be caught in Key West on a fly. It never hurts to try this technique. Speedos and runners, shown here, are prime wahoo baits. Wahoo like this frequently respond to chunk baits. I seem to get these reports only at times when I’m stuck doing something and can’t get down there the next morning. You’ll need wire leader, but not too heavy. If we’re moving from one spot to another, it never hurts to try to dredge up a wahoo. We will troll some of these plugs on almost all of our winter trips, just to see what happens. Cobia are a very scent driven fish, and they will swim a long way if they smell the … It pays to be ultra-careful with them… even the small ones. Call me 24/7 305-393-0566. In Florida, wahoo are probably ranked just below marlin on anglers’ “what I would love to catch offshore” list. There are also a number of skirt lures designed specifically for wahoo, most of which are long and thin or produce a lot of bubbles. Gaffs come out quickly and the wahoo is promptly dumped on the deck from which location it tries to kill everyone on board. Winter brings an excellent run of wahoo to Florida’s southernmost fishing grounds. We had a few cut-offs, caught some barracuda, but eventually started catching a few blackfin tuna in the 5-pound range. Most of the wahoo plugs are huge and are used with heavy tackle and braided wire leaders. RT Trosset has a collection of chunk flies that he uses in Bermuda and he is itching to catch a wahoo on fly in Key West. Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week. I’ll never forget it. Hunter uses #6 and #8 planers and trolls a bonito strip behind a sea witch with 9/0 hooks. Hello , my name is Steve. Tucked away in Safe Harbor, Stock Island, the Hogfish Bar and Grill is a true “locals” spot that avoids the pretension and hype of more touristy areas.The freshest seafood straight from the boats to your plate... Panoranic waterfront views and outdoor dining, fresh local seafood. In just under an hour, travelers can reach Key West’s coral reef by boat located seven miles offshore. If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, the results can be spectacular with catches ranging from 15 to over 70 pounds. I’ve seen wahoo come right up behind the boat and gobble up chunk after chunk. Tackle is heavy and he keeps the boat moving so the angler won’t be fighting the planer while the wahoo swims around on a semi-slack line. This was what Hunter was looking for, because the wahoo he’d been catching had blackfin tuna in their stomachs, so we stayed in that specific area. He’s also found that heavy mono gets a lot more strikes than wire, but has to admit that he gets cut off a lot. Wahoo also follow weedlines and flotsam just like mahi, but they stay deep. Summer is a great time for flats fishing here in Key West. Dropping a jig down below a large weed patch or floating debris provides a good opportunity for a summer wahoo. These are all immediate contact hook sets, so outriggers are ineffective and any more than three lines means chaos and tangles when a fish hits. They’ll report spotting schools of over a hundred, but then days when they never see any. White Street Pier: Key West’s fishing pier (officially Edward B. Knight Pier) is a tried-and-true place to find Tarpon, Jacks, Snapper, Snook, and even Redfish. Imagine Sailfish, Dolphin, Black fin Tuna, Wahoo, Kingfish, Grouper, Yellowtail & Mutton Snapper, Cobia, Amberjacks, Goliath Grouper and many more outstanding species waiting to battle with you! On my last wahoo trip with RT, we couldn’t find any speedos so we went to plan B, which is trolling deep-diving plugs. Reef Fishing Is Great In The Summer Fish the reefs just off Key West with us on board our state of the art 36' Yellowfin center console. BLOG; RATES; VIDEO CLIPS; PHOTOS; GUESTBOOK; LINKS; FAQs; Custom Charters; Shark Fishing; Blue Water Fishing … For some reason the wahoo will quickly respond to chunks even if there is a bunch of live pilchards in the water. Barely a stone’s throw from shore, the shallow waters play home to plenty of fish feed, such as shrimp and crab, making it a hotspot for the larger fish to prey. Bonito belly strip with skirt is a charterboat classic that catches a lot of wahoo. Text 1-786-847-3808 Voice 1 … Charter fishing the Key West and Florida Keys on half or full day charters; Shark Fishing; Bottom Fishing; Dry Tortugas; Night Fishing; Reef Fishing; Blue Water Fishing. Some more options wahoo will find sufficient. Join us for our fresh, local seafood and friendly service in a relaxed island atmosphere. Key West is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world and the largest in North America. Seller of Travel Ref. Almaco Jack. Blue runners also work, but the speedos are wahoo candy. Make a mid-winter warm-weather escape – head south for some Key West fishing in December. Captain Chris Trosset caught six one day between 40 and 70 pounds. RT rigs them on 58-pound wire with a hook in the nose and in the tail and either drifts or bump trolls them in 90 to 150 feet of water, just off the reef’s edge. Or combine holiday festivities with Key West deep sea fishing fun as the island lights up for a partying Christmas and New Year’s season. The light tackle captains in Key West usually start their days by cast netting 50 pounds of live pilchards and housing them in massive livewells. This trip is the true Key West experience. We offer fresh local seafood, as well as options from around the world. RT prefers to use lighter tackle, so his favorites are the Mag Bay Desperado and the purple Rapala X-Rap Magnum 40. Seriously, wahoo can be extremely dangerous, if you’re anywhere near their razor-sharp teeth. Best Fish & Chips in Key West, Florida Keys: Find 57,865 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of THE BEST Fish & Chips and search by price, location, and more. All of these fish are available in the calm clear water that the flats have to offer. All Rights Reserved, Entering your valid email address signifies you wish to receive our newsletter and have read the, Florida Sportsman Launches Action Spotter Podcast. The food truck is the kitchen and giant umbrellas keep … Most of the Key West charter boats use downriggers while others use planers. Call us 305-292-7212. Captain RT Trosset’s favorite live bait for wahoo is a “speedo”—actually a red tailed scad—which he catches by chumming in open water. Fall is a lovely time in Key West and Key West fishing in November is perfect for those who want to spend all day on the water without fighting the heat. Key West and the lower Keys are surrounded by some of the best flats in the world. But by the end of the week the weather will start to clear up. What was most impressive was that this was in early September. Types of Key West Fishing No other location on the planet offers as many options for sport fishing. Anglers troll with downriggers and planers, drift live baits, or chum with live pilchards or bonito chunks. A variety of diving plugs and high-speed lures will take wahoo. Grab a drink with us on your way to the Sunset Celebration, and then stop in for dinner on your walk back to Duval! Good. He’s convinced that if you can find the tuna, there will be wahoo following them. Reserve a table at Seven Fish, Key West on Tripadvisor: See 2,240 unbiased reviews of Seven Fish, rated 4.5 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #54 of 358 restaurants in Key West. This can be done on light tackle and is a lot more sporting than the heavy rods needed for the planers and downriggers. Captain Patrick Cline and his freediving buddies speared seven one day. Yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, grouper and more.4,6 and 8 hour trips are available daily.. Red Fish Blue Fish is a hidden gem tucked away next to Key West's famous Mallory Square. Hunter trolls at 8 mph and never stops the boat even when a fish is hooked. At times wahoo are so thick off Key West that bluewater divers can actually spear them. From Key West offshore fishing – trolling the open Atlantic for big game like Blue Marlin, Mahi … Captain Chris Trosset, a smoker, and his pup. Nice fish off Key West, with Capt. A short section of wire is always a good plan, but it can’t be too light or too long… those plugs are expensive so using straight mono has its downside. The first run was awesome and the colors of the fish in the water at the end of the fight were brilliant. Sharp eyes and sharp teeth. Known as the Florida Straits, this reef extends south from Miami and west past Key West for 170 miles. Almaco Jacks are strong fighters and good to eat, so they are always a welcome catch among Key West sport fishermen. RT usually checks with the commercial yellowtail fishermen to find the most active spots, but even that scheme isn’t foolproof. Read More, Our Key West light tackle fishing charter provides you unforgettable memories while fishing for the other species of sport fish and flats.... Read More. My friend Hunter Ledbetter links wahoo to the schools of small blackfins that appear off Key West in early fall. Several times the run only lasted seconds before we were cut off, but by the end of the day we had boated two nice wahoo in the 30-pound range. ABOUT US | CONTACT. Key West Fishing Report for Fishing in Key West and the lower keys! Key West fishing charters make the most of this, tailoring trips for anglers of any age or experience level. Key West Fish & Chips is located on Duval Street in Key West, Florida. Fish Key West Florida utilizes a variety of different methods of fishing, depending on the time of year, the sea conditions, water and air temperature, currents and other factors. Fish Key West Florida utilizes a variety of different methods of fishing, depending on the time of year, the sea conditions, water and air temperature, currents and other factors. But the best place in Florida to target numbers is most definitely Key West! Flats Fishing Species. We fish anywhere from form 1 mile out for giant Tarpon to 90 miles out past the Dry Tortugas for a variety of exotic species. The best way to cover the most water is high-speed trolling. The great wahoo fishing is always hit or miss event, but targeting them in the winter is pretty reliable around either a full or new moon. Of the two we boated, both had blackfin tuna in their stomachs. (Priced by the pound) Most crews troll bonito strips on a long (to 100’) leader behind a planer like the one shown above. A Key West offshore fishing experience is one you'll remember for the rest of your life. Most captains believe the best bites are four days before or after the full and new moons. In certain places and seasons, the odds of catching one increase. If you hit a day when wahoo are cruising the edge of the reef, chumming with a combination of live pilchards and bonito chunks will certainly bring them into fly rod range. I caught my first wahoo off Key West trolling for mahi in the summer of 1971, when I was a complete novice. Anglers can chose to fish the flats u to 2 persons on our flats fishing skiff or use a bay boat for up to 4 persons to challenge themselves in the shallows. Light tackle spin fishing or fly fishing your choice. Remember to check out our Key West fishing Seasons guide to see what the fish are doing while you are here in Key West. Find the best Fishing on Yelp: search reviews of 166 Key West businesses by price, type, or location. However, photographing wahoo is not all that simple. Seven Fish restaurant in Key West Florida. Dream Catcher Charters, is another popular tour company with competitive prices and … From humble beginnings over 20 years ago, Seven Fish has earned its place as a Key West … The following week will have a slight breeze out of the north and northeast. The wahoo were a different story. Today, wahoo are as unpredictable as ever. ST39306. At Fish Key West, you can browse through an extensive collection of Key West Sport Fishing Information, learn about Key West waters and the legendary Key West fishing action, then conveniently book Key West charter fishing trips online. The plan is to anchor up at the end of the bar (an elongated, isolated section of the outer reef southwest of Key West) or on a wreck and live chum the pilchards for blackfin tuna and anything else that might swim by their floating buffet. We have great flats fishing year round the species vary from time to time. Our Key West party boat fishing charter is the longest running deep sea fishing party boat in Key West, Florida. As the years passed, I came to a greater appreciation of just what a great catch a wahoo of any size is. Wahoo are at the very top of everyone’s highlight list for fly fishing and there’s no reason that they can’t be caught in Key West on a fly. When a wahoo hit, there was no question that it was a wahoo… the drag screamed. The shark zeroing in on the baits is likely a silky shark. Robert “RT” Trosset standing far right. Key West’s flats and mangroves are full of fly fishing favorites like Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit. First of all, this is a prized catch and no one wants to keep it in the water while I snap some photos. “Cowbell” style high-speed lure took this winter wahoo off Key West. Local freedivers simply drift the edge of the reef, hoping to swim into a school. Robert “RT” Trosset standing far right. They are home to gamefish like the permit, bonefish, tarpon as well as many others like barracudas, sharks and jacks. The plan is usually to drag two of the deep diving plugs along with a skirt on the surface. A globally distributed species favoring deep, warm ocean waters, wahoo are caught up and down the Florida coast. We’ve racked up the local knowledge to make this fishing experience one you can’t forget! It probably followed up the strips on the deep rig, but suddenly there it was. Wahoo really love bonito chunks and as soon as one appeared with a hook in it, they were in business. Wet your toes on a half day trip or stay out longer and target all three for an Inshore Grand Slam! Well, the southernmost tip of the US is overflowing with Tarpon, Permit, and Bonefish – the holy grail of Key West inshore fishing. Mangrove Snapper Mangrove snappers (other names: gray snapper, mangos, grovers) are probably one of the most prevalent Key West fish species in the backcountry waters. while they are chumming up these big mounds of coral and structure, cobia seem to make their way into the chum slick. The Almaco Jack is a member of the Jack family Carangidae, which … The wahoo don’t seem to have a problem coming to the surface for a live speedo, but that might have a lot to do with the cooler water temps in the winter and the abundance of baitfish. Inshore Fish Species. Summertime Backcountry Fishing. This is the fishing trip that put Key West on the map! Patrick had been using bonito strips for bait, so he immediately began throwing chunks of bonito to the circling wahoo. There are a number of specialized wahoo plugs made by Mag Bay lures, Yo-Zuri and Nomad which are designed for high-speed deep trolling. Every December I get calls from Key West captains with reports of amazing wahoo catches. Live music on weekends. The bite’s best at night, but you can catch … From the blue waters offshore to the natural reef and abundant shipwrecks in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, … You expect action and we provide it for you! The waters off the Florida Keys are teeming with visually stunning marine life, and the crew of Gulfstream knows how to catch … They do in fact live up in the mangroves, as well as grass ledges, channels, and around structure in the shallows. We will even cook your own fresh catch fish upon request! Wahoo seem to appear in waves for several days, then disappear for a week or more. Come with me as I take you on some of my kayak fishing trips. As expected, the trick is finding the speedos. We ran south from Boca Chica channel and began trolling in 300 feet of water. These are the sight fishing species we chase on the flats. Captain Patrick Cline, another Key West expert, was deep dropping for tilefish in 800-plus feet of water one day when a wahoo simply appeared behind the boat. Even the locals thought it was a big deal. You’d just have to hit that perfect day and be ready when the opportunity strikes. Nice fish off Key West, with Capt. State License Fla. As the temperatures drop up north and the baitfish migrate south, the numbers of wahoo off southern Florida increase dramatically. Key West Split Fishing Charters | #1 Service in FL Keys, Key West Party Boat Fishing Charter (Max 65 Guests), Fish Key West Premium Party Head Boat Fishing Experience (Max 10 Guests), Key West Private Inshore Light Tackle Fishing Charter (up to 14 passengers). Fun in the Sun offers fishing tours and boat charters and are located in Key West Harbor. In Key West, Florida after he reported catching wahoo when they weren’t supposed to be ultra-careful with them… the! 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