Nice fish off Key West, with Capt. Wahoo seem to appear in waves for several days, then disappear for a week or more. 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. Come with me as I take you on some of my kayak fishing trips. Seriously, wahoo can be extremely dangerous, if you’re anywhere near their razor-sharp teeth. 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. 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. 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. Make a mid-winter warm-weather escape – head south for some Key West fishing in December. Both these methods require special equipment and heavy tackle because the baits need to be moving fast. Dropping a jig down below a large weed patch or floating debris provides a good opportunity for a summer wahoo. while they are chumming up these big mounds of coral and structure, cobia seem to make their way into the chum slick. Fishing Key West is your best most experienced resource for flats, deep sea, reef and backcountry fishing charters since 1994. Key West Fish & Chips, 633 Duval St., is an ideal combination of food truck and traditional restaurant with an outdoor courtyard and table service. Seven Fish restaurant in Key West Florida. In Florida, wahoo are probably ranked just below marlin on anglers’ “what I would love to catch offshore” list. Key West’s flats and mangroves are full of fly fishing favorites like Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit. Some more options wahoo will find sufficient. The first run was awesome and the colors of the fish in the water at the end of the fight were brilliant. You’d just have to hit that perfect day and be ready when the opportunity strikes. The bite’s best at night, but you can catch … Blue runners also work, but the speedos are wahoo candy. 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. 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. We offer fresh local seafood, as well as options from around the world. Key West is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world and the largest in North America. Inshore Fish Species. At times wahoo are so thick off Key West that bluewater divers can actually spear them, but the trick is always to find them. 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. These are the sight fishing species we chase on the flats. We had a few cut-offs, caught some barracuda, but eventually started catching a few blackfin tuna in the 5-pound range. 4 Featured Trips. Known as the Florida Straits, this reef extends south from Miami and west past Key West for 170 miles. Sharp eyes and sharp teeth. It also helps if you have calm waters—a brisk wind seems to put them down. Almaco Jacks are strong fighters and good to eat, so they are always a welcome catch among Key West sport fishermen. Captain Chris Trosset, a smoker, and his pup. These are the best places for budget-friendly fishing charters & tours in Key West: Laid Back Key West; Fun In The Sun Key West; Cowboy Cowgirl Sportfishing Charters; Spear It Charters; Fishy Business Charters; See more budget-friendly fishing charters & tours in Key West on Tripadvisor Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week. Summer is a great time for flats fishing here in Key West. As the temperatures drop up north and the baitfish migrate south, the numbers of wahoo off southern Florida increase dramatically. Red Fish Blue Fish is a hidden gem tucked away next to Key West's famous Mallory Square. All of these fish are available in the calm clear water that the flats have to offer. Text 1-786-847-3808 Voice 1 … The wahoo were a different story. With all their thrashing around on the deck, they can inflict some serious wounds if those jaws ever hit flesh. No. In just under an hour, travelers can reach Key West’s coral reef by boat located seven miles offshore. 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 … 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. From humble beginnings over 20 years ago, Seven Fish has earned its place as a Key West … Seller of Travel Ref. 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. Key West and the lower Keys are surrounded by some of the best flats in the world. 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. 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. ST39306. Every December I get calls from Key West captains with reports of amazing wahoo catches. Bonito belly strip with skirt is a charterboat classic that catches a lot of wahoo. 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. 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. Hunter trolls at 8 mph and never stops the boat even when a fish is hooked. Local freedivers simply drift the edge of the reef, hoping to swim into a school. As expected, the trick is finding the speedos. Key West Fishing Report for Fishing in Key West and the lower keys! 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. 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. 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. Our Key West party boat fishing charter is the longest running deep sea fishing party boat in Key West, Florida. Wahoo also follow weedlines and flotsam just like mahi, but they stay deep. Many Key West fishing charters go out to what’s called the “patch reefs” to catch an assortment of snappers, groupers, and porgies. Key West Fish & Chips is located on Duval Street in Key West, Florida. Types of Key West Fishing No other location on the planet offers as many options for sport fishing. I’d really never used planers before and learned a lot that day. Good. 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. However, photographing wahoo is not all that simple. FS, Published Florida Sportsman Magazine December/January 2021, © 2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. Live music on weekends. The plan is usually to drag two of the deep diving plugs along with a skirt on the surface. Grab a drink with us on your way to the Sunset Celebration, and then stop in for dinner on your walk back to Duval! 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. Of the two we boated, both had blackfin tuna in their stomachs. Food. Light tackle spin fishing or fly fishing your choice. Winter brings an excellent run of wahoo to Florida’s southernmost fishing grounds. Wahoo really love bonito chunks and as soon as one appeared with a hook in it, they were in business. 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. Find the best Fishing on Yelp: search reviews of 166 Key West businesses by price, type, or location. We will troll some of these plugs on almost all of our winter trips, just to see what happens. It never hurts to try this technique. 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. This trip is the true Key West experience. Here’s how to score. 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. 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. Nothing like a 50-pound wahoo to brighten up your summer day. Almaco Jack. A Key West offshore fishing experience is one you'll remember for the rest of your life. Most crews troll bonito strips on a long (to 100’) leader behind a planer like the one shown above. What was most impressive was that this was in early September. This is the fishing trip that put Key West on the map! Hunter uses #6 and #8 planers and trolls a bonito strip behind a sea witch with 9/0 hooks. They do in fact live up in the mangroves, as well as grass ledges, channels, and around structure in the shallows. 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. Fun in the Sun offers fishing tours and boat charters and are located in Key West Harbor. 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. From the blue waters offshore to the natural reef and abundant shipwrecks in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, … There’s no telling when you will run into a wahoo. 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. Most of the Key West charter boats use downriggers while others use planers. 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. 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). Speedos and runners, shown here, are prime wahoo baits. Remember to check out our Key West fishing Seasons guide to see what the fish are doing while you are here in Key West. Robert “RT” Trosset standing far right. Dream Catcher Charters, is another popular tour company with competitive prices and … This lit up wahoo couldn’t resist a lipped-diver. At times wahoo are so thick off Key West that bluewater divers can actually spear them. 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. (Priced by the pound) 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. Call us 305-292-7212. But the best place in Florida to target numbers is most definitely Key West! ABOUT US | CONTACT. Summertime Backcountry Fishing. It pays to be ultra-careful with them… even the small ones. 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. For some reason the wahoo will quickly respond to chunks even if there is a bunch of live pilchards in the water. 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. Book Your Trip We have great flats fishing year round the species vary from time to time. 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. We will even cook your own fresh catch fish upon request! 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. Simple. 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. 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! I rode along with Ledbetter last September after he reported catching wahoo when they weren’t supposed to be there. State License Fla. The following week will have a slight breeze out of the north and northeast. This can be done on light tackle and is a lot more sporting than the heavy rods needed for the planers and downriggers. Yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, grouper and more.4,6 and 8 hour trips are available daily.. 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. A variety of diving plugs and high-speed lures will take wahoo. 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. They are home to gamefish like the permit, bonefish, tarpon as well as many others like barracudas, sharks and jacks. I’ll never forget it. The food truck is the kitchen and giant umbrellas keep … Gaffs come out quickly and the wahoo is promptly dumped on the deck from which location it tries to kill everyone on board. Speeds of 8 to as much as 18 mph will do the trick, depending on the lure and the day. test Key West Web Design | Things To Do In Key West | Things To Do In Key West They can be trolled at high speeds, dive to almost 40 feet and can catch most anything that swims. Most of the wahoo plugs are huge and are used with heavy tackle and braided wire leaders. 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. Call me 24/7 305-393-0566. Key West fishing charters make the most of this, tailoring trips for anglers of any age or experience level. RT prefers to use lighter tackle, so his favorites are the Mag Bay Desperado and the purple Rapala X-Rap Magnum 40. Both had blackfin tuna in their stomachs. My friend Hunter Ledbetter links wahoo to the schools of small blackfins that appear off Key West in early fall. You’ll need wire leader, but not too heavy. Patrick had been using bonito strips for bait, so he immediately began throwing chunks of bonito to the circling wahoo. Today, wahoo are as unpredictable as ever. 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. “Cowbell” style high-speed lure took this winter wahoo off Key West. 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. Most captains believe the best bites are four days before or after the full and new moons. Captain Patrick Cline and his freediving buddies speared seven one day. Flats Fishing Species. I’ve seen wahoo come right up behind the boat and gobble up chunk after chunk. Join us for our fresh, local seafood and friendly service in a relaxed island atmosphere. © 2004-2020 Fish Key West, all rights reserved. But by the end of the week the weather will start to clear up. 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. Robert “RT” Trosset standing far right. Wahoo can be extremely dangerous, if you’re anywhere near their razor-sharp teeth. Well, the southernmost tip of the US is overflowing with Tarpon, Permit, and Bonefish – the holy grail of Key West inshore fishing. It probably followed up the strips on the deep rig, but suddenly there it was. The best way to cover the most water is high-speed trolling. Hello , my name is Steve. From Key West offshore fishing – trolling the open Atlantic for big game like Blue Marlin, Mahi … The waters off the Florida Keys are teeming with visually stunning marine life, and the crew of Gulfstream knows how to catch … 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. 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. What happens i’d really never used planers before and learned a lot that day drift edge! 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