Key West Has Great Reef Fishing

May 12th 2018 – Hit or miss on the winds and weather here in the Florida Key but the consistency has been our amazing Key West reef fishing bite. The late winter patterns have afforded us some interesting weather options even with Northerly winds, but that has not hurt our reef fishing at all.

Reef Fishing for Snapper and Grouper

Red Grouper
Red Grouper caught reef fishing Key West with Capt. Steven Lamp at Dream Catcher Charters

Its no secret that Key West has amazing snapper and grouper fishery. With countless stories of anglers running for hours out to the Dry Tortugas to get on some nice fish. Not the case this past week. With the opening of Atlantic grouper fishing season we have had the call to get out there and whack em. Fun fact.. More fishing time due to less run time. We have gotten on some really good grouper and snapper fishing within just 20 miles of Key West.

Mostly red grouper are being caught on the patch reefs using our jigs and live baits. Some speed jig action is also been really good for black grouper to hit the faster baits however this is a little more work and requires more patience.

Check Out Island Genn’s Fried Grouper Recipe

The Yellowtail snapper bite is ON FIRE! We have been using artificial to catch these larger yellowtail snappers making a great box of fish. As we are targeting the larger yellowtail snappers we are also getting into some really good mutton snappers on the reef as well to compliment a nice colorful box arraignment.

Check Out My Yellowtail Snapper on artificial video. 

To target the mutton snappers in the shallows is a little bit of a trade secret but I assure you, its a blast when one of those crazy clowns hit. You can always tell a mutton snapper bite over the yellowtail snapper as to how they are crazy with their path. Back and forth and trying to dig for bottom. Gotta keep on these dudes as they are super strong and can rock you up in a moments notice. Notice I said shallower waters? I specifically will not fish the mutton snapper spawn out on the deeper reef.

Check Out My Mutton Snapper In The Shallows Video. 

The deeper spots we fish are covered up in American red snappers. Unfortunately we are not allowed to keep these fish in the South Atlantic so when we are fishing in the 200+ ft range we are potentially killing many of them on the release while we are trying to catch other species such as Scamp grouper or gag groupers. Some of our wrecks are holding some nice amberjacks though and well worth the stop if someone wants to pull on a donkey..

Reef Fishing

We run Key West reef fishing charters daily on board our 36′ Yellowfin center console. Powered by 3 Mercury 350 Verados this boat gets you to the fishing grounds fast safe and comfortable. I always recommend at least a 6 hour fishing charter to maximize the fishing time that you will have with us. The 6 hours allows us to get a little farther in search of some better fish.

Feel free to give us a call. We will tell you all about our Key West reef fishing charters

Call Us.. 1-305-292-7212
Text Us..
1-786-847-3808

About the author: Capt. Steven Lamp

Veteran Key West Fishing guide Capt. Steven Lamp has been fishing the waters of the Florida Keys professionally since 1993. Specializing in Flats, Backcountry, Fly Fishing, Wrecks, Reef and Offshore fishing in Key West, Florida. Capt. Steven is also the founder and director of Dream Catcher Charters located in Key West, Florida.

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