Colder Temps Turns Up The Heat On Florida Keys Reefs

November 29th 2014 – While the northern states are getting acclimated to the idea that this may be a very long winter we are feeling it too and loving it.


Mutton Snappers love the cold water on the reef of the Florida Keys.

We got chilly here in the Florida Keys very soon this year like much of the states. Chilly for us is temps in the lower 60’s at night and low 70’s during the day. Our water temps out on the reef are bouncing between 72-78 degrees depending on where you might be. This means epic weather for some tasty reef fishing.

There are plenty of ballyhoo on the reef making for a huge food source for everyone. Yellowtail, mutton snappers, cero mackerel, kingfish and tuna. Every trip I have made to the reef lately has been a view of showering baits trying to avoid getting slammed by the many different predators looking for a snack.

Its easy to understand and see for your self when you are out there.. Look for the birds, frigates that are circling and diving. The frigates circle around till they see a movement of bait coming to the surface. The baits are forced to the surface by predators creating the “shower” then the birds swoop down looking for an airborne snack. The cero mackerel and the king mackerel slice through the bait like razor blades cutting them into bite sized pieces. They try to get the whole fish but much is missed. As the bite sized pieces drift down creating a chum effect the bottom fish get into the game. Up on top of the reef and right around the showers of bait we have been hammering the Yellowtail snappers up to 26″ and the mutton snappers up to 11 lbs. with the occasional smash strike from powerful groupers and fast running mackerels. ┬áThese blitzes and showers go on endlessly all day long almost as a celebration of the cooler weather.

We are expecting this great fishing to go on through the end of December providing the cooler weather prevails. There are many opportunities to get out there from all up and down the Florida Keys to fish the patch reefs and outer reefs. Just call your favorite fishing guide and set something up. Need some help call Island Genn she knows many of the fishing guides that work year round and will show you a great day on the water. 1-305 292 7212.

About 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.