February 8th 2016 – As usual the weather is in charge this week. Maybe more than usual. A series of cold front came through over the weekend offering wind and rain here in the Florida Keys and Key West. More to come with temps dipping into the low to mid 50s in South Florida and the Keys giving us the biggest chill so far this 15′ 16′ winter. Water temps are flexing with the chill offs and warming during the days.
Flats fishing is not really a thing in the super cold days here in the Florida Keys and Key West. That said. look for a warming trend next week and the South East winds will usher permit and barracudas on the flats in Key West and the Snook and reds should react very well in the upper keys for our shallow water fishing enthusiasts. This week look at our backcountry fishing during the cold.
Backcountry fishing in the upper Florida Keys Capt. Matt Bellinger reports Hogfish, porgies, mangroves and cero mackerel are the main staple. Some pompano have been caught using shrimp tipped jigs. Just outside the shallows they have been whacking the cobia on the shallow wrecks. Depth works best when its cold as the fish are looking for the deeper warmer waters. Down in Key West my guys here at Dream Catcher Charters have been doing very well on the trout, ladyfish, jacks, pompano and snappers. The barracudas are being lethargic getting used to the cold temps but that improves in the top of the day as the flats and shallows warm the upper water columns waking the fish up.
Deep sea fishing is always great in the winter here in the Florida Keys. A mixed bag up and down the keys can be expected with sailfish, blackfin tuna, wahoos and the occasional large dolphin with the warmer winds. Trolling or live baiting is the trick here to look for birds and surface activity near the humps and deep water wrecks.
All up and down the reef line the Florida Keys are holding some nice reef fishing with Yellowtails and mutton snapper. Grouper season is still closed in the Gulf and the Atlantic but that does not mean you won’t catch one and have to release it. In Key West look to the wrecks for some big cobia in between the cold fronts.
All that said.. Fishing is cold and can be windy here in the Florida Keys but we are still getting out and bending lots of rods. Looking to go fishing this Valentines week there are good slots of availability. Lots of folks chose the Backcountry fishing charters for dipping their toes in the Florida Keys fishing and bending rods. The meat hunters will do best on the reefs or wrecks but the winds will make you earn it at times this week. Deep sea is a sportsman’s possibility but be prepared for some decent sized winter swells.
We offer fishing charters all up and down the Florida Keys and Key West. Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and Key West out to the Marquesas.
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