Early 2016 Winter Report


The fishing this New Year has been pretty consistent. We have had a few cold fronts already, which we have been needing since the water hadn’t yet cooled off. There is a nice variety of species out in the backcountry as well as the reefs. The times in between fronts seem to be the most fishy. Cold fronts will cause the winds to pick up pretty high, as well as drop the temperature. Depending on how strong the front is can depend on what the fishing will be like thereafter.

Key West Mangrove Snapper

Lately we have been getting into quite the variety in the backcountry. Sharks, jacks, mackerel, pompano, many types of snappers, grouper, sea trout, barracudas, porgies, cobia, and some other tropical species. We seem to catch a few varieties of fish on each time we go out, sometimes over 10 types. This makes for a fun day, just to be able to see all of what’s out there. Some of my anglers lately have been wanting food fish to bring back for lunch or to take home to cook for dinner. When we are targeting food fish in the backcountry, it is typical to engage mangrove (or gray) snappers. They are one of the most common species to find in the shallows of Key West. The larger and legal sized snappers will hang out near structure in the shallows. They like tall grass beds with holes, little wrecks, and patches of coral. You will also get the occasional grouper sitting on these areas too. The groupers are currently out of season right now but they are still fun to pull on.

The reef fishing has been pretty consistent too. I have personally been fishing mostly backcountry charters, but the many guides I see every day give me all the info. Porgies on hard bottom on the Gulf of Mexico side, mutton snappers, cobia, black fin tuna, African pompano, amberjack, yellowtail snappers, and kingfish have all been on the list of species targeted recently on the reef or deeper bottom fishing environments.

lemon shark key west

Regardless of fishing the backcountry or fishing on the reef, you’ll be sure to get into a nice variety of species this time of year.

Call 305-509-2201 to inquire about booking a fishing trip in Key West.