Mid July 2017 Key West Fishing Report


The fishing this month has been great. Lots of variety around in the shallows as we are in the summertime swing of things. The fishing up on top of the flats has been good as well as in the many channels that run through them. The mornings have definitely been the better parts of the day, as the water heats up in the afternoons.

Starting off our days, we typically look for some early morning tarpon. Though tarpon aren’t in their prime anymore, we still take a look at a few spots where they tend to pop up throughout the summer. They may be in some small numbers early in the morning so it’s always a bonus to get into them this time of year.

Snappers have been in decent numbers considering most of them are out on the reefs spawning right now. They aren’t as plentiful as they are in the fall and winter months, but there are definitely enough of them around to bring a few back for dinner. Mixed in with these snappers we are also finding juvenile groupers, which are a blast on light tackle.


On top of the flats there has been a variety of species that are common to get into in the summer months. Permit, bonefish, barracudas, and sharks. The permit are either going to be up on the flats (we go after them by sight fishing only) or on the edges of shallow channels. Permit like to feed on live crabs, so that’s what we throw at them. They sometimes don’t accept our offerings but they are super cool to watch up on the flats.

Bonefish, another sight fishing species, are also up on the flats in areas similar to the permit. They haven’t been in huge numbers, maybe just a few fish to a pod. They have been responsive to anything that smells or looks like shrimp.


Barracudas are also on the flats yet can be found in almost any depth of water. The way we have been fishing for them has been on shallow channel edges or on top of the flats. The best way to get a barracudas attention lately has been with any type of shiny lure or sometimes a live pinfish. Sharks have been in good numbers too. Primarily black tip and lemon sharks are what we see this time of year, as well as bonnet head sharks that are a little smaller and live on the flats.

Fishing Tip:

A little tip for summer time fishing is to get out and get back before the heat! I’m not talking about us getting hot, I’m talking about the FISH getting hot. The water temperatures in the shallows don’t take too long to heat up once that sun is all the way up. This will cause fish to move around a little slower and sometimes move out into deeper water.



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