Hello to everyone and welcome back to the All Water Charters fishing report. I have a had a few chances to get out and check whats going on off the waters near Key West and the Lower Keys. I got out on the water RIGHT after they allowed us back into the Keys, as well as a handful of times since. The conditions have gotten extremely better than when I originally arrived back. The debris is being handled, the water is clearing up, and the fish are getting back to their normal habitats.
I had the pleasure of going out with some friends of mine who also charter out of Key West – Capt. Chris Cahill of Knotty Game Charters as well as Capt. Jamie Connell of Flying Fish Charters. We checked out some spots and areas we fish quite a bit and found some things that will be helpful in answering everyone’s question about how the fishing was, post category 4 hurricane.
We checked some shallow channels where the water was beautiful and the fish were hungry. Mangrove snappers, sharks, jacks, barracudas all tracked down artificial lures like they were starving. It was great. There are though some areas near Key West that are still pretty murky due to the depth, the bottom features, and flow/lack of flow. These areas most likely have fish in them as well but we didn’t want to experiment because that’s where most of the debris was. We stayed in these more beautiful open areas where it looked clean and pristine, just how we left it.
Next we checked out some shallow flats and most of them looked similar to how we saw them pre-storm. Nice vast areas of seagrass and sand bars. Saw some big barracudas and a few bonefish. From there we trekked to some mangrove channels where you could definitely tell that the water had crept up several feet. Some of the mangrove island are not as green as they used to be, but I don’t think the fish or the birds really cared! We saw plenty of both. Tarpon, jacks, snappers, and all sorts of wildlife.
I think fishing in Key West is almost back around to its regular early fall fishery. Things are improving daily and there’s no reason (that I can think of) to not be out on the water and experience the great fishery.