Author: Flying Fish Charters
Key West Fishing Report (October 2018)
This past week, the weather was decent the fishing remained great around Key West and the lower keys. The weather for this weekend looks a little windy, so going offshore may be rough. We were able to find dolphin offshore on both trips earlier this week. They were under scattered weeds and the frigate birds gave them away. We haven’t been trolling because catching bait has been easy and we have a lot of pilchards. When I have a good amount live bait, I like to just run around looking for birds and floating debris and I will just throw the baits out around that stuff. If the Mahi are there, you will know, they cannot resist live pilchards.
Reef fishing has been excellent as well. The yellowtail snapper bite has been consistent and catching your limit has been relatively easy. The current was less this week and we were able to use lighter jigs tipped with either bonita chunks or live pilchards. The ballyhoo also came in to the chum slick and we were able to cast net them. Once we had ballyhoo we dropped them to the bottom and caught a black grouper and a cobia. We were also able to float them back on the surface and catch cero mackerels and a king mackerel.
Backcountry fishing remained great this past week. The water on the flats has cleared up a lot and we were able to have a more shots at bonefish and saw a few permit. The bonefishing seemed to be just about as good as it was before the storm hit. The schools of small tarpon are still around the mangroves, along with snook, snappers and jacks. If it is windy this weekend, tarpon fishing may be a good idea. You can hide in the mangroves and stay protected from the wind. I like using live pilchards as bait, but you can use other live bait and casting artificial lures can work too. When I’m using pilchards as bait to target tarpon, I like using small spinning gear because the tarpon are only 10-20lbs. I spool my reels with 20lb Bullbuster braid and I use 20-30lb Bullbuster fluorocarbon leaders, depending on water clarity. Small circle hooks work best on the tarpon, but it is still easy to jump them off.
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