Author: Flying Fish Charters
March Key West Fishing Report
Overall, the fishing in the lower keys has been mediocre this past week. We had a great tuna bite offshore last weekend, but that has slowed up during the week. People have still been picking at them here and there, but I haven’t heard of any big catches. The sailfishing hasn’t been too hot either, there have been a few fish eating on live baits, but I haven’t heard of many bites from the guys trolling dead baits. The kingfish have been really thick around the reef, and there have been some smoker kings around too. It is super fun catching the kingfish on live pilchards. Not the best eating fish by any means, but they are some of the best fighting fish around. The weather this weekend and into next week looks awful, with 30-35 mph winds forecasted out of the east. Most likely, it will be difficult to get offshore or anywhere near the reef. Depending on the size of your boat, fishing the patch reefs may be a good idea. This time of year around Key West, there can be some big Kingfish around the patch reefs. My preferred set up for kingfish is with larger sized spinning gear, spooled with 30lb bullbuster braid. I like using about a 5ft section of 30lb bullbuster fluorocarbon leader with a short wire tippit at the end of the leader and small offset J hook. The below picture should is a good example of my leader set up for kingfish.
The backcountry was more productive this past week. I didn’t see as many permit on the flats as the previous week, but the barracudas were around and they were eating well. It may be a good idea to fish on the lee side of the mangrove islands, looking for barracudas this week. You can get some protection from the wind and the visibility will be a little better so you can see the fish. You can also drift through the basins, looking for mud slicks in the water. We caught a few trout the other day doing this, but there can be ladyfish, snappers and jacks as well. I normally just bounce a ¼oz bucktail jig on the bottom as I drift through the mud slicks inside the basins. Use light spinning gear when your doing this, with 20lb bullbuster braid and 5 foot leaders of 20lb bullbutser fluorocarbon.
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