Southbound Sportfishing Key West Report December 17th
Fishing is shaping as expected as the weather cools. Large schools of Ballyhoo, (bait fish), are attracting lots of hungry predators. The water is clear which is keeping some of the more desirable bottom dwellers less active, such as Groupers and Snappers, but we’re still catching on occasionally. Lots of nice sized Cero Mackerel and Jacks are providing great action especially on spinning tackle. The Jacks are a great fight, but not much in the way of table fare. The Cero Mackerel provide both, fun to catch and good to eat. This time of year is a very exciting time to fish because in addition to the normal reef fish, Sailfish tend to come up shallow to feed on the schools of Ballyhoo too. It's an incredible sight to see a single fish, or even groups of sailfish, chasing the ballyhoo in 15-20 ft of crystal clear water. I've seen pods of up to 8 fish at one time and they're not usually boat shy so you can get within 10 ft at times. Because there is so much live bait on the reef, it's sometimes difficult to get them to eat pitched bait. They're full and there is so much bait to choose from, they sometimes don't see the one we threw, but with so many opportunities, you're going to get some takers. On Friday, we say about 20 Sails, We threw baits at about 9, we hooked 5 and we caught 2. This type of action should continue into January, (I hope!!), So if you’re in the Keys, Now is a very good time to go fishing!