Keys Report, 12/27/2016

Florida Keys Fishing Report week of 12/26/16
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This past week before the Christmas rush was slow all the way around. It has been windy and there were few if any charters out on the hump or even much beyond the reef. When the wind abates the Islamorada hump will be a good target with lots of opportunity. Look for good action on the Blackfin Tuna when the current forms a choppy rip on the seamount. When the current is light some will be dropping bait for Amberjack or multi hook “chicken rigs” for Snapper in the 300 foot plus depth.
Captain Paul on the Reef Runner and Captain Don on the Kay K IV both fished the reef a couple of days and the catch consisted of lots of King Mackerel and Cero Mackerel along with a few Mutton Snapper. The Sailfish action is good with Sails up on the reef edge in 30 to 60 feet of water chasing Ballyhoo. A few charters anchored on the reef and chummed up the Yellowtail Snapper. There are some Mangrove Snapper included in the catch and the Cero Mackerel are racing through the chum slick to. As usual  there have been some Dolphin, aka Mahi Mahi caught by the guys slow trolling for Sailfish.
Gulf and Bay:
The action has been pretty consistent on the Spanish Mackerel in the gulf. The gulf water has been a little off color up against Florida Bay as the wind has roiled it up some, but the Spanish have still been in good supply and biting. Captain Lou Brubaker fished the Spanish one day and got about thirty to the boat. Incidental species in play also were; Sharks, Bluefish, Florida Pompano, Mutton, Yellowtail, Lane and Mangrove Snapper and Lookdown or Moon fish, a few Ladyfish and of course plenty of Jack Crevalle. Captain Lou spotted a couple of Tripletail under trap buoys, but they were too small to mess with.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Tides were falling in the morning in the Flamingo area all week which made for concentrations of Snook and Redfish in the drains and channel mouths. The bait Shrimp were in good supply and big, so a well full of Shrimp is what most guides carried for bait. Some Captains looked for Seatrout and found the Trout in several areas of Florida bay. The Trout hit jigs with a Berkley Gulp attached and were small to mediums in size. There were some very large Jack Crevalle roaming around and a real handful on the standard backcountry outfit .