The Florida Keys

Florida Keys Fishing Report 1/20/2017
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Still the only report from the offshore vicinity is that there are a few boats trolling up some Blackfin Tuna. The BFT are sipping small black and red feathers and remember if you try it to put the offering about three times as far back as you do your Dolphin lures. The Tuna do not like to come up into the prop wash to eat a lure. Beyond that there are some guys deep dropping for a variety of Snapper, Grouper and other stuff such a Porgy and Tilefish. Most use electric reels because at depths of 400 to 600 feet hand cranking is out of the question.
Good action on Sailfish is still going on and should continue for a while. The Sails can be found in depths from sixty feet of water and sometimes even shallower when chasing Ballyhoo out to two hundred feet. The Sails are opportunists and will feed on Flying Fish and Ballyhoo, Jacks and Sardines and any naturally occurring fry fish available. Captain Paul on the Reef Runner has been doing a number on the King Mackerel. Mid-week on the Reef Runner they boated seven King’s from 15 to 30 pounds. That’s lots of fish dip! Captain Don Reichert on his Fishin’ Mission 27-foot center Console has been fishing the reef and getting into some monster Yellowtail Snapper. Don has captured Big Yellow Jacks and Mutton Snapper also. On the Kay K IV the anglers released two Sailfish on Thursday.
Gulf and Bay:
Things seem to be changing and the move towards Spring is somewhat apparent in Gulkf and bay. The Size of the Spanish mackerel is lowering. Do not despair as the mackerel will provide lots of good action for a few weeks at least. Captain Lou Brubaker has been doing a number on the Spanish Mackerel in the Gulf and getting lots of Mangrove Snapper too. The bright side is the Seatrout have shown up in their old stomping grounds and are available in good numbers and size. Captain Joe Gargan fishing his “Charlie Boy” skiff has been doing a number on the mackerel and then going inshore and jigging up some nice Trout too.
Flats, Backcountry and Flamingo:
Last week in The Flamingo area the tides were radical and the water got off color with a wind that was blowing muddy water off the flats. Just east of the Flamingo area there were Trout and ladyfish in muds in the central Bay. There were some Snook caught out in the Cape Sable area along the beaches and in the mouth of a couple of canals. A couple of guides reported on the nicer days’ action with some Tarpon releases out near the Cape and the First National Bank area. The Tarpon ate chunk bait on the bottom, but a couple of guys netted Mullet for bait also.