By: Capt. Joel Brandenburg
In the Florida Keys we have the tourist season schedule figured out to perfection. If you are a restaurant owner, or fishing charter, or vacation rental homeowner or any business that serves our tourists, it only takes a few years to pin down when the tourists come and go. In my opinion these are the on and off-season dates: “on-season” is January – August (8 months), “off-season” is September – January (4 months). I’ve said for years, “I fish 300 days a year so I can afford to hunt the other 65 days”.
I actually don’t hunt the entire 65 days. I leave town for week and come back and fish for a week and on and off through the off-season. Fact is that the off-season is only called off-season for tourists only. It’s definitely not off-season for fishing. During off season, we catch snapper, grouper, jacks, mahi, tuna, billfish, wahoo, permit, cobia and a lot of deep drop, trolling opportunities as well as back country, flats, reef, wreck, bridge, ledge, etc. Most of the tourists are gone, many restaurants, resorts, vacation rental homes, businesses, etc. temporarily close to remodel or clean for a few weeks. Several businesses however stay open and off-season rates are much lower than on season rates. It’s a great time of year for anglers to come down to the Florida Keys. Get to experience the Keys lifestyle crowd free and like a local, while paying discounted off-season rates for food, drinks, lodging and fishing charters. People ask me all the time: “What time of year is the best all-around fishing?” I think the best all-around months for fishing in the middle Florida Keys is in this order: October, May, November, and April.
Biggest difference between May and April vs October and November is in May/April it’s hard to find a place to stay. If you do find a place, the in-season rates are off the charts expensive! During Oct/Nov off-season you can pick your place at half the cost as in-season. During Oct/Nov you don’t have to make reservations at the restaurants. As a charter captain, I’m fresher and less worn out in Oct/NOV not running as many back-to-back charters and you get more of the captain’s attention in Oct/Nov. Oh and by the way, it’s the most beautiful and comfortable weather in the year too. Not too hot, not to cold and normally a cool breeze. Fishing isn’t the only thing that’s hot in Oct/Nov, we also love spearfishing and diving for lobster. If you’ve been thinking of making plans to come down and explore the Florida Keys, you might want to consider coming in Oct, Nov and even Dec.
* Beat the crowds
* Discounted rates
* Great Fishing
* Awesome weather
— For a charter with Captain Joel or Jojo Brandenburg of
Ana Banana Fishing Company in Marathon Florida Keys call cell
813-267-4401 or office 305-395-4212 or visit
www.marathonkeyfishingcharters.com or visit us in person at
Ana Banana Marina located at 11699 Overseas Hwy Marathon Florida Keys. Look for the big yellow Ana Banana sign with antlers around it.