Heating Up on The Reef

By: Capt. Bruce Andersen 

November is here. It’s finally cooling down as it has been a very long hot summer, but things are finally cooling down and my favorite time of year to live and fish for a living in the Florida Keys is here. It’s amazing how subtle changes in the weather and temperatures can change the fishing. Just a few months ago, we were in the middle of the summer season headed offshore for mahi and tuna. With a few mild cold fronts knocking on our door the fishing has changed significantly, and in many ways for the better.

With the change of seasons, the fishing has shifted much closer to shore. We’re still catching mahi and tuna, but many of the mahi are just offshore of the reef and can even be caught right up on the reef in the shallows chasing ballyhoo down the edge of the reef. There are still tuna offshore, but often the best tuna fishing can now be found in the 150 to 250 foot depths and they are generally bigger blackfins than we were catching offshore. You can also find great action with kingfish and even wahoo live bait fishing in these areas for the next several months.

The best part of all is the arrival of sailfish season. Now that we’ve had a few cold fronts, the sailfish are showing up. Kite fishing and live bait trolling in the 100-to-200-foot depths is the way to go when targeting the sails. Another way to target them and In my opinion the most exciting way to catch sailfish is sight casting to them in the shallow water when they come right on top or inside the edge of the reef to chase the huge schools of ballyhoo that live there. We call it chasing ballyhoo showers and it’s an amazing sight if you’ve never experienced it before.

The bottom fishing for various snapper and grouper can also spark up this time of year. And often there can be a great opportunity to catch some quality black grouper between now and when the season closes on January 1st. On top of all of this, the fishing back in the gulf is heating up with swarms of Spanish mackerel and a mixed bag of snapper available.

It’s definitely a great time to be in the Florida Keys and an even better time to fish here. Give me a call and let’s get out there!

— www.captaineasycharters.com
You can reach Captain Bruce Andersen at Capt. Easy Charters,
MM 85, call 305.360.2120 or email at: captbrucekey@comcast.net