Key West Fishing

By Capt. Mike Weinhofer

June fishing is the calm weather large fish time of year everyone loves. In the blue water offshore this year the sail has just showed up at the end of April and are going to feed well into to June. The water was late to warm this year and fish don’t have calendars, so they follow water temperatures and bait migrations. The dolphin will be in 600-1500 feet of water offshore. Look for the birds and debris. The birds will lead you to the fish and the fish will hide under debris. Take your time around the debris sometimes the dolphin will wonder off to go to find something to eat but they will find their way back. This is the time of year when you want to make sure you have a float onboard so you do find that hard to see debris you can mark it so you don’t lose it as you drift away sighting the first school of dolphin. When you do find the debris after you have caught your dolphin don’t forget to drop down a Magnum 30 rapala plug for your wahoo. Troll them about 100 feet behind the boat and about 6 knots. It will surprise you how many wahoo are there that you never saw. The reef also comes alive in June the snapper are moving out to spawn on the reef and it is a blast. As always it is important to use light fluorocarbon leader and small hooks.

On the inshore side of things, the flats, backcountry and harbor channels are in full swing. Tarpon has migrated in late but now have settled in for the feed. The Key West harbor is full of tarpon snapper and yes even big permit. Anchoring down and dead bait chunking can be extremely successful. Just free line your chunks back or you can drift live pinfish as well. The flats are full brimming with daisy chaining tarpon and permit skirting the flats. Live crabs and shrimp work extremely well on the flats.

On the Gulf of Mexico side, the shrimp boats are full of bonita, blackfin tuna and sharks and even cobias at times. The wrecks in the gulf are full of Jewfish (goliath Groupers), sharks, snappers and yes even permit. Each wreck will act differently, some will be full of nothing but sharks while still others will be full of snapper. Look to the wrecks with sharks having cobias swimming with them.

All in all, the June fishery is alive. Whether you decide to fish shallow or deep enjoy the calm waters and beautiful days. Just go Fishing.

Capt Mike Weinhofer
Compass Rose Charters, 305-395-3474

Coastal Angler & The Angler Magazine