Key West Fishing

By Capt. Mike Weinhofer

August fishing is the Heat of the Summer. Some fisheries don’t bite well in the mid-day because the water temps just get to hot. So, plan on fishing early in the morning or later in the afternoon. The Tuna fishing offshore is often a slow bite midday but for a different reason. The tuna see so well with their big eyes the mid-day sun offers them the perfect view of everything. Even light leaders whether trolling or live baiting can be tough on tuna’s midday. If you spot the tuna birds before 10 among a sunny day you should still be able to get the bite. I use the small 4 inch dolphin catcher from Williamson in a purple/black or blue/white seem to work the best for me. Push your lures way back and don’t troll under the birds’ troll past them and make a hard turn to put the lures under the birds. They often will bite about 2 hours before sunset as well. The dolphin on the other hand you can often get to feed all day. Be prepared with chunks of ballyhoo through them when the school follows up the first bite. This time of year, it is not uncommon to find weed lines with debris. I like to keep a magnum 30 on one of the rods just waiting to drop it and troll by debris in the line, wahoo love them.

The reef continues to be good all thru August for yellowtail and mangrove snapper and the occasional mutton. On the deeper edge of the reef the grouper lay in wait for the bait to wash off the edge. So, if you want to target grouper look in the 90-120 area off the reef edge.

In the harbor and the channels off Key West the tarpon has settled in but as the water gets warmer the larger fish will begin to migrate offshore in the deeper cooler waters. The small tarpon will hang in there much longer. Snapper and the occasional grouper will be in the harbor and channels.

On the flats watch your water temperatures as the water gets hot mid-day the fish will fall off the shallow flats and feed down flats edges in the slightly deeper areas. The tarpon bonefish and permit are still in the flats.

It is a great time of year to fish in Key West. Enjoy the calm weather and beautiful water just remember to drink plenty of water and don’t forget the sunscreen.

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