Key West Deep Sea Fishing in Decemeber Offers Cool Weather Catches

While things freeze up across most of the U.S., down here in Key West temperatures steady in the low 70s along with mild winds have ushered in some good Key West deep sea fishing December conditions over the past couple of weeks. A little cold front pushed through last Tuesday – Wednesday, kicking up a bit of a breeze, with some gusts to 30 mph and rain on Tuesday, then a high of only 64 Wednesday, which is downright cold for these parts. But it was just the usual two-day event and temperatures are now headed back up, with dry weather, low winds, and temps near 80 in the upcoming forecast.

Overall, this fall has been cooler than average in the Keys, and the low water temperatures have pushed a lot of bait into the shallows, making for near constant action in the Backcountry and on the patch reefs. When a cold front rolls through, the shallow Backcountry water cools off fast, and the fish go a little dormant. After the front passes and the water begins to heat back up, the fish get activated and they are hungry. The deeper basins and channels are the place to find a wide variety of fish kegged up in the warm water, and there has been some good Key West deep sea fishing charters for Cobia, Yellow Jacks and Jack Crevalle, big Mangrove Snapper, Mackerel, and Sharks. Guides are also reporting encounters with some of the resident Tarpon rolling in the channels. Once the water temps climb back into the 70s after a front, the grass flats start producing Sea Trout again, and Ladyfish, Pompano, Snappers, and even Snook can be found if you know where to look.

Besides Key West fishing charters the Backcountry, fishermen looking to beat the wind and waves that come with the cold fronts have been having a good December on the inshore patch reefs, where the Snapper and Grouper have been on the bite in a big way and plenty of freezer bags have been getting filled with nice filets. On the calm days, a popular way to go has been to hit the patch reefs with live Pilchards, Pinfish, or jigs, limit on Snapper and Grouper, then head out to the reef edge to go for pelagic fish. Kite fishing charters with live bait has been working well on the Sailfish, and some trips have been generating multiple hook ups on Sails. The Wahoo are here and the full moon last weekend brought them out in force, with fish up to 55 lbs. coming into the docks. As the water temperatures go down, the offshore fishing charters will only get better with each cold front bringing a push of bait followed by Mahi-Mahi, Blackfin Tuna, Kingfish, Sailfish, Wahoo, and loads of Bonito.

Between fronts, there have been some flat calm spells that are ideal for anchoring up over a wreck and hauling in fish nonstop all day. Anything goes out there, from Amberjacks and Barracuda, to Cobia, Kingfish, Mahi-Mahi, Snappers, and Sharks. The Black Grouper bite is still hot and anglers are taking full advantage before the Atlantic closure at the end of the month. Grouper in the 20 lb. range have been a common sight. The Cobia are schooling up over the wrecks now, and when they are in a big school Cobia will get very aggressive towards any live bait that drops in front of them. If there are a lot of fish together, hook a medium or large Pinfish through the lip or just in front of the dorsal fin and throw it right in front of them. Permit is another species that is schooling on the wrecks now. They may be a little spookier than some of the other fish down there, but if your captain drifts up on the wreck slow and quiet, you can usually get one to come out of the school and hit a live crab if you cast it out in front of them.

Speaking of schooling fish, the Sharks are hungry and will quickly crowd around once a few fish are hooked and dragged up through the water column over the wreck. They can get to be a real problem, and you might have to move to another wreck after Bull Sharks, Lemon Sharks, and Blacktips start to rip fish off your hook time after time. Or you can go on the offensive and catch some of the toothy critters. Intrepid anglers have pulled Bull Sharks in the 300 lb. plus range and big Hammerheads boatside for pictures over the past two weeks.

It is looking like Christmas week in Key West is going to deliver some good Key West fishing charters. Temperatures are predicted to be steady in the high 70s, with maybe a couple of passing thunderstorms to watch out for. With all the bait in the water, the reef deep sea fishing charters is bound to stay good. There will be lots of big Mutton Snapper and limits of Yellowtail Snapper to keep the light rods bent and dinner on the table, and multitudes of Mackerel will keep you busy in between times. For those who are nervous about getting seasick, the Backcountry is going to offer some exciting times live bait fishing or casting plugs and lures to Sea Trout, fighting Jacks, or fast and acrobatic Ladyfish. And if you are up for a real tug of war, there are always some big Sharks cruising the backcountry channels looking for a meal. But the hotels are filling up fast with the usual crowds of winter refugees, and the charter bookings are going quick as well, so don’t wait too long to get your Key West deep sea fishing in December break set up.