Bugging Out in Key West
Cloudy skies, wind, and showers of rain are unusual for August in the Keys. This month is generally expected to be very hot, with humid air hanging over slick calm sea conditions. It is prime Flats fishing season, when fly fishermen and live bait anglers work the shallows for Bonefish, Permit, and a few hold-over and resident Tarpon that can be found in the deeper waters of the Backcountry channels.
It’s worth braving the Key West August heat to enjoy the fishing and water sports activities that late summer offers. August is a great time to get in the water, with warm temps and mostly good visibility. The start of Spiny Lobster season offers a perfect reason to strap on a mask and go on the hunt for some of these “bugs” that are so delicious on the grill.
Working the Key West Backcountry for Multispecies Action
In August, the Bonefish and Permit are on the Key West Flats in good numbers. Some guides are able to tease Tarpon out of the deeper, cooler waters of the channels and basins on very early morning trips. On the few days that bring cloudy skies and a bit of wind, it gets difficult to go sight fishing out on the Flats because the shaded waters hide the fish. Even if tails are spotted, holding the boat in position and getting an accurate cast off in the wind and chop is a major challenge.
When clouds break up the August Flats fishing, moving to the Key West harbor is often a productive option. Sunlight is not required to fish the deeper water, and the harbor can produce some consistent action during cloudy weather. All that is needed are sharp eyes to spot the Tarpon rolling and a good captain to quickly position the boat in front of them and get a chum slick out. Lucky anglers are able to tie into a Tarpon or two by using this technique. This is also a way to generate some fun light tackle action with Mangrove Snapper.
Another shallow water tactic for cloudy days is to lure some Sharks in for a battle. There are plenty of Lemon Sharks patrolling the Flats this time of year, and they are constantly hunting nearly anything they can get their teeth on. Since the Lemons are usually found in similar Flats conditions as Permit, they provide a good opportunity for a fight when it becomes too difficult to target the more skittish game fish. These are 4-6 foot Sharks and they put up a really good fight that can turn a hard day of Key West Flats fishing into a success.
August on the Offshore Waters
The Key West Offshore fishing is also good this month. The deep sea fishing boats get into large schools of Mahi-Mahi out on the weed lines along the Gulf Stream. Many boats limit out with a mix 4-6 pound “schoolies” and a few of the nice 7-10 pound “gaffer” fish. When the boat hits a school of 50-100 fish, the action gets fast and furious, and anglers can quickly reach their 10-fish limits.
The Blackfin Tuna bite is typically strong in August. The action with these 10 to 20-pound fish is a lot of fun when you find a school on the feed. The Tuna schools also draw numerous Silky and Dusky Sharks. The Sharks can become a problem when they grab too many hooked fish, but they are also a lot of fun for anglers who want to really bend a rod and get into a hard fight.
August is a nice month to get on board one of the Key West deep sea charters. We often get the glassy dead calm conditions that make the run offshore easy even for first-time offshore fishermen. The air is cooler out on the deep water, and kicking back with a cold beverage while you watch a trolling rod or drop bait down to a wreck is one of the premium pleasures of summer.
Hunting the Key West Spiny Lobster
For those who would like to beat the heat by looking for some fishing action below the surface, Florida Keys Sport Spiny Lobster fishing season always gets underway on August 6th. The waters around Key West support a generous population of bugs, as Florida Spiny Lobsters are called locally. Besides providing delicious dinners, Lobsters give intrepid fisherman the chance to get up close and personal with the catch and go hand-to-hand so to speak.
The two most common ways to bag a Lobster are simply grabbing it by hand (while wearing a pair of tough gloves) or catching it with a net. Either way involves diving down and searching for Lobsters along underwater ledges or under coral heads in shallow water. Depending on the location of the Lobster, and the skill of the diver, it may be possible to grab the creature’s antennae or the back of its carapace and pick it up.
More often, the Lobster will spot the fisherman and back into its den. In this case, a short “tickle stick” is used to push in behind the Lobster and startle it with pressure on its tail. When the bug emerges, a net is placed behind and over it. When a free hand is reached toward the Lobster, it will jet up and backwards with a flick of its tail, hopefully ending up in the net. With skill and luck, a diver will be able to regularly land the daily bag limit of 6 lobsters, particularly in the early season when they can be found under nearly every rock and ledge.
Visit Tropical Paradise on a Key West August Fishing Vacation
Whether you planning a summer stay in Key West or looking for something fun to do on a cruise ship port call, some Key West charter fishing needs to be on your list. The sportfishing in these waters has been famous for over a century. Fishermen around the world dream of challenging the many species of gamefish and sampling the multiple types of fishing that are available in the Florida Keys.
Make your Key West charter fishing dreams come true during the hot Key West August fishing season. Use Fish Key West to book your Key West fishing trip with ease and confidence from any mobile device. Full trip details and eTickets are delivered instantly and you have nothing left to do but show up at the dock on time.
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