Give Thanks for Great Key West November Fishing
November is a great time for booking a Key West fishing trip. Key West fall fishing is generally a wonderful experience. Air temperatures hold on around 75 degrees or so, and town is nice and peaceful in a between-season lull.
We do get a few windy days in fall, but fortunately there is always some sheltered spot in the Backcountry where a boat can tuck away. Fishing on the dropping tide and chucking out anything that looks like a live or dead pilchard usually results in some action. But most of the time November delivers pleasant cool breezes over the water, a relief after the heat and humidity of summer. It is a really nice time of the year to fish Key West.
Throwing a Fall Key West Backcountry Blast
In the Key West Backcountry, the inshore migration of winter sportfish species picks up pace as schools of baitfish push inshore looking for warm water. Although most of the Bonefish are heading south for warmer Caribbean waters by this time, Permit fishing will be good through December.
Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon comprise “The Big Three” of Key West Flats fishing. Permit are smart, strong fish, and they are extremely wary when up on the Flats feeding on crabs. Catching one is a mark of accomplishment for any angler. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun throwing a live crab to Permit that can be seen hunting 2-3 feet of crystal-clear water over the flats. For the ultimate challenge, try a fly rod with a crab or shrimp imitation pattern on.
Another favorite November Backcountry opportunity is casting a rubber tube lure to the massive Great Barracuda that are cruising into the channels and up on the flats this time of year. In fact, November and December make up the prime Barracuda fishing season.
These large predators commonly reach 3 feet in length and usually reside around deep offshore wrecks and other structure. In fall, they come in following the big baitfish schools. Sight fishing this aggressive species on the Flats or casting around structure along channels is very exciting. Barracuda are not good eating fish but they are extreme fighters and vicious-looking beasts perfect for awesome photos.
Key West Reef Fishing Turns On
On the Florida Barrier Reef about 6 miles out to the south of Key West, multispecies reef fishing gets good as the baitfish migration picks up pace. Dense schools of ballyhoo move through the reef, putting the Yellowtail and Mutton Snapper, Black and Red Grouper, Cero Mackerel, and Kingfish into feeding mode.
Big “Flag” Yellowtail go into a feeding frenzy right around this time, a gap between the end of their spawning season and the arrival of the first cold fronts. Yellowtail and Mutton Snapper are both super-fun light tackle fish and make for some very good eating as well. As dropping temperatures continue to send baitfish piling onto the reefs and into the channels in a rush to find warm water, you can count on excellent Key West reef fishing throughout November into December.
Winter Transition Time for Key West Offshore Fishing
It’s an exciting time of year to head offshore into the blue waters of the Atlantic for some Key West deep sea fishing. With the summer heat fading, Mahi-Mahi season is ending. The prime Mahi trolling grounds move 15-20 miles offshore and fishing slows overall. On the plus side, persistent Mahi hunters are often rewarded with larger fish during this season.
November sees the focus changing to the Wahoo, Tuna, and early Sailfish that start consistently showing up in catches. Drawn by the schools of pilchard that are on the move, Blackfin Tuna gather in huge schools around the deep wrecks. The Blackfin deliver plenty of fast-action fun, and once Sharks start to gather on the struggling Tuna, you can switch over to fighting 100lb+ Bull and Lemon Sharks in deep water for as long as your arms hold up.
Book a Fall Key West Fishing Trip Now and Beat the Crowd
Plan your November Key West fishing trip now and you are all but guaranteed action as the variety of available gamefish species reaches a peak. From delicious Snapper and Grouper inshore to deep water beasts like Swordfish, a sport fisherman’s dream is waiting for you here in Key West. The weather is perfect, the town is quiet, there are no lines at the restaurants, and the hotel pool decks are cool and uncrowded.
Key West Fall fishing – Backcountry, Reef, or Offshore: Fishing just doesn’t get much better than this! Book your trip now from the security of the original Fish Key West.
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