Key West Summer Fishing Means Great Multi-species Action
This is the season when Key West gets into a stable hot, dry summer weather pattern. Air temps stay between the low 80s and about 90 with no worries about rain other than quick passing thundershowers. Key West charter captains love this weather because glassy water means they can run anywhere they want to find good fishing. With winds generally out of the east and below 15 mph for the most part, the whole ocean becomes available for fish hunting and both the variety and number of fish showing up at the docks is impressive.
Summer Dawns in the Key West Backcountry
Although water temperatures run high in the shallows this time of year, the summer calm makes it possible to hit the Backcountry early in the cool of morning to look for Permit, Bonefish, Barracuda, juvenile Tarpon and more. Later, it’s easy to take a run offshore for an afternoon action fishing session out on the reef.
These morning sessions with a beautiful sunrise reflecting off a dead calm sea and the incoming tide flushing cool water in and pushing the bait fish around add up to fishing nirvana. It can a great opportunity to stalk Bonefish and Permit on the Flats. The glassy water conditions make the fish easy to see, and even anglers new to the Flats can get some good shots in. It takes a bit more stealth to approach the fish when the water is like this, but that adds to the excitement.
The only catch is that these prime summer days can induce a shortage of bait on the island. Supplies of crab and shrimp often run low as many fishermen hit town to chase Bones and Permit across the Flats. Both of these fish will respond to a jig or a crab-pattern fly, but laying an artificial out in front of the fish with the right touch needed to get a hookup can be tough.
Fortunately, you can usually find some Tarpon sticking around in early July, and these fish can be tempted by a wide range of soft artificial baits. Getting hook-ups on these bruisers out in the channels is a little easier than trying to work the skittish Bonefish and Permit. The Tarpon come in for the early June Palolo worm hatch, and many will still be here so your chances at this legendary fish are pretty good. Presentation is simple as long as you get boat position ahead of the fish as they move in and out on the tide flow.
Fishermen who just want some fun action without all the technicalities can always throw plugs at schools of Jacks. Fishing for Sharks is also a good way to start a summer day with some serious rod bending.
Afternoons on the Open Sea
As the sun gets higher and the day gets hotter, making the run out to the reefs or the wrecks is the way to go. The reef fishing is usually really solid during July and still waters make good conditions for kids and beginners.
Find the right point on the reef with an incoming tide and limits of big Yellowtail Snapper are nearly guaranteed, and the Mutton Snapper fishing will also get good this month. Throw in a couple of Grouper here and there and you can come home with a nice collection of fillets for the freezer. And with the Mangrove Snapper spawn coming on, good dinner fishing will probably continue for the rest of the month.
If you want to head out for some Key West Offshore Fishing, it’s pretty easy to bring in a mixed bag of Mahi-Mahi and a few Blackfin and Skipjack Tuna. There are also Wahoo cruising the summer Atlantic waters. Exploring the deep water wrecks is a reliable way to get into steady action on Amberjack, big Barracuda, Mutton Snapper, Sharks, and Permit.
When it comes to wreck fishing, the Key West charter captains have it dialed in. Whether you go out to throw plugs over one of the shallow Gulf wrecks or drop down deep out on the Atlantic side, you will soon have plenty of proof that it is possible to haul big fish over the side during the hottest days of the year.
Get Into Key West Summer Fishing
There is no better escape from the July heat than a trip down to the Keys where ocean breezes rustle the palms and cool water is always at hand. Besides fishing, the weather is perfect for family fun on the beach. The calm seas make it an ideal time to try snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, and other watersports in between fishing trips.
Come for a Key West visit this summer – Enjoy some of the best weather and water conditions of the year. Find the Key West fishing trip of your dreams at Fish Key West.