Good Snapper Bite
Capt. Ryan Van Fleet
September 18, 2018
Key Largo - Saltwater Fishing Report
First and foremost, the blue waters of the Florida Keys were not affected by the algae problem that has unfortunately been plaguing the West and East Coast of the Florida. Good news is I have heard it is getting better for them. I hope it clears up soon. We are in good shape down here and the fishing is very good so do not let that "Red Tide" scare or deter you from booking a Florida Keys vacation this winter.
Onto the Fishing… We had some great weather this summer with light winds and good seas. As I discussed weather conditions dictating the fishing in my podcast Episode 001 titled "Weather is the Boss". She threw me a major curve ball with some nasty "wind" and a little tropical action the weeks before Labor Day weekend. The wind blew for 2 weeks. I always put safety first and if I say it's a no go because of weather, then that means it is not safe and you will not catch much if anything at all. I also give my clients a heads up if the weather looks like it is going to be bad. That way they can make other plans.
When the wind let up we had some awesome fishing. All my clients this past month wanted to target Yellowtails, Vermilion Snappers and Mutton Snappers with the exception of one trip where the clients wanted to target Mahi and Blackfin Tuna.
The snapper bite has very good. We caught our limit of Yellowtails, Vermilion and Mutton Snappers on almost all the charters so far this month. The bonus fish species have been big Porgies, Blackfin Tunas, Kingfish and my least favorite, the Shark (basically the wrecked all the gear and ate the nice fish we hooked). Check out my latest Podcast Episode 007 "Are Sharks a Problem?" and learn about the shark problem we have up and down the eastern seaboard. They actually just announced today someone died from a shark attack in Cape Cod. Very sad and disturbing.
If you like to troll for wahoo, tuna and dolphin - now is the chance. The fish are showing up along the reef line and at the humps. When you call to book just let me know what species you want to target. Certain weather conditions dictate if we troll. We cannot troll if the seas are churned up. However, we can power drift with live bait which is killer effective especially for dolphin in the fall and early winter. The best way to catch pelagics in the The Florida Keys in the winter is with live bait. Trolling is another option, but it can be hit or miss. It just depends on how the fish are feeding. Some days they want "Doritos and some days they want Ruffles." I work to find out what they want to eat and feed it to them. (Not Doritos or Ruffles but you get the point.)
I had a first happen this month. I was fishing with new clients from Ft. Lauderdale. We were targeting Snappers on the bottom and as I was setting the live bait and a 40lb wahoo swam up behind the prop wash and ate the bait! He was lit up bright blue and it was just cool to watch the fish eat the bait. We literally had no chance of catching him. As soon as he ate that bait he was long gone. I have never seen wahoo do that. I guess wahoo are another fish that are attracted to the sound of the our new "Seakeeper 2".
Key Largo Fishing Forecast:
The Wahoo are apparently showing up early which is great. I will be targeting them starting this week through the end of Spring 2019. Best times to target Wahoo are 3-5 days before the full moons through the fall, winter and spring. We will start seeing the Mahi Mahi head back to Puerto Rico for the winter months. This is where most of the fish we see migrate through The Keys call "home" for winter. Our big Blackfin Tuna will be making their return to Florida any day now. We have pushes of Blackfin Tuna throughout the fall and winter months. Full and new moon phases are the best time to target Blackfin Tunas. The Kingfish are here in great numbers already along the reef line. I am catching them on every trip in the 20lb range without trying.
If you are looking to do some fishing this Fall please give me a call. Now through December/January can offer some of the best fishing in the Florida Keys.
Thank you for taking the time and reading my fishing report. Welcome your comments or suggestions - [email protected]. Also check out my podcast on the Stitcher App - Good Karma Sportfishing. It's free and hopefully good information.
Follow Me in Instagram:
Like Me on Facebook:
Remember anytime your fishing "It's All Good."
Good Karma Sportfishing
More Fishing Reports: