FISHING KEY WEST-NEW YEAR
Capt. Ralph Delph
December 27, 2009
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report
OFFSHORE: The Gulfstream remains well so the south, (35 miles south of Key West) leaving the water outside of the reef with a greenish tint and visibility along the reef to about 25 feet. The water temperature has been in the mid 70's through out most of the week. The off-color water has left SAILFISH difficult to find, however, BLACKFIN TUNA and especially LITTLE TUNNY have been abundant. Chumming with live pilchards has been the most effective, although trolling has been producing as well. Small KINGFISH have been in good supply and even a problem while fishing the bottom with live bait. Cut-off's have been a problem, so a short piece of Steelon can be used while fishing for the bottom dwellers. GROUPER are moving into the deeper reefs and wrecks; however they will be safe for the next four months while the very necessary closure of all grouper (in order to protect the GAG GROUPER) is in effect. A 52# BLACK GROUPER was landed by Forest Young this past week. Forest was using 20# test Ande line and a Daiwa BG-90. See our ‘CATCHES LAST WEEK" on our web site at www.delphfishingcharters.com . RED SNAPPER are more abundant in the Key West area than I have ever seen in 40 years. Full bag limits are the norm. This too will come to a close in January as an emergency, 180 day closure has been found necessary in order to preserve the species in North Carolina. MUTTON SNAPPER are in good supply with many of the fish now running into the 15 to 18 pound class. YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER have been abundant along the reef line and fish of 3 to 4 pounds have been common in 90 to 100 feet of water. Ground chum and cut pieces of bonito have been producing best.
INSHORE: SPANISH MACKEREL and JACK CREVALLE have been chasing bait along the color change in Hawks Channel. Birds are the key to finding the fish. Man O War birds are on the JACKS and the small birds will locate the MACKEREL. The shallow wrecks to the west are still slow but should be holding COBIA soon. Key West harbor remains slow at this time.
GULF OF MEXICO: Medium to large KINGFISH are scattered and responding to live bait to those persistent enough to stick with it. The wrecks have been holding COBIA, some running into the 40 pound class. MANGROVE SNAPPER have been spotty, however there has been a good number of flag YELLOWTAIL SNAPPERS around the wrecks and towers. You will have to yank and crank to get them away from the GOLIATH GROUPERS.
FLATS: Well, it's that time of year again. The action on the flats will be up and down along with the water temperatures. Above 70 degrees, try it. Below 70, go deeper. The basins are showing signs of muds so the JACKS, LADYFISH, POMPANO etc, can't be far away.
That's it for now. Tight lines and good fishing.
Captain Ralph Delph
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