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Key West Fishing Report - Offshore

Capt. Ralph Delph
December 9, 2001
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report

Well, we are back in Key West for the start of another great fishing season. The sea surface temperature has been around 76 degrees and the wind has been blowing hard for about three months prior to the start of fishing this season.

The water offshore has been fairly clear with a fairly deep blue tint. For those using pilchards for live chum, sailfish have been in good supply and blackfin tuna and bonito have been abundant around the offshore wrecks. The problem has been with the sharks. On some days it has been nearly impossible to land a fish due to large numbers of bull sharks. When a fish is hooked, as many as 6 or 8 sharks will swarm over the area and the results are inevitable. However large numbers of dolphin in the 5 to 15 pound class have been in good supply. This action should continue as the water is expected to remain warm for some time to come. Very little current means that the bottom fishing should be good, and sure enough, mutton snapper as well as red, black and a few gag grouper have been cooperative out front of Key West. For those willing to run a little further, red snapper and large red grouper have been in good supply with some of the fish reaching nearly 20#. The flag yellowtails have been cooperative, especially for those using live pilchards. Large ciro mackerel up to 12# have been showing on the reef edge but have been sporadic as best.

Inshore, the water has been green with the clarity being favorable for inshore fishing. Jacks and spanish mackerel are beginning to show and this action should only increase as winter progresses. Mangrove snapper remain in good supply around the shallow water wrecks. The goliath grouper (Jewfish) will take their share as well as part of yours.

The flats have remained rather active with permit and bonefish in good supply. This should hold up as long as the water temperature remains above 70 degrees. Barracuda and shark activity remains good for those unable to find the former.

Thatís it for now. Tight lines and good fishing.

Capt. Ralph Delph

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1 Riviera Drive B.C.K.
Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305-294-6072
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