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Key West Fishing Report - Offshore

Capt. Ralph Delph
January 26, 2002
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report

With this latest stretch of mild weather, fishermen from all over have been able to get out in pursuit of their favorite quarry. The sea surface temperature along the reef has maintained a near constant 74 degrees and the last cold front left turbid water inshore. With the clear blue water of the Gulfstream only a short distance offshore, the result has been a sharp color change providing spring time conditions with nearly spring time results in the fishing community.

The blue water has been producing a good number of sailfish along with some blackfin tuna and a lot of bonito action. A few cobia are turning up on the color change along with the sailfish. Dolphin in the 25# class have been showing up in the blue water providing some unexpected action for this time of year. The wahoo are starting to show up again and we should have a big show of the hoos over the next week or so. The kingfish have been showing up around the reefs and some smokers have been taken lately. The larger fish are well to the west. Capt. Rob Delph turned in a 197# yellowfin tuna on 30# test line recently and a few others have been sighted.

The reef has been producing some good catches of flag yellowtails, especially for those using live pilchards for chum. Good catches of gag, scamp, red and black grouper have been brought in from the west and some really nice catches of mutton snapper up to 20# have been taken right out front of Key West.

Inshore, large numbers of mackerel and jacks have been found feeding on small minnows. They may be found by first locating flocks of terns. The action is fast and furious and any small jig or lure will suffice. The tarpon have been very active in the harbor and several fish a day has been the norm. Permit have been showing around most of the inshore wrecks along with some small to medium cobia. In the gulf, smoker kingfish have been taken in good numbers to the west of Smith Shoal and they are ripe for the fly fishermen.

The shallow water boats have been out in force with this mild weather and with good results. Reports of good tarpon, permit, shark and barracuda action have come in from all over the lower keys. This should continue as long as the weather holds.

Thatís is for now. Tight lines and good fishing.

Capt. Ralph Delph

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Contact Info:

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