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Key West Fishing Report - Offshore

Capt. Ralph Delph
April 10, 2000
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report

The Gulfstream has formed a wedge from southwest to northeast starting around Cosgrove light and extending east from that point. The water has been moving east at around 2.4 knots in front of Key West and sailfish have been the highlight of the past couple of weeks with some double digits being reported. The fish have been tailing down on the seas as well as taking flat lines along the color change. Those using threadfin herring have turned in the best catches, however those trolling have also been catching their share. Along with the sailfish, cobia and dolphin have been caught in good numbers as well as bonito and an occasional wahoo.

Those fishing for bottom fish have had to settle for yellowtail snapper on the edge of the reef. With the strong eastbound current, large quantities of chum have been necessary to get the fish near the surface. If you are looking for grouper then “West is best”. The wedge has formed a slack current and even a slow westbound current making for easy bottom fishing and some catches of large grouper. George Lidell from Stewart Fl. landed a 59# black grouper on 20# line. David Lively, his dad and brother in law, John, took a full bag limit of scamp and red grouper up to 15#, mostly on jigs.

The Gulf has been producing good catches of cobia up to around 50# however you can expect this to slow as the cobia move north for the summer. Mangrove snapper have been hard to find in any numbers on the gulf wrecks and when you do hook one there is usually a jewfish waiting close by with the inevitable results. Permit are on the increase with some fish up to around 30# being taken.

Those plying the shallow waters around the lower keys have been reporting good catches of permit and bonefish however only a few tarpon have been reported as we are still a couple of weeks away from the main migration of the Silver King. The harbor in Key West has been yielding good catches of tarpon for those using shrimp boat chum or live bait. Some of the boats have been releasing ten or more fish per day.

That’s 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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