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Key Largo Reef Fishing ,Record Breaking Cold Snap

Capt. Bob Fernicola
January 19, 2010
Key Largo - Saltwater Fishing Report

Boy it sure did get a bit chilly last week, I think it was as cold as I ever saw it in my 21 years guiding here in Key Largo. Out on my porch one morning last week, before the sun came up it was about 35 degrees. Anyway back to fishing, lots of floating thread fin hearing, parott fish, trunk fish, small grunts some mangrove snapper and even a good amount of dead bonefish in the bay on the way out to the reef. I have never seen this many dead fish from the cold water before.

I had a hardy crew all bundled up game to to give the ocean a shot at reef fishing, last Tuesday. On the the way out the inside, spots were showing 48 deg water temps so we pushed on to the outside beyond the reef line and found 68 to 70 deg temps. After making anchor on one of my deep water spots we got into instant action dropping baits with light tackle(12 to 15 lb test) to the bottom. Small grouper, hogfish, mutton snapper, yellowtails, jacks, big porgys, margates and grunts with reef ornimentals kept the 3 anglers busy.

After a few cut offs we started to free line in the chum slick and got some good sized cero macks and better yellow tails. We did not know for sure what the fishing would be like during that cold week but it was a fast bite. The same group went the next day and did it again. Thanks Thelma, Mick and Tom from the U.K. it was a blast.

Today was a typical keys weather day air temp around mid 70s with inside water temps about 65. We made a shallow sit on the inside and it was back to normal. Bait fish came in the chum line right off and the bite on the bottom was good with snapper, yellowtails, porgys and assorted jacks right off. Fishing the top with no weight we got spanish and cero macks and more jacks. Live ballyhoo nailed sharks up to 20 lbs. Being a calm day and having already had dinner in the cooler I suggested we try the outside deeper water for the last bit of the charter. Long story short, bottom bite was still good and nailed a 20 lb king on 10 lb test

Click to Enlarge Photo

,Fun trip, thanks Frank, Kevin and Brad.

Doing the Backcountry the next 2 days for the first time in the last few weeks. Should be good will let you know.

Tight lines Capt. Bob

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20 years fishing key largo as full time Captain/Guide.2 boat charter operation.Backcountry,Reef and Offshore Fishing

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Backcountry/Ocean Chaters
103.500 Overseas Hwy
Key Largo, FL 33037
Phone: 305-451-3322
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