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Key West Fishing Report - Offshore

Capt. Ralph Delph
March 15, 2000
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report

Over the past week, fishing could not have been better. Before the wind began to blow over 20 knots, the gulf was in its glory. Most of the wrecks were producing cobia in the 50’s, 60’s and 70# class. Joe Marshalatti, of Detroit, entered a 52# cobia on 10# spin and then captured another on plug tackle up in the 50’s. Forty pounders were common and full bag limits were the norm. Large smoker kingfish were being taken on all tackle divisions just northeast of Boca Grande Channel. Full bag limits were again the norm and many fish were being released. Some of the kings were running up into the high 40”s.

As the high pressure built over Georgia, the winds increased to 20 knots and have been gusting higher. This has curtailed most of the longer runs. However we have found consolation with the tarpon and permit action in the harbor. Tarpon have been in fairly good supply and cooperative with bait while chumming and a few have been taken on artificials. The permit have been very cooperative on bait and have also been eating jigs. The permit have been running up to 38# with 30 pounders not uncommon. Some cobia have also been taken while fishing for the tarpon and permit.

Those venturing offshore have found a short nasty chop but with winds holding to the northeast it has been fishable in the lee of the islands. They have found the Gulfstream in close to the reef and sailfish have been cooperative along with dolphin in the 5 to 15 pound class. Some cobia have also been taken by those observant enough to spot them and present baits or lures.

The bottom fishing has taken a setback due to a 3 knot east bound current, however Ray Stormont, of the Miami Beach Rod and Reel Club was able to capture a 72# Warsaw grouper on 12# test line while fishing in 278 feet of water. Ray and Dixie Burns were fishing for world record Almaco jacks at the time. Congratulations Ray, good fishing.

The flats have been yielding some good permit action along with some bonefish. The sharks have been an on again, off again thing and right now we seem to be in an off again thing. A few blacktips and bulls have provided some action in the deeper channels.

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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