Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Key West Fishing Report 1-2010

January February 2K10


Holy smokes was it cold.. I won't go into to many details about it but it was the coldest I have seen in my life here in Key West. Temps officially came down to 42 degrees bringing our water temps inshore to a fish stopping 44 degrees and colder in some places.

The fish are not all dead. Concerning reports has the Florida Keys under a fish kill with generations to recover, not so. The fish kill for as cold as it was was MINIMAL and affected mostly ornamental species here near Key West so don't fret, come on down and lets get out there and give these fish a reason to thaw out.

Flats Fishing

The flats have definitely cooled off this month. This brings us a great winter fishery to the Key West Flats Fishing with some King Sized Barracudas that will eat an artificial or fly. Look for these guys in the warm water trends of water coming on and off the flats.

A great sport fish on the flats to target for January and February are Permit. On top and tailing in the higher winds we have make for an easy target to toss a crab to. South and South East winds will bring warming trends and tailing fish to the top of the flats.

Tarpon Fishing Season is right around the corner. March is our target date for the beginning of the big fish coming in out of the Gulf to eat. Book your fishing guides soon for the migration. Here at Dream Catcher Charters we are offering all the tarpon trips that are possible in the coming months. Fish the Key West harbor, Channels, flats and backcountry for your shot. Morning, day and evening trips are available.

Backcountry Fishing

This is the game to go on. January is full swing for winter fishing activity. Offering a TON of opportunities in the Key West Backcountry. The cooler waters start to set in for the winter species. Species such as Trout, Pompano, Ladyfish, Big Barracudas, sharks, and many more hard pulling high volume fish. It is not uncommon in December, January, February and March to catch over 25 different species of fish counting only the ones that are 18 inches or bigger in just a 4 hour trip. We recently had a species hunt for a group of anglers and one of our fishing guides came in with over 19 species caught all over 18 inches in 4 hours..

Tarpon fishing in the channels of the Key West backcountry will be hit or miss only on warmer days in December. Book a Key West backcountry fishing charter with us and every day we try to catch a tarpon. What a bonus in the off season.

December is the beginning of our killer winter fishery here in Key West. Here at Dream Catchers we really like the ease of the fishing. It takes little or no skill to catch fish and fee like a hero. We regularly take 4 people out and have everyone catching fish all day, it's truly great to see the smiles and hear the stories.

Wrecks and Reef

Winter fishery brings Kingfish, Sailfish and the occasional Dolphin to the reefs. The snapper bite will be off the chain. Grouper is closed on the Atlantic as well as the American Red Snappers. There is still much to do with great hard pulling species such as mutton snapper, amber jacks and tuna.

Deep Sea Blue water

Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Kingfish are all the rage in January and February for the Key West Deep sea guys. We troll the reefs and deep reef for these palagics coming through looking for a bite to eat. The winter days seemingly get easier for the offshore deep sea fleet. Not as far to run to find fish means more fishing time with lines out and trolling.

Our sport fishing fleet is loaded with some great captains. Guys who have lived here most of their lives and really get off on taking folks out to see what's gonad bite. We offer deep sea fishing trips on boats from 38 - 47 ft. all with experienced captains just different amenities and of course they vary in cost. Bigger boat more money.

We also run Key West deep sea fishing trips on our 32 ft center console the "Intense" here at Dream Catcher Charters for folks to "live the dream" stand up fishing from the Kite or trolling. Also using live bait. Whatever you want, however it is that you like to fish, we have a trip for you.

My Thoughts on the forecast..

We got the cold I was looking for.. A bit to much I might add. The iguanas hanging on for dear life was an indication that it was REALLY cold. that said.. lets look at the effects it will have for Spring.. YE HA>> yes this will help us with spring, we will actually have a huge warm up and the fish will go nuts... Our Sea Surface Temps SST will remain lower throughout the summer as the Gulf really chilled down to the core.

Fishing News

It's happening faster than we can think. I have seen it go before and now it is at EPIC speed and effect. Back in the early 90's I saw the National Marine Sanctuary come in and take over the Florida Keys very fast and against our local vote. This was the beginning of what is coming to the end now for Florida Keys recreational fishing.

A few months ago The SAMFC decided to shut down grouper fishing in the Atlantic for the months of January through April. Everyone said no, they said yes and did it.

A month or so ago we had an exploratory meeting here in Key West about Fishing quotas and catch limits pertaining to the different groups such as Recreational, Charter, and Commercial. They were working off of completely inaccurate data and admitted it.

This week they had another exploratory meeting.. Talking about bringing back fish traps!!! There is no doubt that the commercial interest is the thing they are trying to preserve.. Not our fishery...

As you can see, things are getting tight for our local charter guides here in South Florida and the FLorida keys. With an already crappy economy because of people just like the ones taking away fishing running this country we are headed for even more job losses and making fishermen outlaws just to make a living.

I am not usually one to bitch. My company Dream Catcher Charters is very diverse. We offer both inshore and offshore fishing. So far the rules for inshore have not been affected. However.. Take all the guys who charter offshore and tell them they cant do that any more and see what happens to our inshore fishery. It will be destroyed as 3 times the pressure comes in on it.

People want to fish, take a fish home and eat it. We have practiced stringent catch and release policies to both save the resource and make our people happy. Why shut it down, why not just say, one per person or something like that.

Capt. Steven Lamp...
Give us a call 1-888-362-3474

5555 College Road
Key West, FL 33040

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