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Key West Deep Sea Fishing Forecast March 2012

March is here and to me it means Sailfish in Key West!  We should rename the month as much fishing excitement as the great days of tailing Sails generates. March brings Sailfish together along the reef to feed on baits driven from shallower waters to the warmth of the Gulfstream waters pushing up on the reef. Add a twenty knot plus wind out of the Northeast and a sharp color change in 125 feet of water and double digit Sail catches are going to be common.

dayne-key-west-sailfish

Be prepared. That twenty plus knot wind blowing across the strong Gulfstream current produces some tough working conditions. Get your gear prepared dock side. Get your backup gear prepared dockside. Have your kites , rods, hook rigs, dredges and whatever you are going to use ready before you leave, that will be the difference in being able to cash in on the great fishing coming our way this month.

 

So much for the easy part, bait is going to be tough. Threadfins are nonexistent, and hook bait Pilchards of the size to get a Sailfish turned on are so rare I cannot divulge their existence for fear of severe harm to my body. Small Blue Runners are plentiful (thank goodness) and Goggle Eyes are also around. Both are very hardy and will take food. Some live in cages so long that they swim in circles when you put them out. Live Ballyhoo are preferred but have been a no show on the reef this year. Could be the warm start to the year,  a few more cold fronts with temperatures that cool the near shore water enough to push the baits out to the reef and the stage will be set for tremendous Sailfish action.

 

Well rigged dead Ballyhoo in a good pattern with a sexy teaser will catch Sailfish. On days when the current and wind aren’t right and the muddy water moves out deeper , trolled baits can be more productive than live baits because of covering more ground and raising fish to the baits instead of throwing it in their face.

 

Since it looks like  Blue Runners and Goggle Eyes are going to be the majority of the live bait available it’s time to learn how to use a kite if you want to use live bait. Both bait fish really want to go hide on the bottom , problem is the Sailfish bite is in the top of the water column. So hook up the kite(s) and hold the baits right on top of the water. An angler should be assigned to each rod and work the line to hold the bait right on top of the water , but not out. It takes a little practice and pays off big in bait presentation.

 

Oh yeah for you guys that could care less about anything that is not going into the cooler Muttons are good in deeper water , Tuna are still here on top early and late , and are catchable on vertical jigs mid-day. Mackerel are still good on the reef and Yellowtail if the wind and current are right.

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