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Key West Offshore Fishing Forecast – February 2011


Thinking about fishing over the month of February, I can visualize in my mind that the Grouper are going to bite like wildfire. One of the few things I really know after fishing for the last 20+ years, the moment any species is classified as “off limits”, that will be all you see hooked on the other end of your line.  Aquatic irony at it’s best but you gotta smile and love it.  It’s still fishing. Kingfish should be plentiful but the 2 per person limits will keep you looking for other fish to fill out the rest of your day.  No need to worry as there will be plenty of Spanish and Cero Mackerel to keep you busy and Blackfin tuna will still be biting in good numbers.  The tuna bite seems to be best very early and very late in the day but when it comes to Blackfins,  I don’t care what time of the day they’re biting because it’s super fun fishing and the prize is always delicious. Wahoo seem to really like the weather this time of year and on calmer days,  trolling off the bar to the West can be very rewarding.  Get your downriggers ready and don’t let the adrenaline butterflies get the best of you when the reels start screaming.  These fish hit hard and it’s the makings for some serious grin and “waaaa –hooo !!!” shots on the digital camera. Sailfish will be chasing bait around on the reef and as the Gulfstream moves in closer to the reefs, you’ll be looking for them tailing on a Northeast wind. If the current / wind sets up near the reef, as it does fairly often moving towards spring, Cobia and Tuna will be tailing with the Sails. This setup is just perfect for tearing up your boat and dislocating joints because the fishing gets so good, you ignore all your good common sense and keep listening to your fishing sense.  Doesn’t make you a bad person, just a little sore the next day and sometimes in need of some minor boat repairs.  Hey, when the bite is this much fun, I’ll take some aspirin and spread the duct tape around where needed with a smile on my face. When it comes to table fare, look for Mutton snapper on deep wrecks in February as Muttons are some of the tastiest fish in our waters.  If you have some numbers you really like , I wouldn’t anchor on them just drift and move away when you get company. Remember, a spot that has a good Mutton pile attracts crowds and then it’s very soon no longer a good Mutton pile. The waters in and around Key West, whether its inshore, reef, or offshore, hold an amazing amount of exciting and tasty targets this time of year so get yourself out on the water, have some fun, and make some memories.   Please give us a call or send an email if you’d like information on booking a charter with Seaclusion.  You’ll have a blast. Capt. Chuck Butler Fishing aboard the 46′ Bertram Sportfish “Sea-Clusion” Oceanside Marina 5950 Peninsular Ave Slip # 650 Key West Fl 33040 305-304-4587

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