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Key West Offshore Fishing Forecast October 2011

Hi, this is Capt. Chuck Butler with Charter SeaClusion, operating out of Key West Oceanside Marina, where we offer full-service charters aboard my forty-six foot Bertram sportfish “SeaClusion”. October is a great month for fishing. We still have Dolphin scattered around wherever the currents edge up and Marlin are in the our waters also . Fishing near the Wall and even further offshore near the Zeros is where these big boys like to play. If you are going after Marlin use lighter rigs than you would think. The old “big baits for big fish does not work too well here. I have caught Blue Marlin on 4” purple feathers and 5” Billy Baits. Although a horse Ballyhoo on a medium Blue-White Islander is my first choice. Fifty pound gear is plenty that way you get the bite, they just don’t seem to bite the heavy gear as well. Years ago the Key West Marlin Tournament was in October and the fishing was excellent. The tournament eventually changed the dates because of weather uncertainties, not a lack of fish. The super calm October days with the sun starting to lose some of its power makes for some of the most pleasant offshore fishing of the year. A lack of fishing customers gives those out on the water the luxury of having the ocean to themselves. Nothing worse than pesky little boats coming to cash in on the floating stump that you just found. Especially when that stump , or other suitable debris is going to yield Wahoo , Dolphin, Triple Tail and if it is a big piece maybe some Tuna lurking about. As it gets later in the month the fishing in closer gives our charters more shots on Blackfin Tuna. Bonita and Skippies are tough fighters and plentiful too, but they just don’t rack up the taste points of a Blackfin. The wreck and reef fishing in October is some of the best with the gentle breeze and the less intense sun , sitting on the reef catching Yellowtails and Grouper is great way to spend a day. The nicer size Yellowtails are getting a little deeper and small Pilchards are just the candy to put the big flags in the bag. Both the Snapper and Grouper will eat cut bait, I like Bonita strips best. Yellowtails can be challenging if you don’t respect the way they feed you can be very frustrated. A few simple guidelines can help put those flags in your box. Never fight wind against current, just do something else. Try to go when the water is neither crystal clear nor Mississippi muddy. Don’t be in a rush, let the chum work a while and don’t put 8 lines in the water at once. A couple of lines working in the right conditions can catch over one hundred pounds an hour so no need to rush. If the bite slows down take a break. Give it twenty minutes and you will see the bite has improved. Remember they hang out in schools all day, they are bound to be learning something.

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