Big Key West Dolphin Fishing

Time for some calm water and big Dolphin in Key West. We seem to maybe, just maybe, starting to have some calm summer weather in Key West. The fishing is even better than the weather with big 20+ pound fish on almost every trip and much bigger occasionally. And if you want to be a little closer to the action, come join us. I wish I had a shot of this fish that’s really tearing up the deck and I don/t think our angler wants to get much closer at this point. Special mention on the particularly smooth gaffing today.

As Summer Approaches – 2017 Key West Fishing Recap

It’s summer of 2017 and the heat is really starting to add up. Water temperatures in the 90’s have helped build a lot of afternoon rain and thunderstorms in Key West this summer. We have had a couple of exciting rides home this summer, can’t say we really dodged lightning but we didn’t catch either. Thank Goodness. The warm water has put a lot of fishing deeper too where the Gulfstream water is cooler than the nearshore waters. The Dolphin fishing has been disappointing this summer and all good catches have been around debris that you found first. Fortunately the combination of slow Dolphin and hot Snapper fishing on the reef has kept a lot of fishermen nearshore, and when you do venture deep the competition is not so heavy.
Key West Summer Fishing
The Snapper fishing has been solid with really great catches of Yellowtail , Mangrove and Mutton Snapper all up and down the reef , get some chum ,some secret numbers and catch a bunch of nice fish. This pattern should remain for the rest of the Summer. Good snapper fishing on the reef , spotty Dolphin fishing on first found debris and a few Wahoo and Marlin to liven up the troll. Swordfishing at night has been productive around the full moons as the squid come to the surface at night. As bycatch of the Swordfish we have gotten big Blackfin Tuna at night while drifting for the Swords. Night fishing is not just for Swords , on the reef the Snapper bite is hot at night , and the temperature is much cooler.

The One That Got Away Fishing In Key West

I always thought when I got older that reflection of accomplishments and successes would be the stuff on my mind. Although I do relive some of those from time to time, the dominant is the one that got away. The fight well fought and lost. The passion lingers in those moments where the winners are complete and there is nothing left to do. I still hunger to complete those battles.

Several years ago when recreational anglers here in Key West figured out they could catch Swordfish I got the bug. I started going after Swords whenever I could. Night fishing was all we were doing then and we were having good success, with keeper size fish on almost every trip.
One of our first “loses” was a nice evening and we had a lot of life going on in the lights. The Squid and flying fish were all around the back of the boat and all kinds of bait at the edge of the light. It wasn’t long till we had a Swordie chasing flying fish behind the boat. Earlier in the charter we were fishing Mutton snapper and the only rod ready and available was a spinner used for Muttons. The forty pound three foot leader was not the perfect setup for pitching a Goggle Eye.

Steve Stearns, my mate, could not stand to not take a shot and pitched the bait. It took three big splashing pitches to attract his attention, but once we got his attention nothing else existed. Now we were getting a real good look as he chased the bait around behind the boat batting at it with that “sword”. He was in the 125 pound class and took about five minutes before he actually killed the bait and ate it. This battle had no hope with a short under classed leader and a 20 pound spinner. The hook up was solid and the fish almost spooled the spinner on his first run. Steve worked the fish in to watch him take off and almost spool again and again over the next hour. Slowly the fish started taking less line on his runs and finally discovered he could sit about 30 feet behind the boat and we could not move him. We would back up and he would swim off . Bring him back but no closer than 25 – 30 feet. This standoff, out of gaff and harpoon range went on for a while until the inevitable line break. He had chaffed through the forty pound leader. What a surprise. Needless to say we keep a proper pitch rod always on the ready now.