Morning guys. Little chilly down here in the Southernmost City, but our fishing is definitely starting to heat up. The drop in the mercury has pushed a ton of ballyhoo down along the reef from American Shoal all the way down to Cosgrove Light, and we've been seeing some great action with sailfish pushing them along the reef. This is creating some EXCITING sightfishing in water as shallow as 40 feet. Basically, you're chasing sprays of ballyhoo, then pitching live 'hoos into the mix on light spinning tackle. Some of the best action has been right out in front of Key West, but the further west you get, the more species work their way into the mix including some nice dolphin (yes, in December), blackfin tuna, yellow jacks and false albacore. You'll also find some reef fish joining in on the fun, and its not uncommon to hook a big black grouper or even a mutton snapper; the problem is stopping them from getting to the bottom!
Our deeper water wrecks are holding good numbers of blackfin tuna and false albacore; live pilchards are the key, and bait has been pretty easy here lately. The only drawback has been the 400 pound bullsharks that have taken up residence on some of our better wrecks. They seem to have become educated and hang under the boat until you get the tuna within about 20 feet. But, as in all fishing, perseverance pays!
On a personal note, happy to announce the addition of a new light tackle boat to our fleet down here; the Lady Norinne (named after my grandmother who recently passed away) is a custom built Conch 27 armed with twin 200-hp Suzuki outboards. She's fully outfitted with dual Furuno GPS, a state-of-the-art Lowrance HDS-8 chart plotter with satellite weather and Icom communications. She'll get you to the grounds fast and dry and is an awesome platform once you start fishing. Am going to try to take her out for a photo shoot soon and will post some pics!
We've got some availability here towards the end of the month, so if you are looking for a New Year's getaway, give us a shout!
Captain Ted Lund
Captain Ted Lund's Audio report - Cold fronts jump starting Key West fishing