Fishing Report – Mid May

Key West Fishing Report for Mid May 2017.

Red Grouper

Steve with a nice tasty Red Grouper caught on the reef fishing with me.

May 17th 2017 – May is right on track with any other May in a lot of respects to the weather and the fishing. Its not quite as hot as May can get and the winds are still acting up a bit from time to time but the rest of it is right in place. We have some rainy tropical weather moving through this week but still its fishable.

Deep Sea Fishing has been pretty good and typically is in May with larger dolphin (mahi-mahi) being caught pretty regular. Many reports from yesterday with dolphin in the 30lb range from our Key West deep sea fishing charters. This time of the year the dolphin bite can be anywhere from the reef line out to 800 ft. Our fleet of deep sea boats are on the job every day and they know where the trends of fish are at from one day to the next. Being in the loop is very important to our deep sea fishing guys and it definitely pays off for our clients that go out with them.

Bookings are pretty tight here this month for deep sea fishing charters out of Key West. We have limited availability for the rest of May but June starts to loosen up a bit. Its important that if you want a shot at nice size or numbers of dolphin make sure you book at least a 6 hour day and the full 8 hour days are your best bet. Ask about our “Faster Boat” options that cost the same but get you to the trolling grounds faster with just a few less amenities.

Reef fishing has been great. May and June are some of my favorite times to get out on the reef and enjoy some great grouper and snapper fishing. The mutton snappers and yellowtail snapper are all in good size and numbers this time of the year. Grouper season opened up just this month and there a good number of fish out there to be had. A great time for some filet collecting to make for some great dinners. This week the winds are up a bit making it a little challenging out on the reef but that to shall pass by the weekend. Last week some very nice sized yellowtail and mutton snappers were caught. Yellowtails in the 3-4 lb range and muttons up to 16lbs.

June is just around the corner and the reef fishing in June can be just awesome. Grouper and snapper are the focus. Bookings are pretty easy if you call ahead. A great way to get a group of 4 or 5 to catch lots of fish and have fun doing it.

tarpon release boat side

Image of Gary with his monster tarpon fishing with me Last week.

Flats Fishing has been outstanding these last few weeks and I expect it to only get better as this is just the beginning of the flats fishing season. The big three tarpon, permit and bonefish are on the flats and in good numbers. Although super focused on tarpon lately I have had the chance to fish for other species with my clients and in doing so have run into plenty of bonefish and permit. The water quality has been awesome. Last week one of my female anglers managed a great shot with a crab at a tailing permit on the flats and she put it in the boat after a 25 minute fight on 10lb test line. What a great day and great photo. We were able to hook up on two more but they both found obstacles to get cut off on. Out poling on the flats one afternoon a couple days ago I got into some great shots with a fly fisherman on bonefish and permit in the shallows. We were unable to seal the deal but that angler is now hooked for life.

Backcountry fishing is our staple here at Dream Catcher Charters. We run many trips a day out to the Key West backcountry waters and the fishing has been very good. Tarpon fishing is the focus on our trips this time of the year. We have some winds today that are blowing a bit as I stated earlier but the captains here are out at it. Last week we crushed the tarpon with numbers reports of large fish to the boat. Shown here is one of my anglers from last week with a monster tarpon that he put along side and released.

Backcountry fishing for many species and Tarpon fishing will be good all summer long. Backcountry fishing is certainly the most popular fishing charter in Key West because of its versatility in species and ways to fish not to mention the lowest cost private charter available in Key West.  With that said, we are super busy with backcountry fishing charters in our schedule here in May but we do have some slots open.

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About Capt. Steven Lamp
Dr Catcher Is - Capt. Steven Lamp - Owner of Dream Catcher Charters is a veteran Key West fishing guide for flats fishing, deep sea fishing, wrecks and reef fishing, and fly fishing. An expert waterman and licensed captain since 1986. A Veteran of the United States Coast Guard Heavy Weather Search and Rescue, I.G.F.A. Certified Captain and Standing regional board member of The Florida Fishing Guides Association