November 23rd 2013 – Reef fishing report for Key West. Thanksgiving day turkeys might get a reprieve if this great reef fishing here in Key West keeps up. We all might switch to Yellowtail snappers, mutton, snappers and grouper for our thanksgiving day feast.
While the retail stores like Walmart and Sears are messing things up with an early Black Friday event.. We have been out fishing and fishing was good.. the reef bite the last couple weeks has been absolutely outstanding. Everybody has been getting in the game from our Deep sea fishing boats to the backcountry, bay boats.
The reef of Key West is only 6 miles away.. thats nothing in travel time for a bay boat on a nice day and the sport fishing boats are already there trolling to catch pelagics. (see my Deep Sea Fishing report). Its just a hop. People are haven a ball not only catching hard pulling reef species such as yellowtail snappers, mutton snappers, mackerel and groupers but putting some meat in the cooler for a fantastic meal that they can prepare themselves or have one of our favorite Key West restaurants cook the fish up for them.
Capt. Tommy Z. of Dream Catcher Charters was out at the reef on a half day with two gentlemen and limited out on nice 20++ inch yellowtail snappers a couple mutton snappers and very large 10 plus pound cero mackerels.
Capt. Steven Lamp (me) fishing Key West was out on the reef a couple days last week in various areas including the reef just off the Marquesas Keys fishing and we got into some nice yellowtail snappers. My trips were interesting in that I really HATE to use chum and bait. So I bring a ton of MirroLure artificial plugs with me to “spice” it up and the Yellowtail snappers eat them up. Within 1-2 hours I have all my anglers that can cast, limited out with 10 NICE yellowtail snappers in the 20 -26 inch range. Nothing against guys that chum, but I really like it on artificial.. And like Forest Gump says.. Casting plugs on the reef is like eating a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get…
The conditions seem to be improving as it gets cooler. We have an impressive front baring down on us now for Monday and Tuesday. and Another for thursday. This will make the reef fishing a little sporty unless you are on one of our sport fishing boats. But the bite will stay red hot through February, count on it..
Catch Yellowtail, Mutton Snappers and Cero Mackerel On A Budget..
Tasty yellowtail snappers are just a shot to the reef away. Your limit is 10 fish per person. Fish must be over 16 inches on our boats to keep. We do reef trips for 2 anglers for $425.00 and $50.00 extra per person up to 4 total. A great way to stock up on some nice snappers for the freezer. We use chum, live bait and artificial..