Reef Bite Is Strong Wahoo Moon?

Reef fishing Key West is great this month.

October 23rd 2018 – Fall fishing in Key West is not to disappoint. The weather is typical October for us here. Mild conditions with lesser humidity. Our first cold front will be coming through Key West sometime this week toward the end of the week and that front traditionally sparks off the start of our winter fishing and things just go nuts here in Key West.

Yellowtail snapper

Yellowtail Snapper fresh for dinner caught on the reef of Key West.

The reef is covered up with bait as far as the eye can see to the West of Key West and everything is feeding on it. With all the natural bait its not hard to imagine the power feeding that is going on all night long out there. Cero mackerel are sky rocketing like a sport smashing the baits below with a force that is horrific. Underneath it all are the yellowtail snappers, mutton snappers and groupers that are feeding into the onslaught of mayhem on the surface. I love to fish artificial lures on the reefs for the yellowtails and mutton snappers. Using the same lures I am pulling them a little slower so the toothy critters such as mackerel and barracudas don’t steal them.

The Full Moon Is Tomorrow..

What does that mean? Well if I had my way I would probably use the second half of my day on the reef to troll for some wahoo and tunas just outside the reef. The full moon of the fall means some good shots at wahoo fishing in Key West. The black fin tunas have been around all year but the numbers have gone through the roof this month. Most of them are in the small 4-7lb “football” size and that usually precedes the wahoo coming into town.

Lots of guides use live bait for wahoo and tunas. The wahoo love Speedos and the tunas love copious amounts of pilchards. To cut down the time of bait gathering I do pretty well trolling plugs and top water baits for wahoo and tuna with great success. See below the baits I used for my Key West reef fishing.

Reef Fishing Charters in November

November is right around the corner. November can be an ugly month for weather with a good bit of wind, some nasty cold fronts but a great month for reef fishing. With Wahoo, blackfin tunas, yelowtail snappers, mutton snappers, possibility of sailfish and the end of grouper season its no wonder why the reef and wreck fishing boats are booked up for great days of fishing Key West. With the weather being so sketchy in November I am super lenient on the cancellation policy on my 36ft Yellowfin Center Console. If its windy and rough we work it out. But do keep in mind. Bad weather makes for good fishing.


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 These are the baits I troll For Wahoo and Tuna 


I use the fast Yozuri bonito bait off a stout 60lb rod and the tuna baits off my lighter 20lb set ups. pull them fast..

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