Mahi Dolphin Fishing Heats Up In Key West

May 18 2022 – Mahi Mahi dolphin fishing in Key West heats up! We worked our buts off last week in all the weed. Hardly any current and an over powering desire to fold up and quit till the Gulf Stream brought in the gifts of late April and May. And it happened. The larger Mahi are here off of Key West. Spotty but they are here.

Fishing Report

Scattered weed was the story on all the docks last week with some scattered good catches and the occasional highlight of a white marlin or deep water sailfish. The dolphin fishing last week was hit or miss just like a lure going through all our scattered weed. It was tough some days keeping the baits clean just for a minute. We heard that a few deep sea trolling boats were skunked on the mahi and resorted to our excellent reef fishing for a backup. The opening of grouper season and our incredible yellowtail snapper bite was a life saver in some respects to get the boats in the meat.

Iland Lures Seastar
Seastar for the Win this week on board the “InXS” 47 Ft Viking out of Key West, Oceans Edge Marina.

All that said.. There was a white marlin in the first week of May, some wahoo and several sailfish caught in the deep last week in and among all that mess. A couple other boats boasted of blue marlin eats over last week as well but none were landed that we heard of.

We had two billfish try and eat our offerings as we pushed up to the big full moon. Some nice skip jack tunas showed up for the mix. Thursday and Friday of last week we landed a nice mahi on both days. Those fish were put on the wall. A few other decent sized dolphin made it home for dinner on board my boat the “INXS”. Both of our big fish ate a Iland Seastar lure loaded with a small ballyhoo.

So, the fishing was tough but we all managed and they were certainly around. As the weekend approached the full moon did its thing. The current stayed the same making some edges in the grass. The full day boats were the ones steady in the fish for sure. Below is featured a “Skippy” or skip jack tuna.

skipjack tuna
Skipjack tunas are the bonus tuna when trolling the deep off of Key West. A tasty fish that is a nice addition to the box.

Pro Tip:

Watch the birds. How they work the water is everything. Dozens of birds rotating like a wheel taking turns whacking at bait fish being driven up by predators is what we call “Tuna Birds”. Generally these birds are over skippies or blackfins and sometimes mixed with bonito. We drop back our long baits really far and speed up a bit to get these fish to strike. Darker smaller baits work well here. Always have a good dolphin lure or wahoo lure in the mix or on the down-rigger. You never know who is around under these birds. Bring some wasabi!

Fishing Forecast

At the beginning of this week the weather service was teasing all of us with a tropical system that was supposed to move in by Mid part of the next week (May 25 ish). That seems to have fallen apart, SOooo.. We have 12 – 20 mph SE winds for the period extending to Friday the 27th in one of the best months for deep sea fishing that we have here in Key West.

South East winds are a great angle against the Gulf Stream current here off of Key West to stack up the weed lines perfectly for some good fishing in the blue water. It will be anyones guess where the current winds up and how far offshore but I betcha the fishing will be amazing for mahi, skippies, maybe a sailfish, wahoo or blue. You don’t know unless you go. This IS the time of year to get out there and put one up!

Mahi Mahi Deep Sea Fishing
A nice bull mahi mahi caught on board the INXS deep sea fishing Key West.

Deep Sea Fishing Charters In May

May is a fantastic time to explore deep sea fishing charters here in Key West. Great fishing and great weather go hand in hand. Not to mention the opportunity to catch a bunch of fish you can take home for dinner. We recommend that you book at least a 6 hour fishing charter to facilitate a great day of catching as the Mahi can be offshore a good ways. With fuel prices being so high its pretty sure bet that a captain will stay short on a half day trip.

Give us a Call.. We have a 47ft Viking in house as well as a 36ft Yellowfin center console to get you out to the Mahi Mahi quick and easy.. We are alway here to help with any of your Key West fishing needs.

Our Office Line is 1-305-292-7212
Text Us 1-786-847-3808
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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