Mild December Holds Great Fishing For Key West

December 4th 2022 December can be a pretty sketchy month weather wise here in Key West. Typically we have some regular cold fronts pushing through that can stir things up a bit. Good for offshore fishing, not great but it is the norm for inshore. This year has been a very mild late November and so far early December with not many changes coming up in the long range forecast. So, things are still “summer-ish” here in Key West and I will share what those effects will have on Key West fishing.

Offshore Reef and Deep Sea Fishing

In the deep sea fishing the air temp (unless extreme) has no hard core affect on the fishing. But the wind direction can dictate many different intricacies of a bite one way or another. I have seen the winds switch while in 300 plus feet of water and it is like a switch for good and bad to the bite I was into. A good note is Southerly winds for better chances at Mahi in December. Northerly winds can be great for hugging the reef for toothy pelagic or trolling just outside a well formed color change for some blackfin tuna or sailfish. This year don’t discount Mahi on any of the winds. Seems like they are hanging on for the long haul late this year as we had a some days with great bites through November. Some days meh’ not so much. Always watch the moons for great wahoo reports and get out there right after a good blow or front, it really stirs things up.

We use a 47′ Viking for our deep sea fishing charters called the “INXS” that runs out of Key West at Oceans Edge Marina. We are just 15 minutes from dropping lines when we leave our dock. Check out our deep sea fishing web site at

The wahoo fishing in Key West this year has been great. December is a great month for them.

On the reef where we get many of our tasty species such as yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and grouper (Atlantic grouper season closes December 31) has been pretty good considering the lack of surface bait we are seeing. Could be that the fish are hungry as there should be Gaggles of ballyhoo all over the place. Here is where an effect of late winters have a toll. We could use a strong cold front to push in more bait. The shallows are doing well on the patch reefs for all the snappers. Great weather makes for a very nice day out there on the reef fishing and as I mentioned earlier it seems we will enjoy at least 10 more days of it.

Our reef fishing boat here at Dream Catcher Charters is a 36′ Yellowfin center console powered by triple Mercury Racing 300s. Fast safe and comfy. 4, 6 and 8 hour trips. Call us and see what we will have available for you.

Inshore Backcountry and Flats Fishing

Inshore things are very October-ish. Extraordinarily great conditions for many of our fall species on the flats. We are seeing a good number of permit and bonefish still in the shallows and the baby tarpon are still lurking around their little Hide-E-holes. A nice bonus is the number of larger barracudas that are all over the flats ready to eat a fly or lure. We have had some great fun with them. The lack of cold fronts has kept our water temps up in the mid to high 70s which makes it really nice back there for fishing on the flats.

Jack Crevalle
Jacks follow the baits and get behind the stingrays on the flats looking for more. Always a great fight on light tackle in the backcountry.

In the backcountry the bait has started to show up. Some ballyhoo on the surface in the basins and the mullet are here starting to stir things up with huge pockets of pilchards on the beaches and in various areas of the backcountry islands. This makes for a feed fest for speckled sea trout, jacks, sharks, cudas and lady fish. Once it gets cooler a whole additional load of characters will show up. We will try to keep you posted on that as it comes.

Our backcountry fishing charters are very enjoyable. Casting and catching. Challenge yourself with sight fishing on the flats. We do it all on one trip aboard our bay boats.

Fishing Charters

Give us a call for any type of fishing charters here in Key West.. We are happy to help.
Office 1-305-292-7212
Text 1-786-847-3808

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