Fall Is In The Air Fishing In Key West

September 5th 2023 – Just stepping outside it takes about three breaths of fresh air to realize fall is in the air here in Key West. After a near miss by Hurricane Idalia the fall like weather has dropped humidity and cool things off for the time being with a good bit of rain and some Easterly Winds.

Key West Fishing Report

When we get a blow the first places to be affected are the shallows and they were affected in a positive way. Cooling down the water temps really helped, not that the fishing sucked in the backcountry and on the flats before the winds and rain because it didn’t. Now it will only enhance it. Blowing out the greenish water in certain areas that was created by the lack of winds and agitation was a big deal for many visually. I think things in the shallows will at least remain the same and probably get better. Out in the deeper waters of the reef and deep sea fishing areas the wetter windier weather will have its minimal affect.

In the reef fishing trips we have had a pretty good last couple weeks with some excellent catches of larger than normal mangrove snappers on the reef fishing trips. Mutton snappers are out there as well when you can find them working the patch reefs and deep reef sections to the West of Key West. One can always bet that if there is a current there will be good fishing, especially on those amazing trips fishing the Dry Tortugas.

Reef fishing Key West
These guys did some work on board my 36ft Yellowfin Center Console on the reef.

Key West Deep Sea fishing before Hurricane Idalia passed through was pretty amazing for mahi mahi. Not a bunch of grass but we had some great bird action pointing out where the fish were. On board the 47ft Viking that I run called the InXS we put together some nice catches this way. Since then the fishing deep sea has cooled off a bit with these consistently higher winds and the rain fewer numbers of Mahi but a better number of Wahoo that showed up during the full moon this past week. Thats super exciting as we don’t typical slay that many wahoo this time of the year out there. The mahi have been larger than legal mostly and that is a welcome change from our typical schoolies or pea nut size fish.

Check Out The InXS – Deep sea fishing in Key West.

Pro Tip: Don’t Forget To Book Your Key West Deep Sea Fishing for Wahoo Dates In October and November. Full Moon New moon. Dates on our boats are filling up fast. Thats a great time to get some blackfin tunas as well. Room rates after Fantasy Fest (End Of October) are very good.

permit barracuda backcountry fishing
Permit and a barracuda double.. Pretty impressive on board one of our 24ft Yellowfin center consoles here at Dream Catcher Charters.

The flats fishing lately has had some of our best bonefishing seen yet off Key West in the last 13 years. This will only improve through till November. Our permit have been lacking on the flats lately, hopefully this will improve as I love the fall where typically we can pretty much guarantee seeing a Key West flats fishing grand slam of a tarpon, permit and a bonefish caught in one day on the flats . Great news is our tarpon fishing has not been bad at all. We were catching adult and juvenile tarpon before the weather and still this morning one of my guys here at Dream Catcher Charters says he is in the tarpon. That is all very exciting for our fall line up of inshore Key West flats fishing.

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September and October are a great time to visit Key West.. Room rates are low and fishing guides are slower so you can book a last minute trip based on weather. Yes, there can be a storm but from the looks of it in our long range forecast everything will be headed off into the Atlantic and away from us. The media beat Florida up pretty good this year with the Seagrass that never showed up, the reef dying from warm waters that did not happen on the reef and 100 degree water temps that are a pretty common thing every 5-7 years here in the Keys, especially on the flats after an outgoing tide middle day. Everything is fine here.

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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