Fishing The Reef Pays Off In Key West

November 15th 2023 – There are so many ways to fish in Key West it can be daunting. With the warmer weather still upon us all the way into November it has all be pretty good. The reef fishing is a great way to go for November.

mutton snapper
Mutton Snapper Reef Fishing Key West

Fishing Report

Last week the winds were up and down but our boats were able to get out to do some reef fishing and find some great table fare to fish for. The ballyhoo are stacked on the reef making a natural food supply for all the predators. Yellowtail snapper, Mutton snapper, mangrove snappers and grouper. All the characters that make up an amazing seafood buffet. I really love this time of the year as the snappers are consistently larger and hungry making our folks super happen at the end of the day as I clean fish for them and they watch the filet bags get fat.

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It takes a good bit of experience to work the reef any time but this can be especially true for November. Knowing the trends of water temps and bait movement are super important to really catch quality fish. Being able to read the water is also key. Our reef fishing charters generally run out to the South West of Key West. This is not only to avoid the crowds due South of Key West but also to turn up some better quality fish for our anglers. The yellowtail snapper tend to be larger and more numerous and the mutton snappers come in pretty close as the water starts to cool.

Yellowtail snapper
Yellowtail Snapper Are Delicious

Fishing Forecast

The forecast is always a good thing to watch when thinking about fishing here in Key West but in November it’s a Great thing to watch. The weather can be so up and down. As the winter battles the Sumer patterns over Key West the winds switch almost daily. Cold fronts start marching their way down to make the changes in the weather we look forward to. As the water cools these tasty reef fish will work their way into the shallows making them easier targets even on the sloppier days. So the reef fishing here in Key West will probably improve even better than what we have now.

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An added bonus this time of the year in the Northerly winds are the blackfin tunas that we catch just out past the reef. Ranging in size from 4 (footballs) to 25lbs. I personally think blackfin are the tastier of the tunas. Besides being great table fare these tunas are a blast to catch. I generally use DAIWA slow pitch jigs or bucktail jigs to get them to hit. With a heavier spinning rod they put up the fight.

Fishing Charters

November is still part of the slower season for Key West Fishing Charters. While we stay steady we are not slammed. Waiting to see what the extended forecast looks like to book your day on the water is not a bad idea. Feel free to call my office and speak to Gennifer, she will have up to the minute information about the fishing and who is available.

Our Office Number 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