Florida Keys Fishing Report
Fishing report for item #617.
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Fishing Weather Changes Hit Key West
Greetings from The Saltwater Angler staff from a very cold Key West. It was the tale of two weather scenarios this week with a very major cold front hitting us in mid-week. The beginning of the week continued to be unseasonably warm and the fishing was great. Highlighting it was the permit which were being seen on the shallow coral heads and the flats in good numbers. Sometimes they were a little reluctant to eat but anglers where getting enough shots to get a few fish to eat a live crab.
The baby tarpon fishing, which is usually non existent this time of year, was very productive for many fishermen. I spoke to a number of people that where catching them from shore and underneath bridges, so people visiting without a boat had a nice surprise. They were also holed up in the backcountry taking advantage of the warm water temps before the front. The barracuda fishing was also very consistent with some larger fish being caught west off Key West. It was an amazing stretch of weather we had and we should all be thankful, but winter weather was bound to come sooner than later.
When the front started coming through things changed dramatically. The permit fishing the day before the front was very difficult with the fish in the same areas as they had been but very spooky and uncooperative. Most fish will turn on and eat vigorously before bad weather comes through but the permit seem to be the complete opposite the day before a front passes for what ever reason. The water temperature dropped to 65 degrees within 24 hours which really affected the fishing negatively.
The fish donít mind small changes in water temps in most cases, but a sharp change will cause them to go out to deeper water to find more stable water temps. This was certainly the case with this cold front resulting in fishing being really tough for the rest of the week. As the high pressure system moves eastward our air temperature should be in the mid seventies during the day and by then the fish will get over the initial shock of the water. The permit fishing is obviously going to be tough but expect the barracuda, jack crevalle, and maybe even the cobia fishing to be back in full swing.
Trying to fish after a front can be very discouraging but there are certain things you can do to up your success rate. One thing I tend to do as a fisherman is to stay in an area that I think is holding fish even if I donít see them right away. Since the fishing is usually marginal after a front itís in your best interest to move around a little more than normal and locate the fish. Another thing to keep in mind is cast at every ray and shark you see.
The fish that are on the flats are looking for an easy meal and following a ray or shark is their best bet. Youíll find anything from jacks, permit, cobia or maybe even a big snapper cruising with them looking for little crabs and shrimp scurrying away. Hopefully this advice will get you a few more hook-ups when the fishing is less than stellar. From all of us at The Saltwater Angler we wish you tight lines and fish boat side.
Date of Report: 2006-01-09
Fishing Report Title: Florida Keys Fishing
State or Fishing Region: Florida Keys Fishing Report
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