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need key west advice

1236 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  croakerpoker
towing my 18' wellcraft to key west next week. any advice on where to launch and what to fish for? is there anything offshore this time of year? are the channels and reefs fairly easy to navigate? any marina in particular i should launch from? any tips and advice will be greatly appreciated. [wink]
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I leave next week and will be taking my 18' CC with me. How was your trip? If it is really nice I thought about heading out for some tuna. Tight lines.
Just got back from a week in the Keys ( Largo). Bailer (Peanut)Dolphin everywhere. More and better quality past 100 fathoms. So easy, just look for 2 or 3 birds picking the surface and there will be a school of mahi there. Glass minnows will keep them interested longer but good ole squid will work fine. For even more fun, throw a gold Jonson Silver Minnow out on a light spinning rod-- they can't resist it. Managed 2 Sailfish off the reef wall. A few football Blackfin on the troll along with some gaffers
Croakerpoker-- You will want to launch from marinas on Stock Island (adjacent to K.W. , mile marker approx . 6. Do not attempt to tow into K.W. proper (altho there is nothing proper about KW, and thats a good thing.) Learn and understand the concept of eyeball navigation in the clear waters of the Keys (if it's white it's all right, if it;s brown you've run aground .etc.) Major channels and reefs are marked, backcountry generally not. Watch the weather and offshore fishing is possible in your boat-- dolphin on weed lines. downrigger for wahoo. On the reefs, yellowtail snapper (delicious!). I lived there for 29 yrs, ran charters for 8 yrs. KW was a different place then than now, but bring plenty of $$$$ and enjoy yourself.[smile][smile]
i had a great week. dolphin were plentiful and everywhere outside of about 12 mi. mostly bailers but got 2 20lbs too. tried tarpon in between the main cruise ship channel and the fort but no luck, just a lot of big sharks. i never was able to get the tide right though for tarpon, it was always screaming and i think a slow moving tide during the changes would be a better time. Finding my way around was not a problem and it is going to be hard to go back to our green water. Had some great dives on the reef and had some good shark encounters which was a first for me.

chop chop- pick your day and go offshore when it is calm. it is the only chance you will ever have to get your 18' in the gulf stream and it is worth it. take some dive or snorkel gear and check out the reefs. The easiest for snorkling if you have some novices or pick up some girls is sand key light. you will see everything from sharks to moreys to jewfish to everything else you can imagine and its only about 3 mi from KW. inshore fishing is pretty easy. i never went into the back country but just casting spoons around there are tons of jacks and spanish and fishing meat in the right place at the right time you can find tarpon. i launched at the city marina which is on the corner of palm and truman and had no problems. Buy a week pass. nice ramp and easy parking. the biggest obstacle to fishing is the 4am last call. dont forget the advil. good luck.

send me a bmail if you have any questions
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