The Winter Season

by Capt. Bobby Manske

The Winter Season

Welcome to November and December fishing in the Middle Keys! Things really start to pop this time of year!

During these months, we start to see all our winter friends, both human and fish, returning to the islands. We can also expect the onset of cooler weather. In fact, it is that weather that triggers the annual migration of our wonderful friends, the snowbirds. We also see a big push of migrating bait fish moving into our area waters, which are followed by the gamefish we all love to catch.

We had a great early season sailfish bite, as conditions were perfect for a couple weeks in September. I expect to be looking for and catching sailfish over the next couple months. I may be live baiting on the outside edge of the reef, or chasing the sails while they are up on the reef balling bait. Both styles of fishing are highly effective and have their place, depending on conditions.

The Aikatsi team will also be keeping a keen eye out for our brown buddies, the cobia. This is a great time of year to find them in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as traveling the surface in Hawks Channel and the reef.

Reef fishing is always a consistent fishery this time of year, with every type of species you can imagine. From snapper and grouper, to cobia and kingfish, the possibilities are endless.

Just a bit offshore of the reef, our local wrecks get very active this time of year. Expect wahoo, kingfish and the possible sailfish on the surface to mid-depth ranges over and around the wrecks, as well as the bottom dwellers; big mutton snapper, grouper and a variety of jacks, including amberjacks. Many boats, including myself, will start most mornings on the reef and then move to other venues as conditions warrant.
FishMonster Magazine-Nov/Dec 2016
This is a great time of year to be in the Florida Keys! We welcome all of our migrating friends from the north, and returning fish from the depths, back to our beautiful backyard! Let’s play!




Capt. Bobby Manske
Capt. Bobby Manske

Author

Captain Bobby Manske owns and operates Aikatsi Sportfishing out of the Marathon, Key Colony Beach area. He has over 30 years fishing in the Florida Keys and specializes in offshore, reef and wreck fishing, live bait sailfishing and tarpon. You can reach him at 305-481-1118, or go to his website www.captbobbymanske.com.



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