The Changing of Seasons
In the Florida Keys and in the rest of the state of Florida, we don’t experience the changing of the seasons like the rest of the country does. Our leaves don’t change and the sun usually stays shining. What does change for us is the fishing. Fall is here and it’s time to transition away from our summertime species.
The first thing that seems to go is of course the mass quantity of dolphin (mahi mahi). This is not to say that we won’t have days full of schoolie-sized fish or even a few larger ones, but we will just no longer be able to head offshore and expect to catch dolphin every day. Wahoo and tuna - both blackfins and skipjacks, will take their place allowing for great days on the troll.
On days when these species aren’t around and we’re looking for some action, the power tools come out… We go deep dropping.
Deep pieces of bottom in the 200-400 foot range as well as the wrecks will start to amp up with amberjack and almacos ready to eat any vertical jig or live bait put in front of them. Vermillion snapper should start to stack up as they normally do when winter time approaches making a great addition to the fish box. Snowy grouper will still be closed until the new year but as for now tilefish and rosefish will be easy targets.
Lastly, the reef. The heat of summer makes fishing on anchor rather uncomfortable, especially on the days with no wind. With the arrival of fall, the reef becomes much more fishable with ballyhoo showing back up with mackerel, snapper and grouper hanging underneath them just waiting for their chance to pick one off.
Fall is an excellent time to fish and a great time to come to the Keys. The crowds are gone and the fishing remains fantastic.
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