Welcome to the winter roller coaster here in the Keys! I am very grateful we aren’t buried in your snow storms, but we get some of the chaos too in the form of wind and cooler than normal water temperatures. It’s pretty hard to complain about a sunny 70 degree day, but what happens on land and below the water are two different things! In the water activities have been challenged by 65 degree water, choppy seas and visibility that is good one day and poor the next. Not out of the ordinary for this time of year, but we seem to be getting more than our fair share. Hopefully we are paying our dues now and can get back in the water under better conditions soon! Also, I have been getting tons of inquiries about lobstering. Lobster season IS OPEN, but this is not the time of year to find any reliable numbers of them out there. We can’t catch them unless we try, but nobody is trying because they are not likely there. That cold water probably ran them out to deeper warmer water. However, we sometimes see a late season spike in catchable numbers right before season closes if the weather is warm.
Fishing has been good, but has required more work lately than I like to see for my customers. I’m still averaging 15-25 keepers per trip, but every trip is different form the last. It’s been keeping me up at night trying to figure out why we haven’t settled into a pattern that lasts more than a day. Most of my trips last month were close to shore to keep my customers comfortable in reasonable sea conditions and I didn’t get to spend much time on the deep edge of the reef. Talking with my commercial fisherman friends, they are having the same difficulty of not settling into a day to day pattern. The trick is to figure it out quickly and pick away at what the day gives us. We find what is working and fine tune it into something good. What I expect for February is for more migratory fish to come into our area. Cold fronts move fish and are not a bad thing if they are not too close together. Happy fish like stability in their environment and I see happy fish in our near future. I have zero offshore reports due to the large seas out there for such a long period of time. Pretty much most of January most boats were kept inside the reef or they fished bayside. Speaking of bayside, the shallow bay offers smaller seas and good numbers of fish. Our species are a little more limited on the bay vs. ocean, but both can be stellar this time of year. It all comes down to conditions and what works best for you on your trip! I always have a plan A,B and C and we discuss the options for each and every trip.
As always, thanks to all of my customers that have invited me to be on their vacations. I am so lucky to be a charter captain in the Florida Keys!! I want to remind returning clients and new guests that it is extremely helpful to write a short TripAdvisor review about your experience with me. With almost everything these days, there are ways to exploit and cheat the system with $$$. So it becomes more important to give an honest review of what I have to offer and what your experience is like. Typically 99% of my clients walk away with more than they expected and maybe 5% will leave a review because of that. Social review sites cater to raising awareness to problems and I’m fortunate to have very few that are far between. Ok, enough of that! Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the water soon! If your trip to the Keys didn’t include a day on the water, then you missed the whole reason we are all here!!
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