Here we are into August coming out of perhaps the nicest July I have ever seen here in the Keys. August has a lot to offer, but it is all about being prepared and playing the heat and day to day conditions. The past month I have had many conversations with customers that ask me what the weather is going to be like a month, a week or 4 days ahead of their scheduled trip. I don’t know. I have the same internet that you do. The weather here doesn’t work the same as where you are from. This time of year it rains somewhere in the Keys pretty much every day. It is just how it works. Since you can plan for it, then plan for it. The heat and sun is the other major factor. Please visit my Trip Tips page to see the specific preparations you can make for a more comfortable and successful trip. Your trip with me will be so much better if I do not have to spend a large portion of my time helping you or members of your group working through issues that you chose not to plan for. It seems I have to mention this every monthly blog because it is a constant battle. I provide a ton of good information on my website designed to help you. It is only helpful if it is applied. August is hot, sunny and it can rain at any point in the day. Now you know, right? Spend a few minutes the night before making sure you have everything you need ready for your trip so you can be prepared and arrive for your trip early or on time.
Reef fishing in August is pretty solid early to mid morning. We have had great catches of yellowtail and mangrove snapper that begins to taper off around 10am depending on conditions. After that we bounce around sampling different fishing options or switch to snorkeling to beat the heat. Do not book an afternoon reef trip. The fish just will not cooperate as I would like for your trip to be successful with ease.
Offshore the Blackfin Tuna bite should be ramping up. This is a great fishery with lots of action, hard fights and is a challenge to quickly set lines and reel fish in past the incredibly fast sharks.
Offshore fishing is very physical and you are my deck crew. You make your success out here as you are performing every aspect of the activity and will be constantly performing actions when the bite is good. When you have had your fill or when the tuna bite slows down there is also still some good Dolphin fishing out there. It changes daily, but spending some time trolling weedlines and chasing birds gives us a great chance to add some white meat to the box. Beautiful and delicious, dolphin are close to the perfect game fish that provide the full package for the angler.
Electric deep dropping fishing may be an additional option for your offshore trip. If the weather and current are right, we can fish the bottom in 650 feet and deeper to pick up some exotics like Blueline Tilefish. Snowy Groupers season closed early and there may be additional closures coming soon as quotas are met. It always sneaks up unexpectedly and is just the nature of this short season fishery that is quota driven.
Snorkeling and spearfishing has been good. We did have a stretch in mid July with very hot and dirty water following weeks of weather that was almost too nice. Our waters inshore were up to 92 degrees, but have since cooled to a reasonable 84-86 degrees, which is closer to normal. You may have seen the unbelievable destruction caused by massive freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee hundreds of miles upstream from us. I believe this year we have seen some impacts from this ecological disaster and we may continue to see occasional algae blooms that are related to what they are doing up there. Things here are good now and hopefully it continues until our waters cool off this fall.
The beginning of lobster season is coming up. Mini season passed with less people coming down and it seemed catches were a little bit lower than in years past. I believe Hurricane Irma may have an influence on our results this year, but it is too early to tell. AN emergency amendment passed that allowed commercial lobster trappers to put their traps in a week early, so the dynamic has already changed. Be certain that, as it always is, it will require a full effort to get good results. I have plenty of spots, but I can’t make legal lobster be in them. Make sure you meet the requirements for the activity and be double prepared for your trip!
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