You can find fantastic deep sea fishing in Key West pretty much all year long. While the weather and time of year will determine what kind of fish are available for catching, you will find tarpon, sailfish, blackfin tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo and king mackerel, just to name a few. The deep sea fish are usually caught while trolling along the line of a color change or a weed line or just using live bait while the boat is anchored or while it drifts along a color change, weed line or wreck. The style of fishing will be determined by the time of year and the particular species you want to catch.
Trolling is one of the techniques you can use to lure the offshore fish into the boat, pun intended. Trolling is most often done with artificial baits, natural dead baits (chum) or a combination of both. Keeping our eyes open for tell tale signs of good fishing grounds, like diving birds, a weed line, rip, or a color change, we then toss out the baits. Then the boat is put into gear and we start dragging the lures or baits behind. After that, it’s all about waiting for the fish to strike, picking up the rod and getting yourself set for a fight with the fish – hopefully with the outcome that they become your catch.
Trolling is also happens to be a favored style of offshore fishing by many because it is some of the most hardcore and productive fishing around. Different types of live bait can be used – anything from Ballyhoo to Threadfin Herring, Blue Runners or Pilchards, just to name some. We head offshore to fish and anchor or drift the same areas that we would fish if we were trolling.
Creating Some Action:
If using live pilchards, we can often create some action by throwing a net full of live freebies out to chum, or tease the fish to the surface where they will more easily be attracted by our fishing bait. When done correctly this kind of fishing can create some fantastic strikes close to the boat. Usually we use a light line ranging anywhere from 12 to 30 pound test to fight the fish. Lots of fun and action packed!
Remember, there are a lot of guides here in Key West who pay huge commissions to other people who are booking their boats, by anywhere from 20% to 30% – that money comes out of YOUR pocket(!) as an added expense.
At Pepe’s Key West Charter, there are NO payments made to any bookies – you deal directly with me, the captain. And because I do not pay anyone to book me, you will find that all of my business is either repeat business from people who really enjoyed themselves and did not overpay, or they are referrals, with the rest of the traffic coming from online searches and my website.
TIP: If you see a website listing more than one guide, that is a pretty good indication that you are looking at a ‘bookies’ website. Normally they are just interested in your lead and will then “sell” you to the highest paying guide at the time. In most cases, these people do not even fish here or guide here, they just want their 20% to 30% commission to book the trip – which YOU pay!
Another thing to know is that if you are booking your fishing trip book through a booking booth or a hotel concierge, they are most likely taking a commission as well. And most of them also have no idea what the fishing or the guide is really like.
Do yourself and the charter captains/boats here in Key West a really big favor and book directly with the captains directly.
Best Tip Of All: Just call me, Capt. Pepe, to set up a fantastic fishing trip for just a few or the whole family.