Florida Keys Fishing Report – Mahi Season July 21
For the last several weeks, the Florida Keys has experienced a lack of wind and very flat calm conditions on the water that we often refer to as a slick day or a slicker. This is typical in the Summertime but not normally for weeks on end without any change in the weather to offer some relief. The prolonged lack of wind and waves combined with the summer sun was not only making for hot days but also increased water temperatures. With weeks of no wind, the sargassum grass went from nice trollable lines to forming into very large patches like big islands on the ocean surface. While offshore, Captain Marty reported that in depths of 600+ feet the water temperature was 90 degrees! Never in his 20+ year fishing career has he seen it that warm so far offshore.
Some days our crews would run offshore and find hundreds of fish, but all under the legal limit. While catching these fish is fun for novices and children it can be very frustrating for charters who specifically come to the Keys intending to fill their freezers with meat for the coming months. Other days, we would run offshore and the Mahi were just nowhere to be found. From what we gather the water temperature has had a lot to do with it. We suspect the fish had been staying down deeper and not feeding as the general consensus is that Mahi are most comfortable in waters within the 78-85 degree range.
Fast forward to Friday, July 17th and the wind has finally picked up and there has been lots of rain, which helped cool down the water temperature. Although rain is not ideal to fish in, let’s all remember the fish are already wet! This just means as long as the anglers are willing to get soggy and tough it out, a great catch is often very likely. Higher winds are not an ideal factor for inexperienced anglers, as it makes the seas larger and rougher, which can lead to seasickness if you are not used to it or forget to take your seasick pills. That being said the change in conditions was welcome by us as we know typically when the wind picks up, so does the fishing.
Captain Marty went offshore this past Saturday on July 18th. The wind was blowing out of the East 10-20 mph which made it pretty rough actually, but the Mahi fishing picked up tremendously. The morning started very rainy but improved as the sun tried hard to come out throughout the cloudy day.
Captain Marty reported a lot of gaffer sized Mahi anywhere from 17 to 23 miles offshore. He found lots of weed, so much in fact that trolling was still impossible. When he saw fish, they stopped and pitched baits to the fish to get them to eat, and they were very hungry! The water temperature had cooled to 86.7 degrees and Mahi fishing was finally back to normal. That afternoon Captain Marty and his crew came back with a full rack of nice sized Mahi. Marty went back out the next day on the 19th and they caught another full rack of Mahi. It seems the bite is back on and as long as you are willing to put up with some wind and the occasional drizzle. If you have a freezer to fill, now might be your chance! Call us at 305-289-0071 or visit our contact page.