Published On: December 27th, 2023Last Updated: January 19th, 20243.9 min read
Mangrove Snapper

A large Mangrove Snapper caught on the reef recently.

Florida Keys Fishing Report – December 2023

Can you believe it’s December already? 2023 seems to have passed in a flash. There were many ups and a few downs, but as always, we managed to surmount the challenges we encountered. As the new year approaches, we are happy to report that the fishing in the Florida Keys has been exceptional!

A few weeks ago, we had what felt like a tropical storm come through. Despite its classification as a low-pressure system, the deluge of rain and relentless high winds we endured were so intense that it seemed astonishing it wasn’t considered a tropical storm.

The high winds would have made fishing unsafe and unenjoyable, so everyone had to sit on their hands and wait. Our crews love fishing, so after several days of sitting at the house, watching the wind blow and rain, they were itching to go back out.

It was back to fishing once the weather passed, and the weather stirred up the ocean beds making the water cloudy. When the water is “dirty,” as we like to say, reef fishing usually gets quite good. This is because when Snappers can see the fishing line, they get timid, making fishing challenging. The Yellowtail and Mangrove Snapper bite has been incredible since that storm passed. During this season, our clients are also reeling in delicious Mutton Snappers from the patch reefs. Not only has the bite been good but the snappers have also shown impressive size lately. Having such fantastic fish available near the shore is a tremendous advantage, especially on windier days.


There has been no shortage of beautiful Mutton Snappers on the reef this month.

In addition to the snapper being very good, we also have been catching a variety of Mackerel. Cero Mackerel is one of our favorites because it tastes like a sushi-grade fish. Spanish Mackerel is quite good to eat as well. Kingfish make for a superb fish dip and are fun to catch because they grow much larger than their counterparts (up to 100lbs).

Another favorite that we have been catching is Yellow Jack. They fight as hard as a Jack Crevalle but eat much finer. This is just a great time of year to catch a variety of excellent eating fish.

Mutton Snapper and King Mackerel

Recently caught Mutton Snapper (left) and Kingfish (right).

When the water clarity is cloudy, it’s not great for sailfishing; however, the Sailfish will reappear when it clears.

This time of year, we also fish with various repeat customers. J.W. Drott and his family fished with us just before Christmas. Their group brings so much laughter that our faces ache from smiling so widely. Their group was larger than six, so we split their party between the Main One and the Ben ‘Ofishal. Everyone enjoyed several days of catching fish, cracking jokes, and sharing stories.

Keys Fishing Catch

J.W. Drott and his family after a fun trip on the reef.

Another outstanding family we had visit us this year was the Avery’s. The queen bee, Ms. Marilyn, has been fishing with Main Attraction for many years and is part of the original Key Colony Beach “7th Street Crew” of Key Colony Beach. Within the last few years, she has brought her son, daughter-in-law (Mollie), and grandchildren along the way. Throughout the years, we have witnessed them grow, along with their passion for fishing.

Avery Family Charter

The Avery family after a fun trip on the reef this month.

We had the pleasure of taking one of the grandchildren (Trace) out a few years ago, where he caught his first Sailfish. Since then, Trace has been hooked on fishing, no pun intended. Although we fish thousands of people every year, we have many special memories from fishing with our clients.

As we approach the end of this year, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our incredible clients, family, and friends. We wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a joyous New Year. May 2024 bring nothing but the finest moments for you and your loved ones. When you plan your next visit to the Florida Keys, remember to stop by and see us in Marathon, right in the heart of the Keys!

If you have any questions or are interested in booking, call us at 305-289-0071 or visit our contact page.

Season’s Greetings from the Lewis family!

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