Published On: December 17th, 2022Last Updated: February 6th, 20233.1 min read

Florida Keys Holiday Season Fishing Report – December 2022

One of our busiest weeks of the year is right around the corner. Anglers from all over the country will come to the Florida keys during Christmas week, most to escape the snow and bitter cold. The temperature has cooled to a pleasant 75 degrees as the winds shift northerly. Sure, that’s warm for Winter compared to most places, but for us, this is a welcome respite from the 90-100 degree summertime heat.

We are starting to see Wahoo and Sailfish show up right on time! Our typical reef and wreck species are also in play now. As the wind picks up a bit, we keep our boats closer to shore, which allows us to focus on the reefs and the wrecks.

Many people visiting the Keys prefer to catch fish they can eat, which works perfectly. On the reef, we are catching Yellowtail and Mangrove snapper. Kingfish, Spanish, and Cero Mackerel have also frequented our filet tables lately. Some of our lucky anglers are also landing a variety of delicious Groupers for their meals.

Red Grouper

McClain Moore holds up a beautiful Red Grouper that he recently caught with us.

Our crews have been drifting baits on the nearby wrecks for some larger fish, such as Mutton Snapper and Greater Amberjack. These larger fish are real backbreakers but also a fun challenge.

Mutton Snapper

Dan Kulwicki recently caught this Mutton Snapper aboard the Main One.

Greater Amberjack

The Dahlquist party caught this Greater Amberjack a few days ago.

When the conditions are right, especially close to a full moon, our boats are trolling for Wahoo on the reef line and sight fishing for Sailfish.


Mark Busch (left) and Captain Marty Lewis (right) with a Wahoo caught near the full moon recently.

As for the Sailfish, the water color and lighting has to be suitable for Captain Marty to spot Sailfish from his tall tower. On other days they try to raise a Sailfish by kite-fishing. Sometimes higher winds can cause the water to turn a dirty green, which is not ideal for sailfish conditions but is excellent for Reef Fishing.

On those rare days when the winds really calm down, our Captains often like to shoot offshore, as it’s summertime. Captain Marty loves to deep drop for Queen Snapper and hit the Marathon hump for Blackfin Tuna. Keep in mind that the Marathon hump are home to many sharks; if they are hungry enough, they don’t allow the anglers to get the fish to the boat.

Queen Snapper

Jenny Ferels posing with a beautiful Queen Snapper caught this month on a calm day.

If live baiting is not working because the sharks are too ferocious, we also try trolling just outside the hump to target smaller Tuna that we can reel in faster. A few Mahi (Dolphinfish) are still around, but not in quantity like summertime.

So there is a wide variety of fish to catch right now, depending on the conditions. If you plan to visit the Keys, call us at 305-289-0071 or visit our contact page and let us know what you would like to catch. If the conditions are right, our Captains can get you on the species you are interested in or offer alternatives to give you the best chance of having a great catch and a fun adventure on the water!

Greater Amberjack

McClain Moore (right) and his son (left) pose with a Greater Amberjack they caught on a sunken wreck.

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