Monday, December 18, 2006

Pompano Fly Fishing Key West

Winter fishing in the Key West Back Country means Sea Trout, Cobia, Barracudas, Jacks, Bluefish and the pee wee Permit AKA Pompano.

They are cute and tuff for their size and you have your hands full with a 7-8 WT fly rod.
Most of the Pompano will be on or near the bottom in the shallow basins and channels, usually 4-6ft so, a slow sink or sink tip line is a good idea.
I use a full floater also and a long leader with a lead eye Mylar Minnow Fly.

Dredging will produce a good jolt/strike and several powerful runs, sometimes he'll come up and flash for you only to dive and smoke off a few dozen more yards.

Sometimes Pompano will FLOAT, holding in the current a few inches down and you can swing the fly infront of the school and watch a strike!

Last winter this happened to us several times and we had a field day landing dozens of Pompano in one shallow basin.

They were apparently sucken in very small minnies that were being washed to them with the tide.
We used a small 1/0 epoxy minnow and the Pompano went nuts, so did we but, we put all but 3-4 back.

They will be much bigger this winter, the one's I released, not the one's I fried in butter!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fly Fishing Key West Flats

Winter fly fishing provides some shots at fish other than the usual Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit Targets.

Cobia moving in, out of the Gulf of Mexico, following Sting Rays and sometimes Nurse Sharks.
They move up onto the flats as Wing Man, picking off the bait fish, crabs and other small wigglers that are on the move trying to avoid being lunch for the rays.

They spring out and get wacked by the Cobia who is better equipt with eye sight and speed then the slow moving rays.

Any good sized fly will sucker a Cobia, bait fish patterns, Crab Fake's even a good Bass Popper works well on Cobia.

Many of these guys will be over 20 lbs and can be much bigger.

Last years big Cobia was near 60 lbs and on the flat in 2ft of water, when you hook a big Cobia you had better get on the stick, because, he will spool you quick on light tackle.

Tossing a fly on a Sting Rays back will sometimes produce Jacks and even Red Fish or the Flats Snapper prize, Mutton Snapper!

We'll have some big Barracuda and Shark Flies along too.....just because.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Xmas fishing Key West

It's that time of year, Snow Birds sneezing and coughing their way up and down every isle in the grocery store.

They just arrived and need to restock the condo with Key Lime Mustard, dishwasher soap and batteries for the 3-4 remote controls.

Another clue is the Ol' guide, building Barracuda Tube lures with 3 layers of super glue on said guide's every finger in the effort to have enough flash jigs for the Pompano,Sea Trout,Blue fish war.

Line on reels, reel lube, Flu shot, order in to Shakespear for more AMO!

My regular Christmas/New Year croud will be here, glad to see some winter fishing action and tell me about last summers Trout trip to Montana.

Some ofcourse Tarpon fish with me in the spring and we'll relive a few Tarpon Tale/Tails.

The weather has been delightful, a little wind and clouds but with the cooler water around the inshore action has been great!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Key West Flats Fishing for Barracudas

Everyone knows what a Barracuda is, to offshore trollers he's the bad guy that eats up your perfectly prepared Sailfish bait.

On heavy tackle drug behind a Sportfisherman he's not much fun, winching him on 50lb test, the mate bitching about the varmits.

Well how would a Rainbow trout fight using the same menthods, funny huh?

On the flats in the winter, lots of big Barracudas come up in a foot or less of gin clear water to gobble bait fish.

They move in "Wolf Pack's" and rocket into the bait fish schools or lurk on the edge of the flat waiting for the bait to move to them on the falling tide.

We will be there also with out light spinning or fly rods with artifical lures.

Hooking a big Barracuda that may go over 25 lbs on a 10lb test spin out fit and watching him bolt 45 MPH, turn 180 degrees and jump 6ft in the air and then do it again.

I can tell you that over the last 30 yrs I have had many SPORTS tell me " Oh I've caught Barracudas before, they were not much fun"

I always ask if they ever caught them on the flat?...err NO!

After the first good Cuda and a whole lot of WOW'S, LOOK at HIM JUMPS.

The opinion changes!........."let's get another CUDA!"

That's just part of the winter Key West Flats Fishing, some of the just plain fun.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cobia's on the Key West Flats

I took a little ride this morning, even though it was rather choppy.

I was wondering if the back country was sturred up from the cold front winds.
It turns out that the channels were still pretty clear and as I poled in along the bank, I saw moving down the river edge a dark shape that you would assume was Mr.Shark.

It was Mr. Cobia, a nice one about 40ish lbs, I tossed a rubber fish in his direction and he leaped on it "like a chicken on a June Bug."

Its a little early for the Cobia's on the flat but, then again we have had some early winter like weather.

A little cooler water and some north winds pushing the bait out of the Gulf and behind the bait the Bluefish,Cobia, Sea Trout and Pompano.

Ofcourse the down side is the near freezing temps .....of 78 degrees

Anyway the Cobia broke off at the boat after I fooled around long enough, worrying about no ice and where he was going to ride on my way home.

I'll get him latter and throw his ass on the Barbee.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Winter Fun of the Key West Flats

Can you believe it ? December already?

Last trip out we found winter back country fishing at its best.

Great comfortable 80 degrees, low humidity and non stop action from our winter fish friends.

I did go thru 3 dozen jigs but, we dont care.

Much Jack attack action, dozens of leaping Lady Fish and 15 perfect Pompano kept us busy for hours.

We had a run in with a school of Blue Fish that gobbled up some jigs until a switch over to wire leaders helped to land a few.

Several black Tip Sharks and one big toofy Barracuda added to the fun.

We headed for the Barn with few weapons left in the tackle arsenal, but a lot of laugh's

Thats the way it is in the back country this time of year, Permit on the flats and the seasonal fun guys chasing bait in the rivers and basins.

The Barracudas with show up anyday now for their winter flats buffet.

And I'm Watching the nightly news and tying jigs every night!