November Delights Mahi and Sailfish


Thursday November 3rd 2022 – I would be lying if I ever said November was a predictable month for Key West deep sea fishing. I call it a transitional month where our summer and winter weather patterns battle for position often making our weather a living hell or super nice..  I cannot look at my logs and say any two Novembers were exactly the same. This November has been a delight so far with Mahi Mahi and sailfish.

This day we had a really fun trip with 4 anglers looking to bend some rods and throw some high fives. That we did all the while filling the needs for the dinner plate with Mahi and releasing two VERY nice sailfish caught on the troll.

Where To Start?

Having just got back from vactation the INXS was off since the end of September when Hurricane Ian came rocking through just grazing us to the West but really kicking us around a bit. Fortunately no boats in my Marina were hurt. After we got back from our getaway we had to go attend the Ft Lauderdale boat show to see all the new upcoming stuff in the boating industry. We also did a pit stop to pick up the brand new outriggers for the INXS up in Stuart FL where RUPP outriggers are custom built (Super Excited). 

Picking up after a month or so isn’t so terrible except in November. No telling what is going on out there so, we just winged it on our 8 hour trip. Hoping to keep up with the other talented captains and boats that were fishing out of Oceans Edge Marina here in Key West, many of us were fishing the same party of guests. It worked out pretty well. 

mahi mahi
Pair of Mahi Mahi to start off the day in 550 and some scattered grass.

We got started in about 550 where some really small pieces of scattered weed were showing up. we set baits with no birds or strong current or over abundance of flying fish. Less than an hour in and wham we hit one on a natural naked ballyhoo. We only had one out the rest were lures like witches or the Ilander Sea Star rigged with a ballyhoo. I saw pretty quick we were going to have to hang some more meat. That we did and the hits kept coming. We had some doubles and triple hook ups it was really fun. 

Blue Water Sailfish

sailfish November
Its not uncommon to catch sailfish in November It's just hard to predict the day they will be eating.

Conveniently saifish love to eat a well trolled ballyhoo. So while we were working the tiny shoe string weeds in an area about 550 – 650 ft of water. We managed two of our fish to be sails. Our first sail was enormous. He stayed low and fought full on pit bull never jumping. It wasn’t till we got him half way in that I could see the color and knew. The fish was a monster and super pissed off when he was getting a little tired and closer to the boat. Our angler stayed in the game, slow and steady. My mate Paulette got her hand on the leader and the fish lunged forward to the back of the boat. When he layed up sideways I could really see how freaking huge it was. I was almost relieved that he spit the hook right when P was reaching for the bill. Got his shit back together and took off. (whew). That would have made a great photo though but I am not sure we could have done it without hurting him. He was pretty agitated still. 

Or second sailfish came sometime later. When we get into fish or have an exceptional catch I often make a mark on my GPS where we caught it. I name it “temp sail” so I know to erase it later. Crazy part of this story and it has happened with sails and wahoo a few times but many times with mahi. We were just 150 yards down Current from that mark and WHAM.. the fish you see above ate – two hours later in the day. Pretty kewl if you ask me. This fish was much more fun to watch. He leaped and ran and did all the sailfish games was somewhat manageable at the boat so we lifted him for a quick shot or two. My clients loved it and it really capped off our day. 

Pro Tips

I always like to share what we are doing out there to get our catches. On this day we hung a lot of meat. This means we trolled with a natural bait (ballyhoo) most had no extra skirts or lures. All but a few of the  fish we hooked were on this. I have an example of the rig and the witches we pull as well as the Fluorocarbon leaders we use on board the InXS.. Keep in mind, every day is different Keep changing your offerings if you think fish are in the area and there is no action. I really like the black and purple witches when sinking a ballyhoo on my Cannon down riggers. Great for wahoo, kingfish, deeper dolphin and I have hooked a sail on that as well. 

Just click on the image to learn more about those rigs and where to get them. 

Deep Sea Fishing Charters

I captain the boat “InXS” she is a 47 ft Viking Convertible. We run 4, 6, and 8 hour trips this time of the year. Trolling and live baiting off the reef here just 5 miles South of Key West in the hunt for days just like in this Key West fishing report

Call our office and see what is available for the days you would like to fish. IF we are sold out or our fishing rates do not fit your budget we have very qualified colleagues that might be a better fit. Call Us.. Gennifer will go over every option for Key West deep sea fishing

Office 1-305-292-7212
Text 1-786-847-3808
Email Us

Viking 47 Convertible
The 'In XS"