Winter Mahi Surprise Fishing Key West

Winter Mahi Dolphin

I just love it when Mahi Dolphin make it into my winter Key West fishing reports when we are fishing the INXS and my center console the Too Intense. We spend the whole year telling folks the best time to come for dolphin is May – August and we are not wrong. This week we just had the gift from old man winter of a good dolphin mahi bite in the winter. 

Fishing Report

Christmas week was a good time when the weather finally settled and we could get out. Our fishing was pretty much up against the reef. Trolling for whatever we could get to bite resulted in a few nice mutton snappers a few last of the season grouper, yellowtail snapper on the troll and certs mackerels to get the rods to bend and some tasty meat for our anglers. The consistent fish was the Kingfish from 10 – 30lbs. Great trips of fun fishing for the half day anglers we had through Christmas week. 

Winter Kingfish
Nice kingfish like this one were consistent during Christmas week.

Since the first of the year the INXS has been busy running lots of trips to start off the New Year right. 2023 closed with the worst weather we have seen in early December – ever. So variable winds with good fishing were a welcome change. We worked through the New Year and had some great results with Mahi dolphin and kingfish.

Mahi Dolphin Winters Gift

On the table making tacos out of some mahi dolphin caught on board the INXS

Beginning of the first week of January we decided mix it up a little. The kingfish reef bite was cooling of a bit in the incoming tide first thing in the morning so we decided to poke our heads out slowly offshore. Immediately we saw a frigate circling tight and moving to the West following fish -we hoped. It was a little breezy from the East so the bird kept laying up into the wind as he paterned to the West. Trolling natural rigged ballyhoo on the outriggers and in my down riggers I passed by the first time on the side he was looking at with no result. So next pass I went just behind him to the West and we got slammed. Triple hook up we landed a nice bull and lost the others. Next pass we landed some 25-30 inch cows. As the day progressed rinse and repeat. Next bird held fish too. This was good though Friday for us where one time we got slammed by what we think was a white marlin. A great fighter that really ripped some line before tossing the hook in the last few minutes of our day. 

mutton snapper
Using our Canon digital down riggers we are able to slow troll the reef for treats like this mutton snapper.

Deep Sea Fishing Forecast

Tomorrow and Tuesday are going to suck weather wise but Wednesday – Friday looks great. Saturday another blow up from the South but only a mild dip in temps. Back up to 75 all the way through the forecast period. With these Southerly winds prevailing my guess is Mahi Dolphin fishing will continue to be strong for this time of the year. Generally a mild winter keeps us in the meat. Sailfishing will improve hopefully as it should but the Southerly winds might dictate different. Longer fishing charters for us will be able to get to the West where we have more options on a full 8 hour day. Our half day or 6 hour trips should be great too. 

Fishing Charters

We are blessed with a decent schedule so far in January and Feebruary here on board the INXS. We still have availability scattered through. Keep in mind if we cant get you on the INXS then we will get you on a colleague’s boat that may even be more affordable. Half day and split charters are great this time of the year for those on a budget. The INXS drops lines in the blue water in less than 15 minutes where we have been catching mahi dolphin.  Reef fishing on board the INXS is also available. 

Keep in mind also that our 36ft Yellowfin center console is available for charter as well for reef fishing or deep sea fishing

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