The back country of the Keys can be hot this time of year in cold Florida but heading out into the ocean, just after the sun breaks the horizon, to fish the offshore reefs is beautiful. Decked out in my Columbia Sportswear Overalls, I use when up north in snowmobiling, I was warm as a bug in a rug and ready to go get on some fish. Winter time in the Keys produces many a Speckled Trout, Redfish, Ladies to Jacks but we were running out to the reef-line, kites in tow, as we jumped a couple of Sailfish as skipped Menhaden and Googleyes were dangled out for the bite, in some really spectacular dancing to jumping feats as the head-shook their baits with a frenetic attitude.
Once the sun began to warm our faces, we could shed the winter attire and begun a slow troll along the outert of the offshore reef line. Using Ohero Rods and reels, we were battling Barracuda within minutes of the drop. The bait of choice was a Ohero Needle fish broken back lure. The fish were just tearing them up. We had started with Tube lures but the broken back Needlefish were smoking hot! What a rip and what a trip; sails up early and now fast action cuda on the line. Tiring of the troll and frugally thinking of gas, with prices as they are right now, we decided to re-rig with a trace or light wire in the single stainless steel leader type of 30 or 40 pound test to a standard jig-head, to which we jigged, just off the reef on a drift in hooking it up with Kingfish galore. Our whitehead jigs were tipped with shrimp and the Kings were suspended just at the drop off, around 70 feet down. As the jigs dropped and hit that special mark, wham bam and it was fish on! The Kings were on a feeding frenzy and our lures seemed to be what the King had ordered. As a King was on, you could literally watch as your spool would empty if one did not theater the side of the spool as Kings are known for their slash to trash on baits with breakneck speeds upon hook ups. Light trace is your best bet in clear water because these wide-eyed toothy critters are sometimes weary of heavy tackle and light is always right if your looking for a fight. We had a great day out on the water, in the warm Florida sun of a cold winter day in catching fish for all.