Fishing Key West In April

April fishing for sailfish
April is a great month for deep sea fishing for sailfish in Key West

Table of Contents

A complete look at the month of April fishing in Key West

The month of April can be pretty incredible for fishing in Key West. Very much the height of our tourist season. The streets of Key West, hotels and restaurants are full of folks looking to have fun in the sun. There are so many great things in our fishing calendar to talk about for April so let’s get to it. 

The Weather

Our spring has begun and traditionally the winds that can come through on the month of March have subsided giving us amazing days in the peak months in our Key West fishing calendar. To the contrary a stray late season cold front can really stir things up. They tend not to be very nice storms this time of the year as the Northerly weather patterns start to give way to the Southerly tropical flows.. It can be quite the battle from Late March to mid April. High winds from the North followed by Easterly flows. All in all though. April has pretty decent weather. 

The weather can always have dramatic affects on the fishing. This time of the year not so much. Water temps are on the rise and even the hard cold front wont ding the fishing that has been established from the last warming trends. The change has started and summer is definitely on its way.  Rely on the moon phases and traditional migratorial patterns to prevail in dictating the most popular species of fish. 

Fishing Inshore

The shallows are the first place spring shows up here in Key West fishing. The backcountry waters, shallow patch reefs and all things close to shore are teaming with life. A great time for just about anything as the summer species start to show up and the winter species have not left yet. 

Speckled Sea Trout
Large speckled sea trout like this one are still here in April.

The beginning of April can be windy. Many of our anglers desire came clear waters and easy fishing so our backcountry fishing charters are still our most popular trip and a great way to go. First off, it is not to hot yet and very pleasant. Add that to our winter species are still here in Key West and the bite can be on fire. A great time of the year for those that enjoy casting and catching a wide range and variety of fish species. This is a great month for working the shallows for me and my clients. There are so many nooks and crannies here, I just love having my anglers get surprise after surprise. 

 Tarpon fishing is typically in full swing this month early in the month we are still digging the channels and working the shallows for larger laid up tarpon as we are waiting for the migration to start in May. Talk to me about moon phases and timing. The other fish species found in the backcountry this month are speckled sea trout, jack crevalle, pompano, blue runners, lady fish, sharks, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, cobia, redfish, snook and barracudas. Just to name a few. On a rare occasion there can be a push of big tarpon moving in on certain areas during a warming trend. I have seen some amazing days of tarpon fishing in February. 

barracuda
Barracuda fishing on the flats is amazing in April.

Now that the winds have laid down a bit getting focused on some sight casting on the flats can be real fun. Don’t expect to see many permit this month as they are busy making babies. Bonefish however are showing up like spring flowers with barracudas, mutton snappers and jacks making up the rest of the targeted species list for my sight fishermen that are willing to put in the time. Tarpon start to lay up in the shallows mid month. Easy targets for the fly fisherman or light tackle spin fishing anglers. 

For this month we are still using my Yellowfin 24 Carbon elite bay boat for fishing the flats this time of the year for many reasons. Most importantly it gives my anglers a HUGE advantage over a traditional flats fishing skiff. April is not a skinny water mont like July – October so my bay boat does just fine getting to the species my anglers desire and MORE. Far more versatile than any other option. 

Fishing Offshore

Most of the deep sea fishing in April is done right up close to the reef. Running far to find fish is not needed. .The reef fishing is also starting to peak. This makes April one of our best months for fishing offshore here in Key West. 

mahi mahi dolphin
Two nice mahi mahi caught on board the "InXS" my 47' Viking deep sea fishing charter boat.

Just out past the reef is where the blue waters of the deep sea are. There is usually a pretty good color change making this line very distinct in April. Moving in and out with the tides it is never really far out and the fish are right there. Along that difference in water clarity is a conveyor belt of predator fish species that will pounce on a trolled or live bait. There is really no telling from day to day what will happen. However this is a great month for sailfish, blackfin tunas, wahoo and mahi with a sprinkle of opportunities from Blue or White marlin. This is without a doubt one of the best months for deep sea fishing here in Key West for large mahi and sailfish. 

April can be pretty consistent for deep sea fishing therefore bringing many folks to Key West for it. 4 or 6 hour trips can be a great way to go for fishing charters this month. Book your fishing charters well in advance to get the nicer boats and crew. Watch your Key West fishing reports to keep up on what is biting or call us 1-305-292-7212 we will clue you in. 

The 47′ Viking sport fishing boat “InXS”. Where luxury meets deep sea fishing charters. Located at Oceans Edge Resort and Marina on Stock Island in Key West. Fast and super comfortable with all the amenities of home including air conditioning, clean bathrooms and full kitchen.Tournament ready every day with custom rods. 

The "In XS" 47Ft Viking deep sea fishing boat
permit fish
Fishing for permit on my reef trips in April is a great way to boat a nice trophy.

The world is your oyster this month for reef fishing here. fewer months have as much in the way of opportunities on the reef and wrecks. Remember where i said that permit were not on the flats this month as they are spawning. The reef is where they spawn. Large permit can be found in many places such as taller patch reefs and wrecks making a great trophy target.  Still not grouper season in the Atlantic but there is great yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and lane snapper fishing. Not uncommon for us to limit out on snappers in a 4 or 6 hour day with 4 anglers. 

Just like with most fishing here in Key West you will want to book early for your dates in April. I split my time between inshore tarpon fishing, the Marquesas Keys and deep sea fishing this time of the year. My reef fishing charters are a commodity so call soon to get your spot. 

Gulf Fishing

Big Cobia
The Wrecks Can Hold Big Cobia

Blackfin tuna is the name of the game this month behind the shrimp boats in the Gulf of Mexico North of Key West. Long runs out into the Gulf to look for shrimp boats that are cleaning their nets from a long night of trawling. This junk or “shrimp trash” attracts Monster sized blackfin tunas. Tunas up to 35 lbs are the regular caught on light tackle spin fishing gear or fly rod. Big fun for those that wish to try it. After the tuna bite we generally head back to the reefs or the Dry Tortugas to work for mutton snappers, or yellowtail snappers to color up the box a bit. Or hunt a large trophy permit on one of the wrecks or spawning locations. 

Pro Tips

Pro Tips - Key West Logistics

Key West will be slam busy in April. This is the height of our tourist season. Everyone is either here or wishing they were. 

Book Ahead. Hotels, restaurants, activities and your favorite Key West fishing guides and charters. They get sold out fast in March. 

Check out www.thekeywester.com for more tips. 

The Key Wester Has been helping folks find the better parts of Key West since 2000. Your guide is Island Genn. She can help make the most of your Key West getaway in her blog posts about the best restaurants, activities and places to stay. She also has the schedules of many professional fishing guides in Key West. 

www.thekeywester.com 

yellowtail snappers marquesas Keys

Pro Tips - Fishing Charters

Fishing charters are super busy in April. Arguably one of our best months to go fishing but also one of the busiest months in Key West.  Booking ahead will be key to getting the best of what is available for fishing guides and charters in Key West. Flats fishing and backcountry fishing guides will mostly be focused on tarpon whereas offshore guides and charters will be focused on sailfish and reef fishing for snapper. 

Inshore Pro Tips April

InShore Pro Tip – All In One Day Fishing Charter. If scratching at the bucket list and getting as many different types of Key West fishing is as possible is important. And…. You have all day… Book this trip. 

InShore Pro Tip – Tarpon fishing is very popular toward the end of April. Book an inshore backcountry or flats fishing trip for tarpon fishing. You will save some money and be able to go toe to toe with a monster on light tackle. 

Offshore Pro Tips April

Offshore Pro Tip – Book your deep sea fishing and reef fishing charters as soon as you find out your dates. Dont be left at the dock or worse yet with some newbie fishing guide that is learning on your dime. 

Offshore Pro Tip – IF you are looking to target specific species such as sailfish or permit as described above – Tell US! We will make sure you are out with a captain or charter that will provide that, if it is available. 

Call my office and speak to Island Genn (my wife) she handles my schedule and in addition works with many of the long time professionals on the island and can help you find the right boat. 

Call Us 1-305-292-7212
Text Us 1-786-847-3808

Font Resize
Contrast