April, May & June Fishing Report 2024

April, May & June Fishing Report 2024

For today’s live action call 305-747-4650

Our KEY WEST Fishing is Exploding!

Spring is full on Tarpon, Permit, Mutton Snapper and Sailfish season in Key West.

Here are some helpful insights to anglers interested in targeting these iconic sport fish.

Sailfish are spawning well offshore. These are elusive nomadic sport fish that remain in constant motion. Time is the number one tool for success for the angler and guide as they work in concert to pursue these “bucket list” impressive fish.

Permit have arrived on many of the hundreds of wrecks and reefs to also start their massive spawn. These normally hard to catch fsh are much easier as their guards are dropped, and they are super easy to hook with a live crab.

Mutton Snapper dominate the reefs and wrecks. These awesome fighting and tasting fish are top on the list of species to target. Let’s go Fishing!!

As spring arrives and we enter into a period of outstanding action. Over the next few months some of the best fishing of the entire year comes to us. The huge schools of migrating Tarpon have arrived and are flooding into the shallows of the back country. Key West is now one of the most prolific Tarpon fisheries on the planet. We expect to experience an outstanding Sailfish seasons this year possibly one of the best in the last decade. Now comes Mahi-Mahi time to dominate the blue water. The reef and wrecks are holding massive populations of true heavy weight gladiators ready to go head-to-head with the willing angler plus table fare species, the first choice of bottom fishers, become super aggressive. It’s a time of exceptional action when fishing the waters of Key West! You may have the fishing rod knocked out of your hand over the next few months friends.

Back Country:

Anglers take note: We have recently added a number of Hybrid Back Country boats to our fleet. Hybrid’s are the next generation of leading edge technology and design for the shallow water enthusiast. Hybrid boats retain the back country experience yet provide additional “creature features aboard such as an enclosed marine head (potty), T top for shade, some carry additional seating and a second elevated station for the captain so helpful when sight casting to elusive sport fish in the shallows. These larger vessels have the ability to comfortably fish our slightly deeper “patch reef areas” as well depending upon the conditions of the day.

Always a fun and productive trip, the back country this time of year remains an excellent choice for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters now filling with behemoth Tarpon. The overall population of Tarpon in the back country continues to grow throughout the month joining with several additional sport fish species, edible fish, and predators to target. Redfish are all but done by months end as our water temperatures begin a seasonal rise. Snook are a bit “hit or miss” in early spring, but are improving so better targeted in April. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide non-stop action most days and the list is nearly endless again in the spring that keeps the younger anglers happy with the super-fast bite of schooling fish. It remains a productive time to pursue Speckled Sea Trout and several species of larger Jacks. A perfect trip for the hard-core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family.

Tarpon time is exploding. The population of Tarpon will continue to increase daily until about mid-April. The spawning migration that brings adult Tarpon to Key West is well underway and the activity and productivity on Tarpon is rising towards seasonal highs. Tarpon fishing in Key West by May is becoming prolific. These behemoth sport fish should be on every saltwater angler’s “bucket list” and rightfully so. Key West now offers the angler a high level of success to landing possibly the largest fish of a lifetime. We begin seeing the sunset Tarpon feeding activity increase in early spring most years, so we begin offering our Sunset Tarpon trips. These trips are spectacular when conditions (primarily the tides) are optimal.

Tarpon are pursued in shallow waters primarily in our “Back Country”. Night Tarpon charters begin around April 1. Tarpon feed nocturnally therefore early morning and sunset are the most productive time frames…Let’s go fishing!

The ½-day to ¾-day trips continue to produce well as the afternoon water temperatures are still far from high so the later part of the day with good tides can be awesome. Good Cobia fishing continues and can produce some quality fish and action in the back country. The Mangrove and Yellow Tail Snapper fishing continues to be very good in the back country in spring. For a serious “table fare” harvest we certainly recommend the reef & wreck trips now but to include a few “keeper” fish for lunch or dinner will not be a problem in our shallows. The predator fishing continues. Giant Barracuda and several species of Sharks in the shallows are on the hit list.

Our Monster Shark charters are awesome and continually produce multiple larger sharks even on the 1/2-day trips. Remember where you find large Tarpon schools you find feeding sharks. Spring remains predator time, especially in the Marquesas so anglers can count on these aggressive species to be ready to go “head-to-head”. We “highly recommend” a back country charter this time of year and especially for those guests looking for a shorter than full day trip in calmer waters.

Back Country …..Target Species:

Pompano…”Good but slowing”
Redfish…”Good early to fair by months end”
Snook…”Fair early but better by months end”
Trout…”Good but slowing”

Deep Sea/Offshore:

As we enter spring-like conditions, things improve for the anglers looking to fish deep. The iconic Sailfish is in high gear! Our Sailfish action so far this year overshadows recent past years easily and we look to an exceptional April and May…always elusive however the recent success rate for Sailfish day to day has remained quite high. Spring does signal the end for our Kingfish action unfortunately, but Kings typically go out with a bang. Spring sees an explosion in the aggressiveness of Black Fin Tuna which have consistently plentiful and of quality size for some time already. There are few species of pelagic fish capable of the total chaos when a school of big Black Fin show up. Mahi action enjoys a huge upswing during spring and will rapidly become the angler’s bread & butter species. Mahi (Dolphin fish-Dorado) are plentiful, schooling fish that provide excellent action at a blistering pace while keeping things non-technical for the angler. High leapers when hooked up, beautiful colored fish that are also a favorite for many on the dinner plate. When the Mahi are biting, businesses close on the island…it gets that good!

The predators remain aggressive with spring being an awesome time for large Barracuda. We have moved into an exciting period for offshore angling however, we always believe a 1/2-day charter still has some challenges with ever changing travel times between marina and fishing grounds. Best bet book at least the 3/4 day (six-hour trip) or go all out and stay for a Full day and enjoy it at its best.

Spring Deep Sea/Light Tackle Offshore ………….Target Species:

Blackfin Tuna…”Excellent”
Dolphin (Mahi-Dorado)…:”Excellent”
Spanish/Cero Mackerel…”Excellent moving to Good”

Light Tackle/Reef & Wreck:

Spring brings calmer winds and smaller seas typically yet still the conditions on the reef verses further offshore will remain far more comfortable for the angler concerned about motion discomfort. Outstanding Cobia action continues throughout the month. Cobia typically slow slightly over the next few months. Amberjack explode to a frenzy in the spring most years and so far the bite on large “Reef Donkeys” has been outstanding. The Snapper family continues to produce and with a little warmer waters, we can count on steady action targeting the Mangrove and Yellowtail action. The larger Mutton Snapper will continue to provide some exceptional days on the reef especially as we move towards their spawning time. The Grouper family as always provides outstanding action however the harvest of Grouper ended January 1 with the season now closed until May 1 in Monroe County waters (all the keys). Our elusive Permit is always challenging, the Permit is a sought after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. Spring typically shows a marked improvement from the last few months, and we are on the way to excellent Permit action over the next few months. The predator action with Barracuda and Sharks continues to be crazy good.

Light Tackle Reef & Wreck …..Target Species:

Grouper…”Excellent” (season closed to harvest during March)
Mangrove Snapper…”Excellent”
Mutton Snapper…”Excellent”
Yellow Tail Snapper…”Very Good and improving”


This is a time of more stable slowly rising water temperatures so fishing conditions in general will settle in and improve, friends. We still recommend fishing morning trips if going shallow as they remain the most productive over the later afternoon hours for the serious angler but again the afternoon trips are good. The PM half-day trips have improved and can be quite enjoyable, especially for those people just looking to stay in calm waters and enjoy a few fun hours catching fish. Reef trips in the afternoon, fishing in slightly deeper waters along with the patch reefs can be very good trips for later in the day departure times. Sharks are plentiful and active. Pursuing these heavy weight monsters on light tackle is challenging to say the least and talk about something you cannot do at home!

Let’s go Fishing!
Call Key West Pro Guides today to book your charter 305-747-4650 daily 8 AM to 9 PM.
Remember 2-4 weeks in advance is recommended for peak fishing season dates December through June. April, May and June are the busiest months of our entire fishing calendar! Our legendary guide team is always in high demand. We look forward to your call!