We will be sliding from winter fishing into spring fishing in the Florida Keys fishing over the next couple weeks. If you follow a number of fishing reports, the guides refer to this time of year as the “transition phase”. A clear sign that spring has arrived and we are waiting on the pelagic migrations of Dolphin and Blackfin Tuna.
So what is happening Now?
Can we catch dolphin yet? Everyone gets dolphin “fever” in the springtime, including myself. There have only been a few boats chasing dolphin of late which makes it difficult to get a good handle on the action. This season, most of the charters are waiting to venture out to the deep water to look for dolphin as in the past season these same guys got burned with “zero” fish. Everyone is waiting for reports from the “other guy” this year before burning the fuel, as boat rides suck. The bigger dolphin I am seeing are being caught in 1500-2000ft of water by the guys dropping for Swordfish. The dolphin typically swim up to the boat when you swordfish. If the Swordfish don’t cooperate in the deep then the guys pull the gear and chase the dolphin out there. Miami is seeing some good fishing right now as well as the Upper East coast of Florida which tells me the Dolphin are traveling the Western part of the Gulf Stream closer to the Bahamas. A good few days of easterly breezes should push the fish closer to the Florida Keys, within our target range.
What about Wahoo? The wahoo are still around so I will be wahoo trolling through the month of April as I did last year. We can spend some time trolling, but I have discontinued my live bait program for them as the bait is getting tougher to get for the wahoo live bait fishing. It is 100% trolling for wahoo now, no live bait fishing for wahoo. Personally I would rather troll for them this time of year as we can target big Tunas and Dolphin while wahoo trolling.
What about Tuna? Not here yet. We are getting one or two here and there, but they are still missing in action. I have not seen the big schools of Blackfin show up yet, but all the signs are right for a Blackfin Tuna “ballistic bite” to happen within the next few weeks. We started getting them the second week of April last year and the bite continued through May. We even caught a nice Yellowfin Tuna last year while targeting Blackfin.
What About Wreck and Reef Fishing, can we catch Snapeprs? The wreck and reef fishing has been good, Mutton Snappers with Amberjacks mixed in and few African Pompano. On St. Patricks Day. brothers, Jim and John caught a couple of “beast fish”, each fish took between 45- 90 minutes to land on 30 lb. light tackle. The Permit are the shallow wrecks. Permit is catch and release fishing only. Quick picture and release.
On the reef we have been catching some nice Yellowtail Snappers. The best Yellowtail Snapper fishing happens in the April. Great fun for those looking to catch dinner. These are delicious tasting fishing for a “hook and cook dinner” at a local restaurant. Grouper and Hogfish re-open on May 1st.
If you are planning on fishing with me in April I have only a few dates left open, but not many. My month of May and June are filling up quickly this season so I would highly recommend booking as soon as you can make plans for travel, also I would recommend booking multiple days if you can.