Best Fishing In The Florida Keys Calendar: Spring

There are always fish to catch in the Florida Keys. This guide to the best fishing in March, April, and May should help you choose what type of fishing you want to do.
There are always fish to catch in the Florida Keys. This guide to the best fishing in March, April, and May should help you choose what type of fishing you want to do.

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A Florida Keys fishing guide by season; whether you plan to visit during winter, spring, summer, or fall we have you covered. You will also find all of our favorite fish recipes to help you prepare your fresh catch!

Best Fishing In The Florida Keys In March

Expect lots of tourists in the month of March and fishing is busy. The weather is warming up, but can still be windy. Fishing is terrific across the board. If you want to book a charter or a guide, do it early because demand is high. The average high temp is 81, the average low is 69.

Best Fishing Spots In The Florida Keys

Reef Fishing

Reef fishing is very good and yields yellowtail and mutton snapper, kingfish, mackerel, jacks, and the occasional sailfish just as in February. The weather can become very windy so conditions matter if seasickness is a factor to you and your group.

Flats Fishing

Flats fishing is good and the warmer weather means tarpon and bonefish can be laying up in the flats. This is the best month for permit fish, which are a blast to catch.

Backcountry Fishing

Backcountry fishing is excellent with really large tarpon moving in and it is easy to reel in snapper, mackerel, jacks, sharks, cobia, barracudas, and grouper. The wind is not a factor when surrounded by the backcountry islands that buffer you from the winds. This is the most popular fishing charter in the Florida Keys during the month of March.

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing in this month can mean really large mahi-mahi because they are starting to run. Also, expect large kingfish, sailfish, tuna, and wahoo. Windy days can still be challenging for fishermen and women who experience motion sickness. It is best to get the largest boat you can afford for your charter or trip.

This is a list of the best fish species to catch which you can use to plan your fishing excursions.

  • Amberjack – Excellent
  • Barracuda – Excellent
  • Blackfin Tuna – Excellent
  • Blue Marlin – Slow
  • Bonefish – Excellent
  • Bonito – Excellent
  • Cero Mackerel – Excellent
  • Cobia – Excellent
  • Dolphin Fish (Mahi-Mahi) – Possible
  • Grouper – Excellent
  • Jack Crevalle – Excellent
  • King Mackerel – Excellent
  • Lionfish – Excellent
  • Mackerel – Excellent
  • Mangrove Snapper – Slow
  • Mutton Snapper – Good
  • Permit – Excellent
  • Sailfish – Excellent
  • Shark – Excellent
  • Swordfish – Good
  • Tarpon – Fair
  • Wahoo – Fair
  • Yellowfin Tuna – Fair
  • Yellowtail Snapper – Excellent
Man wearing hat holding a Permit fish caught in the Florida Keys
May: The Best Month For Catching Permit Fish In The Keys

Best Fishing In The Florida Keys In April

The fish are everywhere in April as the winter months transition into the spring months in the islands. The winds are starting to taper off and get calmer when they do come around. The average high temperature is 85, the average low is 74.

Best Fishing Spots In The Florida Keys

Reef Fishing

Reef fishing is very good and yields yellowtail and mutton snapper, kingfish, mackerel, jacks, permit, tuna, and the occasional sailfish.

Flats Fishing

Flats fishing is fairly good. Tarpon fishing in the flats really starts to get good this month.

Backcountry Fishing

Backcountry fishing is great and can find really big tarpon along with snapper, mackerel, jacks, permit, sharks, cobia, barracudas, and grouper.

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing means trolling and live bait both during April. Expect mahi-mahi, tuna, and wahoo. Most of the really big mahi-mahi (dolphin fish) are caught during this month. kingfish are slowing down.

This is a list of the best fish species to catch which you can use to plan your fishing excursions.

  • Amberjack – Excellent
  • Barracuda – Excellent
  • Blackfin Tuna – Excellent
  • Blue Marlin – Slow
  • Bonefish – Excellent
  • Bonito – Excellent
  • Cero Mackerel – Good
  • Cobia – Excellent
  • Dolphin Fish (Mahi-Mahi) – Fair
  • Grouper – Excellent
  • Jack Crevalle – Good
  • King Mackerel – Fair
  • Lionfish – Excellent
  • Mackerel – Fair
  • Mangrove Snapper – Slow
  • Mutton Snapper – Good
  • Sailfish – Excellent
  • Shark – Fair
  • Swordfish – Good
  • Tarpon – Excellent
  • Wahoo – Good
  • Yellowfin Tuna – Fair
  • Yellowtail Snapper – Good
Boy holding fishing rod standing at the  bow facing the ocean at sunset in Florida Keys
Calming April Winds And Unforgettable Sunsets In The Keys

Best Fishing In The Florida Keys In May

Fishing guides are rocking and rolling in the flats and the backcountry in May and all guides and charters are usually booked every single day. The weather is absolutely perfect and everything is in season. Book ahead as soon as you plan your trip. The average high temp is 88, the average low is 77.

Best Fishing Spots In The Florida Keys

Reef Fishing

Reef fishing is terrific. The seas are calmer as summer sets in and it is just great fun. Expect a lot of yellowtail and mutton snapper, kingfish, mackerel, jacks, and the occasional sailfish.

Flats Fishing

Flats fishing is outstanding this month. Expect shots at tarpon, redfish, snook, barracudas, sharks, and bonefish. The Florida Keys tarpon migration is in full swing and it is tarpon season. May is by far the most popular month for flats fishing.

Backcountry Fishing

Backcountry Fishing is simply amazing in May and focuses on tarpon, but you can also reel in snapper, mackerel, jacks, sharks, cobia, barracudas, and grouper.

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep-sea fishing is also very popular in May. The sea is calm and the winds are friendly. It is all about mahi-mahi (dolphin fish), tuna, and wahoo.

This is a list of the best fish species to catch which you can use to plan your fishing excursions.

  • Amberjack – Excellent
  • Barracuda – Excellent
  • Blackfin Tuna – Good
  • Blue Marlin – Possible
  • Bonefish – Excellent
  • Bonito – Good
  • Cero Mackerel – Good
  • Cobia – Excellent
  • Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi) – Excellent
  • Grouper – Excellent
  • Hogfish – Good
  • Jack Crevalle – Good
  • King Mackerel – Slow
  • Lionfish – Excellent
  • Mangrove Snapper – Slow
  • Mutton Snapper – Possible
  • Sailfish – Good
  • Swordfish – Excellent
  • Shark – Excellent
  • Tarpon – Excellent
  • Wahoo – Good
  • Yellowfin Tuna – Fair
  • Yellowtail Snapper – Fair
Man holding a huge mahi mahi (dolphin fish) in the Florida Keys
May Is All About Mahi-Mahi (Dolphin Fish) Fishing

Try some of these delicious recipes for dinner, snacks, and cocktails inspired by fresh from the island seafood.

Peace, Love and Vacations,

Martie, Kim and Layla the hunting poodle

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