Florida Keys Fishing Reports

Key West Pro Guides - Light Tackle - Spring 2024 Fishing Report
By: Capt. Paul Tryon

April, May & June Light Tackle 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.

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 late afternoon/sunset, are the most productive time frames...

Permit have arrived on many of the hundreds of wrecks and reefs to also start their massive spawn. These normally hard to catch fish 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.

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 fun few 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.


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