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Flats & Backcountry Fishing Reports

Key West Pro Guides - Light Tackle - April 2020 Fishing Report
By: Capt. Paul Tryon

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April Fishing Report 2020—For today's live action call 866 259 4205

Our KEY WEST Fishing is Exploding!

April 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 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.

April Weather Averages:

Temperature—82/74 average

Rainy Days—3/6 average

Wind Speed—12 mph average

Light Tackle/Reef & Wreck: April 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 for April most years and so far the bite on large “Reef Donkeys” has been outstanding. The Snapper family continues to produce and with April 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 of the keys). Our elusive Permit is always challenging, the Permit is a sought after sport fish and prized by anglers from around the planet. April 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.

We do not recommend more than 4 anglers for the ultimate light tackle reef and wreck experience. Remember light tackle boats operate without a deck-mate. Regardless of experience, talent or effort one pair of hands may assist only so many anglers timely. We do have six passenger licensed vessels in our fleet with guides willing to accommodate these larger parties however it should be understood more than 4 anglers aboard will have some affects and likely will lessen the experience. Rarely do conditions allow for more than four anglers to be fishing simultaneously.

No more than 4 passengers recommended for the ultimate fishing experience-maximum 6 passengers per vessel. 6 passenger vessels are limited availability and it is understood when larger groups are aboard it may affect the experience.

No more than 4 passengers for all “Specialty Charters” (Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks, Towers, Tortugas, Mutton Spawn)

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”



Some “Pelagic Species” possible on Reef & Wreck trips:

Blackfin Tuna…”Excellent”


Notable: 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 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 866 259 4205 daily 8 AM to 9 PM. Remember 2-4 weeks in advance is recommended for peak fishing season dates December through June. April and May are the busiest months of our entire fishing calendar! Our legendary guide team is always in high demand. We look forward to your call!

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