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Florida Keys Fishing Seasons Calendar

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key west fishing with Dream Catcher Charters. Inshore, offshore, Light tackle and Fly fishing.
   
  When to come Fish the florida keys, The fishing seasons Calendar  
 
Florida Keys and Key West Fishing
 
 
 
 

Florida Keys Fishing Seasons

Comprehensive description of fishing seasons here in the Florida Keys and Key West including the Marquesas Keys and The Dry Tortugas.

Listed Below you will find the species of fish from the Florida Keys and Key West. Also details written about the different seasons to go fishing for them in a selected area with links that take you to that fishery within this web site to find a fishing guide to take you to them.

Check These Out

-The Key West Fishing Report - Sponsored by Dream Catcher Charters a monthly report that talks about inshore, flats and offshore fishing in Key West, Florida. Up to the minute Twitter feed also.

- The Florida Keys Fishing Report - Sponsored by Fishing Florida Keys and the fishing guides listed here. All encompassing fishing report dedicated to the Florida Keys and Key West.

 
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More about Fishing Seasons

Undoubtedly there is always great fishing in the Florida Keys year round. There are really no exceptions if you come here to just catch fish. Many anglers do just that. They happen to be in the Florida Keys and Key West for business or spontaneous vacation and next thing they know, out on the water with one of our professional fishing guides fishing and do very well year round.

Florida Keys Fishing seasons relate to the time certain species of fish move through the Florida Keys or they feed better than other times or they are found in certain areas better than others.

Different types of fishing have their best times of the year but again can be found good all year round if the weather is right for it. So lets dig in here and discover exactly "when" to be here for "what" you want to fish for or "what" fish will be here "when" you will be able to fish for them..

Capt. Matt Bellinger and the crew of Bamboo Charters. Fishing in The Florida Keys.
 
 

Main Fishing Seasons Descriptions

Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing Season - April through June is the traditional "migration" of tarpon through the Florida Keys and Key West. Throughout the Florida Keys there are resident and climate friendly fish that hang around, come and go with the weather. From January through April Larger Gulf fish come in to feed during the warming trends between cold fronts. Our tarpon fishing guides can point you in the right direction for the area you would like to fish.

Key West Tarpon Season - an in depth look at tarpon fishing year round in Key West.

Florida Keys Sailfish Season - While sailfish are caught here year round, the peak of the sailfish season is generally in April and May. During the winter between January and March the cold fronts will peak a good sailfish bite along the reef with some stiff winds out of the North East and East. Fishing guides that offer deep sea fishing, and reef fishing are the ones to get with to hit these optimal times.

General Category

Great Barracudas Cobia
Barracuda Cobia (Ling)
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Barracudas rarely get over 5 ft in length and 45 lbs. They are considered the number one sport fish of the Florida Keys being the most popular fish to mount. Very fast and hard fighters they are found around structure, on the flats and almost everywhere. Fast to eat artificial, live bait, your catch and a Fly. No Food value and in some instances can be poisonous to eat.

Details

Cobia are unpredictable in their fight as they are in appearing from nowhere. Ranging in size from 5 - 80 lbs they love structure, activity, sharks, turtles, rays and all sorts of things to follow like a curious dog. Throw anything at them they will eat and hang on. Great food value. Mostly here in the late fall through winter into spring.


Bluefish  
Blue Fish  
Type Of Fishing Charter    

Details

Found all up and down the Florida Keys both inshore and offshore. More on the Gulf side but occasionally on the Atlantic. Bluefish have a never ending appetite. Hard core teeth and very bloody they make great shark bait. Not much food value but lots of fun to catch.. Watch those teeth. Good thing they do not get much bigger than 6 lbs or so or they could be dangerous.

 

 
   

Cero Mackerel Fishing Florida Keys Kingfish
Cero Mackerel King Mackerel---AKA---Kingfish
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Fun fish to catch here in the winter. Many fish can be caught in short period of time. 3 - 7 lbs not uncommon. Fun times. Good food value. Great fish for new anglers.

Details

Winter time we get some very Large "King Fish". Fish ranging in size from 30 - 65 lbs is not uncommon. They will eat live bait and fly easily in the right areas. Lots of fun to fish for. Food quality kinda sucks unless smoked. Fish dip with kingfish is awesome. This is a must do bucket list item on light tackle and fly fishing.


Spanish Macherel Gray Triggerfish Fishing Florida Keys
Spanish Mackerel Gray Triggerfish
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Fun fish to catch here in the winter. Many fish can be caught in short period of time. 3 - 7 lbs not uncommon. Fun times. Good food value. Great fish for new anglers. Lots of volume lots of fish.

Details

Gray Triggers are hard fighters and generally considered a trash fish while fishing for Yellowtail snappers reef fishing. But... Food quality is excellent. Sharpen your filet knife or use your buddies knife as the hide on this fish it very tough. Watch those teeth too, they will mess you up.

       

  The Backcountry Inshore Flats Species  
Tarpon Common Snook Fishing Florida Keys
Tarpon --- AKA --- Silver King Common Snook
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Seasonally tarpon migrate through the Florida Keys in the Late winter through the summer. Fish range in size from 10 - 150 lbs. Tarpon gather around bridges, the flats and backcountry channels. Fly Fishing for them is very popular but bait and artificial is more prevalent as it is easier to catch one that way. No food value. Book your fishing guide WAY in advance for Tarpon Season to ensure your not stuck licking the pot.

Details

Hard fighting very smart fish. Found most of the year round in the Upper Florida Keys but mainly a cooler water fish for us. Sizes range from 3 - 40 lbs. Food Value Excellent - Snook are highly caught after with a delicate season and size limits that change often. Check with your Florida Keys Fishing guide to learn more update information about them.


Bonefish Permit
Bonefish Permit
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Bonefishing is a legendary pass time in the Florida Keys. Found all over the Keys in the shallows traditionally caught sight fishing the flats on flats boats. Bonefish range in size from 3 - 13 lbs with fish to 16 lbs caught on rare occasions. Fly fishing enthusiasts spend a life time chasing these guys. These are a release fish so there is no mention of food value here.

Details

Permit are the holy grail of flats fishing especially to fly fishing enthusiasts. Permit are extremely intelligent when they are on the flats. All that goes right out the window when they are on the wrecks or spawning. Food value good but we just dont kill them. Permit are held in high regard here in the Florida Keys as an Ultimate Game Fish.


Florida Pompano Fishing Florida Keys Spotted Sea Trout
Pompano Spotted Sea Trout
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Similar to a permit. I call them "The Edible Permit" In the Jacks and Pompanos family. These fish generally weigh 3 lbs or less. Florida Pompano spawn offshore between March and September. Florida Record is 8.1 lbs. Inshore they can be found in fair number during the winter. Unlike the permit we will kill and eat these guys for some tasty filets.

Details

Great table fare when in season. Fun to catch for all ages and ability. Mostly a backcountry fish. Found in Key West area during the winter months. the upper Keys gets them all year long.


Red Drum Fishing Florida Keys  
Red Drum --- aka--- Redfish  
Type Of Fishing Charter    

Details

Key Largo and Islamorada get some great redfish action. Fish ranging in size from 2 - 15 lbs. Great fun on the flats or channels in the backcountry waters. Redfish can be caught all year long in the Upper Florida Keys. Food value Ok..

 

 
  Groupers  
Black Grouper Fishing Florida Keys Red Grouper Fishing Florida Keys
Black Grouper Red Grouper
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Living around wrecks, and reefs these fish are considered the holy grail of bottom fishing. Great food value and fun to catch, a real prize. Black Grouper can reach up to 100 lbs in size most ranging around 8 lbs. They eat live bait and artificial. Depths range from 15 - 200 ft.

Details

Ranging in size from 3 - 20 lbs Red grouper are great table fare. Small patch reefs and minimal structure find these fish in the numbers. 20 - 200 ft of water.


Goliath Grouper Fishing Florida Keys Gag Grouper Fishing Florida Keys
Goliath Grouper Gag Grouper
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Wrecks are the mainstay homes for these guys. Big, bulky very powerful range in size from 3 - 600 lbs. Not harvest able but food val use excellent in the smaller ones. Fun to fish for along the mangrove edges.

Details

Great eating and fun to fish for bottom fishing. Super bonus catch. Gags get up to 50 lbs and live in waters from 10 to 300 ft.


Scamp Fishing Florida Keys  
Scamp Grouper ---aka--- Broom Tail  
Type Of Fishing Charter    

Details

wrecks and reefs hold these delicious groupers. Out to 220 ft of water. A great tasty surprise ranging from 3 - 17 lbs in size.

 

 

  Snappers  
Gray Mangrove Snapper Fishing Florida Keys Red Snapper Fishing Florida Keys
Gray Snapper (Mangrove Snapper) True American Red Snapper
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Gray snapper are found everywhere there is structure. Eat almost anything and are Great to eat. Fun times for new anglers and great table fare. Range in size from 1 - 13 lbs. Most frequently caught fish in the Florida Keys.

Details

Red Snapper are found from 110 - 300 ft of water. Fantastic food quality. However the powers that be, will not allow us to fish for them as a charter. They have their heads up their asses. There is no shortage of these fish in our area and to catch one accidentally is to kill him. There is no season for them except in the gulf where a 80 mile run is needed to catch Anne keep 2 per person.


Hogfish Hog Snapper Fishing Florida Keys Mutton Snapper Fishing Florida Keys
Hog Fish -- aka -- Hog Snapper Mutton Snapper
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Hog fish are not really snapper.. But since we call them here locally "Hog Snapper" I put them in this category, and, since they are So Freaking good eating they must be a snapper. In the top 3 of the best eating fish in the Florida Keys. Caught rarely on hook and line these fish fight ok but its about the box and ice. Whitest filets ever. They hang around reefs and structure to 120 ft. Range in size from 1 - 12 lbs larger ones are caught fishing the Dry Tortugas. Most are shot with spear gun.

Details

Muttons are a main staple for reef fishermen off of the FLorida keys. Spawn occurs in late spring where many fish can be caught easily without much sport on certain areas. Other times of the year a nice welcome addition to a bag limit. Great food value not much yield.


Lane Snapper Fishing Florida Keys Dog Snapper Fishing Florida Keys
Lane Snapper Dog Snapper
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Juveniles are found inshore over grass beds and shallow reefs or coral heads. Adults are found offshore. Very similar to a mutton snapper in look. These fish usually weigh about a pound. Catch ratio can be very high in large schools of these fish. Food Value is good. Florida Record is 6.6 lbs.

Details

Dog Snapper like to feed at night. excellent food value. Range in Size from 1 - 4 lbs. Wrecks, reefs and structure are their favorite.


Queen Snapper Fishing Florida Keys Mahogany Snapper Fishing Florida Keys
Queen Snapper Mahogany Snapper
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Great tasting deep water species. 400 ft - 1600 ft of water. Deep Drop gear is needed. Check with your fishing guide to see if this is possible. Most reported catches are out of Marathon fishing.

Details

Juveniles are found inshore over grass beds and shallow reefs or coral heads. Adults are found offshore usually over reefs.Very similar to a lane snapper in look. Catch ratio can be very high in large schools of these fish. Food Value is good.

 


Fishing Florida Keys Vermillion Snapper Fishing Florida Keys Yellowtail Snapper
Vermillion snapper ---aka--- b liners Yellowtail Snapper
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

These fish can attain weights up to 6 pounds but are normally caught at 1 pound. This fish has the appearance of looking upward due to the orientation of its mouth and eyes. Good food value.

 

Details

Most popular eating fish in the Florida Keys and fun to catch. The numbers of these fish are amazing. They eat well and entertain folks fishing for them. Sizes are 1- 5 lbs. Large fish are called Flags.


 

  Deep Sea Fishing Palagics  
Dolphin Fishing Florida Keys Blue Marlin
Dolphin aKA: Mahi Mahi, Dorado Blue Marlin
  Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

The most prolific (fast growing) fish in the ocean that we know of. Dolphin can grow to 20 lbs in one year. Reports have them swimming from the Florida Keys to Virginia in as little as two weeks. They eat constantly. They Love blue water, weed lines and fresh food. Dolphin can be caught using live bait, fly fishing gear, trolling (preferred method) and sight fishing. Charters for dolphin fishing can also be for Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, and Sailfish. Food Value is EXCELLENT!!

Details

Summertime is the best time to catch a Blue Marlin off the Florida Keys. Not something that is a common catch but a great surprise when it happens. Blue Marlin in the Florida Keys run 150 - 600 lbs. We release these fish so food quality is not an issue.


Blackfin Tuna Fishing Florida Keys Longbill Spearfish
Black Fin Tuna Spear Fish
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Blackfin tuna run the Gulf and the Atlantic. Mainly in the deeper water sand more prevalent in the Late fall, through spring and into early summer. The Gulf Shrimp boats hold fish in the Spring. Ranging in size from 5 - 30 lbs. Fun on fly fishing, trolling and light tackle. Great food value.

Details

This is a relatively small species. This is an uncommon Species. Florida Record: 61 lbs. No Food Value.

 


Fishing Florida Keys Sailfish Fishing florida Keys Swordfish
Sailfish Swordfish
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

As early as December we get a push along the reef of sailfish. These fish are hungry and fun to fish for. Easterly winds offer great tailing conditions just outside the reef for these fish. No food value to us as we catch and release them.

Details

Sword fishing can be done at night or day. Difference is the depth of water you fish. Daytime you need to fish the bottom so special gear and tactics are required for 1600 ft. At night the surface with lights down to 300 ft. Great food quality and lots of fun to catch.


Fishing Florida Keys Wahoo Fishing Florida Keys White Marlin
Wahoo White Marlin
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Fastest fish in the Ocean. Bring your game when fishing for these screamers. High speed trolling and live baiting. Certain moons are good for them in the winter. They are always around. Great food quality and fish reach 60 lbs pretty often.

Details

These fish are not as prevalent in the Keys as they were in Hemingway's days but we still see them in decent numbers April through October. During the Key West Hemingway Days Festival, Blue Marlin fishing is in full swing and our largest tournament for this fish is going on. Similar to a Blue Marlin. These fish are common up to 8 feet. Florida Record: 161 lbs. This is a catch and release fish, food value no issue.

 


 

  The Jacks  
African Pompano Fishing Florida Keys Banded Rudderfish Fishing Florida Keys
African Pompano Banded Rudderfish
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Found The Florida Keys year round.  They can be found typically in the open ocean and over reefs, wrecks, and rock ledges. They get grow to about 40 lbs and 3 ft in length. Good food value great fight on light tackle.

Details

Found anywhere there is a food source of small minnows. Often found following sharks. Good offshore bait for Kingfish. Lots of fun on light tackle and fly. No food value to speak of. Great for entertaining and volume fishing. Never reaching over 2.5 ft and 8 lbs.


Greater Amberjack Fishing Florida Keys Jack Crevalle
Greater Amber Jack Jack Crevale
Type Of Fishing Charter Type Of Fishing Charter

Details

Wrecks and reef fishing are the place to catch these hard pulling fish. Arguably the strongest fish in the Atlantic basin with the most durability. Florida Keys Fishing Guides call them "Reef Donkeys" among other very colorful names. Fish have been caught over 100lbs but the average is around 20. A great way to put some filler into an otherwise slow day of fishing. Food value is Ok.. Smoked and part of a fish dip is best. Larger fish are wormy.

Details

Found anywhere. Fun to catch, a real trip saver in some instances. Catch these guys up to 15 lbs backcountry fishing all day long fly fishing and light tackle spin with artificial. No food value to speak of but edible. Sizes range inshore from 1-20 lbs and offshore as big as 50 lbs.


Lesser Amberjack Fishing Florida Keys  
Lesser Amber Jack  
Type Of Fishing Charter    

Details

Wrecks and reef fishing are the place to catch these guys. Usually under 10 lbs and many of them. Not much food value but people do eat them.

 

       
 
 
   

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