April Activities Update

April 2nd, 2021

Here we are wrapping up an incredible beyond incredible Spring Break and rolling into another busy month full of fishing and adventure opportunities.  Thank you to all my customers for keeping me on the water every day having run 33 trips in March…yes, just me!  It is really remarkable how far we have come in a year. I thought the virus would put me out of business. I really appreciate your business and support.

Through out March we had all good to excellent trips.  As always, conditions and you, my crew, determine where we go and what we do. The nicer the weather and the more experienced anglers open me up to unlimited possibilities or I dial it down to fit the needs of families, kids and those prone to having any motion sickness issues.  One of the advantages of fishing this time of year is we don’t have to go too far from the dock to get into some great action.  Some of my best spots for spring are within 3 miles of the dock and the main reef is less than 6 miles from where we start.  This gets us to the fishing quickly and when the wind comes up, there are some pretty good alternate options that keeps us in reasonably calm conditions to keep things comfortable.

The deep reef is our best option for activity when the weather is nice. Morning trips will produce some of the biggest yellowtail snapper of the year. These beautiful fish are smart, fight really hard and are delicious any way you prepare them. A great target for visiting families and the most experienced anglers. Along with yellowtail snapper, we come across many species of snapper, grouper, mackerel and assorted reef fish. On the windy days we stay closer to shore and can catch nearly every species we find on the main reef, but often a little smaller in over all size.

Yellowtail and Mutton Snapper

Far offshore I have been getting good action on blackfin tuna.  This time of year they average “football” size and make for some great hard fighting sport and excellent eating.  The biggest challenge is getting them into the boat before the sharks get them!  May marks the beginning of when we see dolphin showing up.  We get quality before quantity, so if we happen to cross paths with any floating debris or a bird working there is a very good chance there is a pair of nice sized dolphin underneath.

early season dolphin

Another great option is the shallower bay side fishing opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico. Here we target primarily mangrove snapper, grouper and sharks. This is an easier fishery in the sense it requires less technical fishing skills and methods. A great choice for kids or a good alternative on windy days.

A limit of mangrove snapper from the bayside

Snorkeling trips will start to become more frequent as our waters warm. We have seen a fast warming pattern the past few weeks of March that gave us 80 degree surface temperatures to begin April. April is traditionally our last windy month, so water temps and visibility can swing radically with late season cold fronts and prolonged wind events. It is always best to keep an eye on our local forecast leading up to your trip. I primarily use Windfinder to keep tabs on daily and weekly trends.

A perfect day for snorkeling

In other news, 2021 looks to be the strongest year of tourism here in the Keys I have ever seen. I highly suggest you research what you want to do locally and make advanced reservations for our popular activities. I book my morning trips about 3 weeks out, so don’t put off making a charter reservation until the last minute. As we warm into summer temps, the afternoon trips will be less productive.

The boat and I have been working really hard and doing well. The new Suzuki engines have been a great addition. The extra horsepower and new technology has made a huge difference in my trips. I somehow have made it through to this point without getting sick from anything. I am very fortunate to have received my Covid shot and have less to be concerned about trip to trip. I look forward to working through April healthy and ready to make your adventure with me the best day of your vacation.

Big Amberjack on light tackle

One final bit of advice. I completely understand most times my customers will be doing things for the first time. First time saltwater fishing, first time using certain tackle, first time catching a big fish and so on. I get it. I will be doing lots of instructing and you will be involved in lots of learning opportunities. Please pick a trip that is a good fit for your group. We had an abundance of preventable challenges because we were doing something way too advanced for what the customer had picked for a trip. Start with the basics and work your way up with fishing trips. It will produce a better result for both of us.

1 silly move will sideline a reel for a day

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