Florida Keys Fishing Seasons

Year-round action can be found in any of the Florida Keys fishing seasons. Whatever your preference, an open mind is the key to finding and catching the many species available.


When you consider winter time fishing, you have to pay particular attention to the weather. Constantly changing weather patterns and barometric pressure make fishing for any one species anything but a guarantee. The cooling water temperature pushes waves of bait fish through the islands and bays, along with the numerous species that follow them. Most of the time cold water will really slow down the inshore bite for the “elite” gamefish such as tarpon and bonefish, there are plenty of action with sharks, jacks, seatrout and snapper. The Key to winter time fishing is flexibility and an open mind. Even though conditions can be finicky inshore, offshore is right in its prime. Best time of year to fish wahoo, sailfish, and blackfin tuna.


Spring is a very exciting time to fish in the FL Keys. As the “ice melts” and the shallow water begins to warm, many exciting gamefish move in. In late winter and early spring cobia begin moving through the flats and channels beginning their migration back north, devouring every bait that crosses their path on the way. Beginning in late February and continuing into early April, prime permit season kicks in. The always exciting tarpon begin their annual migration moving into the channels and bridges, eventually making their way down the ocean side flats. The early season tarpon bite, although often inconsistent due to late spring cold fronts, is usually best before the Summer addiction kicks into full swing. Offshore is also really hot. With the right wind and current we get what we call “tailing conditions” that will bring fish right up to the surface, making sight fishing for sailfish and cobia possible.


If you’re putting your money on the best weather and the most consistent fishing in the Florida Keys, Summer time is your time for the Keys. Taking advantage of the weather can allow trips farther offshore creating prime fishing for the very tasty dolphin fish. This is also the time when we catch most of our blue and white marlin. Big tarpon are in full swing. Bonefish begin moving up shallow in heavy numbers. Permit are spread throughout the flats and channels. Even if the weather is bad, heavy winds and rainstorms often break up the “doldrums” of summer, causing the water to cold down just a touch, really picking the bite up.


Fall is my favorite time of year in the Florida Keys. Considered the “slow season” based on number of people visiting. However the bite is anything but slow. Slightly cooling water temperatures usually provide very consistent bonefish and permit bites. Due to the slack of fishing pressure fish are usually very cooperative and produce the best bites all year. Offshore begins to really heat up. Prime time of year for live bait fishing blackfin tuna. With large schools of bait stacking up on the edge of the reef, sailfish and dolphin can often seen blowing baits out of the water in as little as 20ft! Later in the fall there is also usually a very large wahoo migration that push there way through the Keys.

Any time of year is great to book a trip with Captain Nate

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