Marathon Florida Keys Monthly Fishing Forecast – April 2012

The term “spring ahead” took on a whole new meaning this year.

The unusually warm winter has sped the fishing into fast forward.  We anticipate seeing species this month we wouldn’t normally expect until May.


There have already been some tarpon sightings at the bridges in the Middle Keys.  The warm waters should entice the larger fish and elicit an aggressive bite unusually early.


Our shallow water shark fishing fired up with our first charter at the end of February.  I never would have guessed we’d be catching sharks on the flats during the winter.  Our anglers caught and released 15 large lemon sharks on that trip, and it’s been red hot ever since.

Cobia and permit

Elsewhere in Florida Bay, expect to find cobia plus loads of permit on the wrecks anywhere from 15 to 50 miles out.


Because it’s been so balmy, the sailfish spent the winter in Miami and environs, but eventually they have to make their way to the Gulf of Mexico to spawn.  When it happens, it will be – BOOM – here they are, and the bite will be phenomenal.

Dolphin and tuna

We’re already enjoying scattered dolphin and blackfin tuna catches.  Marathon gets some of our biggest blackfins during April, so this year should be off the charts.

Reef and wrecks

The reef and wrecks in the Marathon area are coming to life with all manner of species.

Much as they did in March, yellowtail snapper continue to feed aggressively as they anticipate spawning.  And, large mangrove snapper – fish over three and four pounds – arrive on the reef in ever increasing numbers to spice the catches.

The numbers of mutton snapper and amberjack on the wrecks increase as these fish also prepare to spawn.

The Atlantic wrecks, including the Seven Mile Bridge rubble and the Thunderbolt, will see the annual congregation of permit during April.  Fish up to 30 pounds and more will be anxious to gobble up your crab offerings.  Most of the time, they can be seen from the surface shining in the sunlight.

Grouper season

Mark your calendar as we’re now less than a month away from the opening of grouper season on May 1.  If it’s anything like past years, the grouper will be off the chain and on the hook.

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Capt. Chris and Christy Johnson
SeaSquared Charters
Marathon Florida Keys

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