The month of April is generally one of our windier months here in the Florida Keys and while this prohibits a lot of the recreational fishermen from venturing out to the reef and offshore, Best Bet boats offer stable platforms and knowledgeable captains to take you where the fish are and show you a great time.

Because of the high winds this past week we have spent a lot of time on the reef targeting mangrove snappers. We’ve consistently caught many quality fish in excess of 5 pounds on everything from cut bait to live pilchards, pinfish, and live shrimp. A hot grouper bit has also fired up on the reef this past week which is a good sign of things to come when the season opens back up in a few short weeks.

While the snapper and grouper have been in abundance, I have noticed a thinning out of the mackerel species with just a few ceros hanging around. These toothy speedsters are a blast to catch, but they can at times be a nuisance and the number of jig heads we saved this past week was amazing.

Offshore in Key West, the World Sailfish Championship is underway, which is an awesome spectacle to see from the water as over 70 crews vie for this year’s title. It always is an interesting tournament and even trickier this year because the sailfish bite has cooled off earlier this week and the windy conditions could make fishing difficult.

Elsewhere, the blackfin tuna action on the humps has remained solid when conditions allow for safe trolling. Reports of schools of small dolphin with a few gaffers mixed in are a welcome sign that the summer dolphin run will begin any day now.

Inshore, look for the tarpon bite to get better in the weeks to come. In addition, we have had several reports that the mangrove snappers have shown up on the inshore Florida Bay wrecks, and that is good news for those of you looking for calmer conditions during these breezy spring days.

Best Bet tip of the week: take advantage of the ever improving inshore fishery, as the waters continue to warm, so will the fishing.




A limit of large mangroves has been common place all spring on the patch reefs



Best Bet regular, John Dovel with one of three would be legal groupers on may 1st he released this past week



This 30 lb amberjack was no match for Larry but the wine from the night before was



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