March Key West Fishing Report Update

amberjack Amberjack

March 19th 2021 – Last of the cold fronts with wind shifts and temp changes keep things stirred up. Pretty good wind event for the last week or so. Looks like the winds will settle down a bit for the coming week with a cold front coming through tonight chilling things a bit through the weekend. Loads of people visiting Key West instead of going abroad to get the tropical itch fix in winter.

Inshore Fishing

As is usual this time of the year the winner this past week has been the backcountry and flats fishing here in Key West. Our anglers on board our bay boats have been having a ball staying out of the wind and catching fish.

The tarpon fishing has been the word of the week for inshore fishing here in Key West. There are some big fish around according to Capt. Tommy of Dream Catcher Charters with some releases of tarpon over 100 lbs. Working the tides is key to fishing for tarpon this time of the year. My angler from Tuesday managed a monster on a hogy lure and another on a live bait.

Tarpon Along Side the boat hooked up
Hooked On Tarpon

After tarpon fishing with my angler I got into some great flats fishing for some jacks and barracudas using top water casting plugs. Working the flats lately I have been seeing some bonefish along the way. I know the permit are out there as well but I dont have any reports on them at this time.

Offshore Fishing

Lets get this part out of the way.. The Deep Sea fishing has “sucked” lately according to Capt. Jason Jonas my dock neighbor over at Oceans Edge Marina where I keep my 47 ft Viking. Jason Captains the High Stakes a 52ft Striker sport fish. He also said “tomorrow is another day” with all the optimism a good captain should have to get after it again. Capt. Rob on board our 36 Yellowfin Too Intense caught some skip jack tunas on the troll and Capt. Brad on board the South Paw had a stellar day of sail fishing on Monday with 5 releases. I might add he was the only boat in the fleet that caught that day. Yesterday one wahoo at 18 lbs was boated and the rest of the fleet worked the reef for cero macks and kings. Its been tough.

Reef fishing bite has been steady here off of Key West with some great catches of yellowtail snapper and some muttons. the winds have been keeping the faint hearted off the reef last week so some boats have been working the shallows and still putting a nice bag together. A good way to go for food fish right now..

Fishing Forecast

The winds appear to be clocking out of the North today and stay that way through the weekend cooling things off. Into early next week March 22 things look to be amazing for March weather which is typically windy.

Inshore expect things to remain the same with a strong tarpon bite and the transition between winter and summer fish species in the backcountry. On the flats as the water warms up I expect the barracudas to stay on the hunt with shots at permit till the new moon of April where they go and spawn out on the reefs. Do not discount bonefish on the warmer tides.

blackfin tuna key west anglers fishermen
Two large blackfin tunas caught in Key West with these anglers on board the INXS charter boat out of Key West, Florida

Offshore the winds will start to decide the bite. South Easterlies will bring the blue water pelagic like the occasional dolphin or wahoo and the Easterlies and North Easterlies will be good for sailfish, tuna and bonito with a mix of wahoo. Keep in mind that this is a rule of thumb not gospel, every day is different when deep sea fishing

On the reef fishing expect the bite to remain great. Lots of food fish. I personally would not book anything in March that was going to be a long distance trip just because the weather is so predictably windy – and- grouper season is closed in the Atlantic through till May 1.

Side Note : Tuna fishing off the shrimp boats can be a hoot in April. Drop us a line on that trip.

Fishing Charters And Key West Travel

There is not a day that goes by that one of our anglers that went out on our boats here at Dream Catcher Charters says.. “We were going to go to (insert out of country location) but came to Key West instead due to COVID. So, if you are coming to Key West to go fishing.. BOOK SOON and well in advance.

Pro Tip

Room rates for Key West last minute bookings are INSANE! If you book ahead at least a month, you can save almost 50% on some places.

Questions And Answers
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About Capt. Steven Lamp
Dr Catcher Is - Capt. Steven Lamp - Owner of Dream Catcher Charters is a veteran Key West fishing guide for flats fishing, deep sea fishing, wrecks and reef fishing, and fly fishing. An expert waterman and licensed captain since 1986. A Veteran of the United States Coast Guard Heavy Weather Search and Rescue, I.G.F.A. Certified Captain and Standing regional board member of The Florida Fishing Guides Association