Sailfish Are In Key West

sailfish Key West

April 5th 2024 – The weather is what it is. North winds one day and East the next as the fight between winter and summer prevails daily here in Key West. One thing that is consistent is the sailfish bite in April.

Fishing Report

The sailfish are moving down the reef line and pretty much eating everything in their path. Sailfish have been targeted and caught by most of the Key West deep sea fishing fleet on trolling tactics and live bait under a kite. Most of the sailfish are being caught just past the reef line 5 miles South of Key West. The color change has been “ok” but not super sharp like we like to see it in April. These past few days have been hampered by some weather but after the last front things got straightened out pretty good for some nice fishing conditions.

My last trip was yesterday on my 47ft Viking and being a 4 hour trip with new anglers we went for the trolling option and did very well. I started my crew off with some kingfish on the reef then we moved out to the color change to try for sails and fun fish. The fun fish were large sized bonito keeping the teens I had on board lifting and reeling. Bonito make great strip bait so this was a double win. As the day progressed we got smashed by a solid tuna and lost it at the back of the boat. Our first sail of the day was a real bad ass. He smashed our slow trolled short natural ballyhoo out of the rigger clip, Garrett dropped back three times finally sealing the deal with that guy. One of the teens on my boat faught him for a solid 20 minute before the release. A really good sized fish. We had a second sailfish hit and he managed to dump the hook.

This young man got his flag for a nice sailfish release.

So all in all the sailfishing has been good with a mix of tuna, bonito the occasional wahoo and some mahi here in the last few days deep sea fishing Key West.

Bait is a little scarce for some so it’s a toss of the coin whether you want to live bait it or troll. I usually leave it up to the customers as the live bait thing can be a bit time consuming and the trolling option lately has been pretty strong for us. Plus there are some mahi offshore a bit that are just itching to eat something.

Fishing Forecast

This weekend looks great for the Viking owners tournament in Key West. The battle wagons are already in town with kites up practicing for the event. Winds from the North and North east through Sunday. On Monday the fan turns on with hard East winds. The East winds are great for sail fishing as they are blowing right down the edge of the reef making a perfect lay up for sailfish using live bait or trolling tactics. I expect the winds to stay up through Thursday when the next front rolls through on Friday..

Extended forecast reminds us that the Mahi Mahi dolphin season for our larger fish of the year is just around the corner. Late April and May are the best times for dolphin fishing. See the Key West Fishing Seasons calendar to learn more..

Deep Sea Fishing Charters

For the Key West deep sea fishing charters things have been picking up but still not slammed like normal for this time of the year for many of the boats. We think the economy has a lot to do with that. Best thing to do is call us to see what availability looks like and we will go over all the details and options for the best deep sea fishing charters for you and your budget. We do private charters and split or shared fishing charters.

Call Us Direct
Key West Office 1-305-292-7212
Text 1-786-847-3808
My Email

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