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Key West Deep Sea Fishing Forecast April 2012

In a normal year I would be talking about the awesome Sailfishing we are having in Key West and how the World Sailfish Championship in the middle of the month may yet again set tournament records for numbers of sailfish caught and released. However this year is far from normal. Warm weather all over North America has really changed the fishing in Key West this year and will continue to affect the fishing here for the next few months. The warm near shore waters along the Keys has held bait close to shore and not pushed it out to warmer Gulfstream waters along the reef. The lack of snow pack in the north will affect the spring floods (or a lack thereof) along the Mississippi, that will in turn change the  currents and salinity  in the Gulf of Mexico and eventually our little piece of the Gulfstream here in the straits of Florida. Consequently the Sailfish bite has been spotty at best and Mackerel, which are normally everywhere and almost a nuisance when Sailfishing, are on the reef but not in teeming numbers.

This all sounds ominous except, the fish are still around, just the seasonal guidance is messed up.  For one Blue Marlin are being hooked up every day in the Key West charter fleet and sometimes two on the same boat. This has been a very exciting development and has added a new thrill for this time of year. Other fish that seem to have their timing off are Mahi-Mahi. Small Dolphin are showing up in good numbers on Southeast winds and weed lines. This probably explains the Marlin bite better than anything, put out food and they will come. Nice Wahoo catches are being reported daily.

So for an April forecast , I believe when the current gets up on the reef and stays there for a while and the wind blows from the East and Northeast, there has been no abnormal abatement of howling winds, the Sailfish will show up. The tailing down the reefs is migrational and my guess is they still need to migrate.  Dolphin fishing is coming on fast and we will probably have more of a May like pattern with the really big Mahis cruising West in the current and feeding on the numerous flying fish already here. I also think the Marlin bite will continue because the food is here. All in all the fishing is different but I have to say it might be better.


 

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