When is the best time of year to visit the keys?

I'm trying to plan a family trip to the keys sometime this year to fish and possibly camp. We're planning a long weekend trip and have a 20' boat and are not into backwater or tarpon fishing. We like bottom fishing and a chance to catch a blackfin or mahi would be a couple checks off of the bucket list. Our schedule is completely open for suggestions and any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

Replies

  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,708 Captain
    A 20' boat might limit the offshore Blackfin & Mahi fishing due to weather. The seas outside the reef can get pretty sporty pretty quickly. Lobster season starts August 6 if you want to chase bugs. Snapper & Trout can be had in the Bay in the warmer months and You can find Cero & Spanish both in the Bay and on the reef during the cooler months.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • DogDocDogDoc Posts: 686 Officer
    If the weather is good I think your 20 footer will work fine for bottom fishing and dolphin....but, it all depends on the weather. The late spring/early summer time works; calmer water in general as the summer arrives but the afternoon T-storms become more of an issue as it gets hotter (evening or night fishing is an option if the weather is good.)
    Yellowtails and mangroves in 50-100 foot depths at the reef, muttons a bit deeper, and grouper on the bottom in both places. Dolphin and blackfins would be a bit further out; start looking once you get to 250 ft. Archived Forum posts and FAQ sections will give you alot of info on specific techniques, all of which may change depending on the weather.
    The Upper keys are a few miles closer to offshore, but also a bit more crowded. I prefer the Lower Keys.
    I may have forgotten to mention that in a 20 ft boat all of these options will depend on the weather, but even so, there will likely be at least several days during a week that all the fishing options will be in play.
    Plenty of fishing for your family to have lots of fun.
  • the aquaholicthe aquaholic Posts: 54 Deckhand
    Thank you for the quick replies, last year we were planning on going to Big Pine Key but had to cancel last minute so I'm probably going to plan on trying to go there again. If early to mid summer is a good time for bottom fishing and possibly offshore weather permitting we'll have to come down then to give it a shot. Again, thanks for your information!
  • killintimekillintime Posts: 235 Deckhand
    I'm trying to plan a family trip to the keys sometime this year to fish and possibly camp. We're planning a long weekend trip and have a 20' boat and are not into backwater or tarpon fishing. We like bottom fishing and a chance to catch a blackfin or mahi would be a couple checks off of the bucket list. Our schedule is completely open for suggestions and any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

    Either daytime OR nightime of the year.
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,220 Captain
    nov-may
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  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 1,776 Captain
    Jan - Dec
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  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,708 Captain
    AOKRVs wrote: »
    Jan - Dec

    :beer
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • TheBugShackTheBugShack Posts: 98 Greenhorn
    Fishing is good year round...you just can't be too choosie.

    "The Bug Shack"
    Fl Keys Waterfront Rental
    http://www.homeaway.com/399780
    Frank
  • JoeBazookaJoeBazooka Posts: 24 Greenhorn
    I'll just throw in my pitch for traveling to the Keys in the summer. I typically go down to KW in July or Aug. Yeah, it's FREAKING HOT, but it's often just as hot here in PA.

    PROS:
    - Less crowded (except for the lobster mini season)
    - Generally calmer winds/seas
    - Off-season rates
    - Without the throngs of tourists in KW, the whole vibe is much better
    - Not everything is booked so restaurants, rentals, etc. easier to get

    CONS:
    - It's hot and the sun is intense
  • TeamTekeTeamTeke Posts: 947 Officer
    May and early June are my favorite times.
    Happiness is the journey, not the destination.
  • tsaddictiontsaddiction Posts: 87 Greenhorn
    That is a trick question because keys are always awesome. August is the best because of the lobster and fishing calmer seas. Just got back from islamorada. Caught the most grouper ever. Couldn't keep but was a freak show. Caught my biggest mutton. And some lobster and tuna. Just love it there.
  • bonebone Posts: 1,081 Officer
    june
  • Carl SwoyerCarl Swoyer Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    We were there last April for a month perfect weather calm seas . Caught alot of fish we stayed in Keywest on the Navy base family camp

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  • nickdeenickdee Posts: 30 Deckhand
    Depends on what you mean by best . Fishing always something to catch. Want sails wahoo winter best,Dolphin are starting now only getting better. Reef fishing all year. Weather winter cooler temps but can be very windy .Summer hot but a lot less winds. Holidays lots of traffic. IF you pick the wrong time to drive down you will spend hours in stop and go . Also restaurants are packed and you will have to waite . I live here year round my favorite time is sep to jan. A lot less people . Thats best for me
  • ESSRTEE8ESSRTEE8 Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Anyone looking for a great place in Key Colony? 37' Dock, 10th St.

    https://www.vrbo.com/1049589?unitId=1597709

    I have that I'm advertising in this thread but my house was just put on VRBO by me and I'm offering really good rates in May and June. Aug/Sept too.

    Take a look. I'm a newbie here but been on THT for years. Same handle.
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,220 Captain
    the nov. wahoo bite- it is unrivaled
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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