From my personal experience fishing in the Keys over a 45 year period if the weather is good and appropriate for the time period the fishing is good.
Many of our species are here all year round while others come and go with the seasons. Bonefish, year round residents, come on the flats when it's warm and go deeper when it's too hot or cold. In summer they feed early and late while in winter they feed during the warmest part of the afternoon.
Fishing is available all year round as our resource hosts some species requiring saline marine influences of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as well as others preferring estuarine and brackish waters of the Everglades ecosystem. The Keys tarpon migration comprised of several hundred thousand fish could begin as early as March and usually goes through mid-July. About a third of these fish are resident and here year round.
Fish do not know the calendar month only the wind, temperature, moon phase and barometric pressure. We have found that some giant tarpon migrate over great distances seasonally while others may stay year round and only go a hundred miles or so to deeper water when it's cold. Five or six consecutive warm days in January can flood the flats with big tarpon that like it hot and calm while mackerel who like cooler water may vacate the flats and head north.
The great thing about the Islamorada area of the Florida Keys is that we have so many options and when the weather is unseasonable it pays to be flexible and adjust targets accordingly.
Options include: Bonefish, Big Tarpon, Giant Tarpon, Permit, Redfish, Snook, Seatrout, Tripletail, Spanish mackerel, Jacks and Ladyfish.
Often overlooked as species to target with fly rod are sharks. We have many blacktip and lemon sharks as well as an occasional tiger and hammerhead that can be chummed up for fly casting opportunities.
Region/ Terrain Where you Fish:
Waters of the Florida Keys, Florida Bay and the Everglades National Park are home to a myriad of flats, channels and mangrove keys that host bonefish, permit, tarpon, redfish, snook and many other game fish species. Fishing is done from traditional poling skiffs of 16 to 18 feet in length for up to two anglers per boat. Bay boats from 19 to 24 feet can access portions of the resource as well for up to 4 anglers and non-poled fishing.
Typical Weather by Season:
Summers are generally hot from the low 80's at night to the mid 90's during the afternoon. Winters range from the middle 60's to middle 80's. Occasionally a winter “cold front” finds its way to the Keys and we see 50's for a day or so usually followed by blue bird skies and super sight fishing opportunities. Fall and spring are mild transitions between the two.