How to Catch Mahi-Mahi in April

Fishing Islamorada and Key Largo in April

If you’re looking for the best springtime fishing destinations for catching mahi-mahi, sailfish, and wahoo in the Florida Keys, you can’t go wrong with Islamorada and Key Largo. These two areas are home to some of the most popular fish species in the region, including mahi-mahi, tuna, sailfish, wahoo, snappers, and groupers. Islamorada is particularly well-known for its sailfish, while Key Largo is a prime spot for wahoo. April is an ideal time to fish for mahi-mahi in the Keys, as this is when they are typically migrating through the area.

how to catch Mahi Mahi

April is the Florida Keys’ windiest month of the year, but with a bit of preparation and knowledge, you can make the most of this month’s conditions and have a great day out on the water, perhaps an epic day if you get dialed in on “tailing conditions.”

What are Tailing Condtions?

Tailing conditions happen when the wind and current line up just right; the fish will swim on the surface into the current. Then, they surf down the waves with the tips of their tails out of the water. Historically the month of April is the best month for this phenomenon to happen.

Predicting Tailing Condtions

Anyone who has ever been fishing knows that there is no surefire formula for predicting success. However, experienced anglers have developed several tricks and techniques that can increase the chances of predicting when tailing conditions can now happen with precision, thanks to technology. One of the most critical factors in fishing is choosing the right time and place. Certain conditions, such as the tides, the weather, and the amount of daylight, can all affect fish behavior. 

Here are some helpful tips and tricks for predicting when and where tailing conditions will happen in the Upper Florida Keys. 

Wind and More of It 

First and foremost, there must be a period of high wind from the Northeast in the Upper Florida Keys. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that high winds usually occur in cycles of several days.

Gulf Stream Current

The strong NE wind conditions move the western edge of the gulf stream current close to the reef line in the Upper Florida Keys. You can use the Gulf Stream overlay to track the movement of the gulf stream current and check the NOAA marine weather forecast for an approximate position of the gulf stream. When you see that the western edge of Gulf Stream current is within 1-3 miles of either Tennessee Light off Islamorada or Sombrero Light off Marathon, it’s time to go fishing!

Color Edge

Every day, winds from the Northeast push the gulf stream closer to the reef. When the gulf stream gets close to the reef, we get that perfect powder blue color change, setting up for tailing conditions. Sailfish tend to congregate in areas where the water is a powdery blue. This powder blue water color occurs when the gulf stream pushes up against the reef, creating a wind-against-current situation.

Powder Blue Water

This powder blue-colored water is where the “mixology” is happening – where the green water from the Gulf of Mexico/Florida Bay meets the blue gulf stream water, creating a powder blue color. It’s like motor oil and water together; they separate. You are looking for hard color or subtle water color changes.

best mahi mahi fishing tips

The sailfish stand out in the powder blue water, making them easier to spot and hunt along with fish like mahi mahi and wahoo.  So when you’re out on the reef, keep an eye out for those water color changes. Be on the lookout for this color change between depths of 60 out to 450 ft. 

The Secret

Now here is the secret to an epic day. Strong outgoing tides around the full or new moons push that dirty green water from the gulf out to the oceanside where it meets the gulf stream current creating epic tailing conditions. Using the Good Karma Sportfishing App, you can dial in on the tides, solar-lunar, and moon phase. Remember, some moons show brighter than others earlier in the month, so you want to plan accordingly. Refer to my last blog The Best Solar Lunar Secrets Revealed


If you’re looking to get in on some great fishing this April, you’ll need to be in the right place at the right time – before the news hits the internet. The trick is to be one step ahead of everyone else, and these insider tips can help. In addition, you now have a formula for predicting tailing conditions and 2 Florida Keys fishing spots that you can use to help get you dialed in on epic fishing, just like the pros. Remember, it is all about timing. There is no secret why some fishing teams and fishing charters are always the first to produce epic catches; now you have a formula with the actual secret to why some fishermen catch more than others consistently.