Key West offers many types of sport fishing options from billfish that are often found beyond the reef or the tarpon, tuna and permit found in the flats. It has the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States which is home to yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and grouper to name a few fish that are fun to catch! Whether you are a true outdoorsman who has years of fishing experience under your belt or if you have never cast a line… Key West has a fishing adventure that will fit your skill and comfort level! There is nothing more exciting than the thrill of the catch. Ernest Hemmingway was an avid angler and wrote about his adventures as he spent time in his Key West Estate. Let’s explore fishing in Key West!
FLATS FISHING, DEEP SEA FISHING BEST BOAT CHARTERS
“Flats fishing” is a great way to get to know the island. Usually the water is 3-10 feet deep in the flats so you are fishing a smaller group of fish. There is an abundance of bonefish, permit and tarpon so you will not be coming up short on any trip to the beach. The best thing to do is to hire a flats fishing charter as they will be the most knowledgeable about the feeding patterns and where to find the best spots. Flying fishing is a very popular way to fish in the flats.
A great charter service to check out is Fishizzle Sportfishing Charters based out of Key West. Most trips focus on trolling, so you can go after exciting big game species. “Explore the nearshore and offshore spots, looking for Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, and many more. In case this is your first time fishing, the crew will gladly show you how to handle the equipment and get some hands-on experience.” (Source)
One of the best areas to fish near Key West is the Sugarloaf Keys, “Here you will find a maze of mangrove cuts, flats, and creeks rich in fish. It’s scenic, it’s quiet, and there’s plenty of fish.” (Source) You can take a kayak or canoe through most of these spots with the water only being 2 feet to 20 feet depending on where you are at.
Fish Key West is one of the highest rating charters in the region. They have five star reviews on their different tours that they offer. Starting at $900 the Private Key West Deep Sea Fishing Charter is one one of their most popular offerings. From start to finish this tour rolls out the red carpet. Imagine yourself getting to the docks early in the morning, taking in the sights and sounds of the water before everyone is out. You meet up with your guide at the boat you were assigned and you head into the Atlantic Ocean to tackle fish like the 1000lb Marlin! “High-speed, hard-hitting predators like Barracuda, Blackfin Tuna, Kingfish, and Wahoo will strip your reel bare and challenge you to stop their runs. Deep-water bait fishing over wrecks and reefs will have your arm muscles on fire as you winch up Amberjack, Cobia, Grouper, Yellowtail Snapper, and Sharks including the awesome Hammerhead.” (Source)
Key West Split Fishing Charters is a great option for the avid angler who does not want to spend $600-1000 on a fishing expedition. This is a shared charter fishing experience where you can cast off on an amazing tour and maybe make some friends along the way! “All split-charter prices are inclusive of license, tackle, live bait, and ice. Sunscreen, your camera, lunch, and cold drinks are all you need to bring for the fishing trip of a lifetime. Pro tip: lunch boxes with a sandwich, chips, and cookies are available at the dock.” (Source) Be sure check out all the info on their other tours by clicking here! (Source)
Another great fishing charter to check out is Cheap Fishing Key West Captain Pat has over 20 years of fishing experience. The website says, “My goal is to always give you quality service, fair prices and an unforgettable deep sea fishing charter adventure on the water.” (Source) It is deep sea fishing where you will catch, “Sailfish, Mahi-Mahi, Tuna, Kingfish, Snapper, Grouper, and Sharks.” (Source) He offers a “3hr Fun Fishing” tour is $495.00 and it is a short and close to the shore fishing adventure. It is for the group that wants to have fun but not spend the whole day on the water. The most expensive tour is the “6hr Reef/Troll Combo” that is $795.00 but you get a more well rounded experience. It is only a max of four anglers.
Captain Mike runs the Key West Flats which on his, “18′ Beavertail BT3 flats skiff powered by a proven Yamaha 115 HP four stroke outboard.” (Source) You can choose a half, ¾ or full day charter that range from $500-$750. Captain Mike says that, “I run shallow water sight fishing charters for tarpon, bonefish, permit, barracudas and sharks. I offer half, three quarter and full day charters and night tarpon trips during tarpon season.” (Source) He offers private charters for 1-2 anglers and extra professional guides upon request.
Exploring Key West on a boat or by land is a “must do” for an avid angler visiting the island. There are lots of ways to go about it depending on if you want to do flats fishing, deep sea, etc. Most of the charters provide gear so you don’t even have to bring your own! Go set sail on your new adventure!