To truly enjoy your vacation to the Florida Keys, a deep sea fishing charter is mandatory. Fortunately, there are countless charter options available on multiple Keys–Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West–and deciding which works best for you can be overwhelming. But when it’s time to get started and make your reservations, try to have an idea of exactly what kind of Florida Keys fishing you’d like to try before arriving. You’ll be able to narrow down your charter choices based on your desired fish as well. It is also important to remember that deep sea fishing charters aren’t your only option. Many Florida Keys fishing charters specialize in backcountry, reef, and offshore angling too.
Islamorada is known as the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World” due to its close proximity to the Gulf Stream, just 12 miles off shore. The fishing here is robust to say the least. An offshore charter in this region could possibly hook you up with swordfish, sailfish, tuna, and Wahoo. You can even try your luck while the sun is up and then again after watching a beautiful Gulf Coast sunset. A backcountry trip, called the “Back Side” in the Keys, will take you to as little as six inches of shallow water with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. You’d be surprised by the variety of fish living in such shallow water. Cast your line for tarpon, permit, bonefish, trout, snook, redfish and more. Venture to the shallow water wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico and you could possibly reel in grouper, snapper, cobia, and goliath grouper. For yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, king mackerel, and more, year-round reef and bottom fishing is the way to go, just three miles away.
Marathon Key offers a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere teeming with all the fishing you can handle. Again, the strategic locations and techniques are quite similar up and down the Keys, but the fish you’ll find can differ. For instance, offshore, you’ll find sailfish, Wahoo, tuna, and marlin. Take a reef and wreck trip for the same aforementioned species with the addition of kingfish, African pompano, amberjack, and barracuda. Sit by the bay with your rod and cold cocktail and you might snag some cobia, permit, grouper, mackerel, mangrove snapper, jewfish, speckled trout or barracuda. Remember, the world famous 7-mile bridge is here and it is possible to fish along it–a great place to reel in a tarpon.
Key West isn’t just a popular place to bounce from bar to bar; it’s a fishing hotspot as well. Fishing in Key West will bring you as far as the Dry Tortugas in search of large black grouper and mutton snapper. But closer to Key West you’ll still find some of the finest catches in the world. Choose from deep sea fishing in 1,000 feet of water, or fishing in the flats with only a few inches of water between you and your next trophy catch. Between its amazing nightlife, relaxing atmosphere and top-notch fishing, Key West offers the ultimate vacation for seasoned anglers and beginners alike.
Depending on which of the Florida Keys you visit, all it takes is a little research to find the deep sea fishing charter for you. Think about the type of fish or the type of fishing you’d like to do and it’ll all fall into place from there. Or, simply head to the nearest marina and ask for the captain. With genuinely fun-loving people down in the Keys, it won’t be long before you’re out at sea making friends during your exciting Florida Keys vacation.