Key Largo

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Fishing in Key Largo

Home to the only living coral reef in mainland US, as well as the country’s first underwater park, “the Diving Capital of the World” awaits you! Fishing in Key Largo is something else – it has everything you’d expect from the Florida Keys and more. With the wild Everglades on one side, and the vast Atlantic on the other, this is a unique fishery that’s bound to leave you breathless.

The shallow waters of Key Largo hide an abundance of fish – Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, and Redfish all call them home. Visiting the rich reefs will give you a chance to reel in some big Snapper and Grouper. Heading further offshore? The deep ocean will reward you with Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, Cobia, Kingfish, Marlin, and even Sailfish.

There’s a lot to see and do in Key Largo. If you want to spend a little time with your family in the flats and backcountry, book a half day trip. Full day trips are geared towards more experienced anglers, while extended full day trips are for serious sport fishermen looking to break some records.

When looking for a charter in this stunning town, all you have to do is step outside! Fishing charters are dotted all along the island, so you can just choose which side you want to visit and you’re all set.

Rules & Regulations

Heading out on the water aboard a fishing charter means that you don’t have to worry about the license – your captain will cover it. As there are specific regulations when it comes to certain species, booking a reputable captain is the best way to make sure you’re fishing within the law.

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Key Largo Fishing Seasons

With Key Largo temperatures staying in the mid 70s in January (with the occasional colder spell), you'll enjoy getting out on the water to catch Sailfish offshore and Permit on the flats. Don't miss the Key Largo Sailfish Challenge!

This is the coldest month of the year, with temperatures dropping into the chilly realms of the low 60s. Catch big Permit on the flats, shelter in the backcountry, or go offshore for Sailfish, and more.

Spring Break means one thing in Key Largo – crowds, and lots of them. Escape to the backcountry and spend the day chasing after Redfish, Snook, and Permit. Warmer days have potential for some Bonefish and Tarpon too.

March is busy on the island and at the docks. Spring winds can disturb the seas but it's usually calm towards the end of the month. Look out for shrimp boats on the Gulf for good Blackfin Tuna fishing. This is a great month for big Dorado.

May is one of the busiest times of the year on the water in the Keys. The Tarpon season is kicking off and most guides are on trips day in and day out. Offshore, the seas are calmer – catch Grouper while you still can.

As temperatures rise, the fishing settles into summertime. The seas are calm and there is some great fly fishing available on the flats. Check out the Skippers Dolphin Tournament – will you catch the biggest Mahi?

The weather is very hot but the waters are still and gin clear. Bonefish, Redfish, and Snook are caught on the flats, while big Wahoo, Dolphin, and even Marlin can be caught offshore. Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms. 

Hot and humid weather continues, but there are some good deals in hotels. This is a good time to catch a slam in the flats, while there's the possibility of catching a mighty Blue Marlin offshore.

If you're into flats fishing, come to Key Largo in September. This is one of the best times of year to catch the area's large Bonefish. At the height of the tropical storm season, be ready to change your plans at the last minute.

The temperatures begin to cool. This is one of the quietest months in Key Largo. But be careful – a lot of captains and guides choose this month to go on vacation so don't leave it too late to plan your charter trip.

Cold fronts start to arrive, which can mix up the fishing. Flats and backcountry are always a good choice, with Snook, Redfish, and Speckled Trout biting well. Otherwise, choose a calm day to get out onto the reefs or offshore.

Make the most of the good Grouper bite while the season is still open and cook yourself up an alternative festive dinner. Sailfish, Wahoo, and Tuna are biting offshore, while flats and backcountry fishing is as good as ever.

Key Largo Fishing Calendar

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Top Fishing Techniques in Key Largo

  1. Deep Sea Fishing
  2. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Key Largo

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tarpon

Tarpon

Snapper (Mutton)

Snapper (Mutton)

Permit

Permit

Sailfish

Sailfish

Snook

Snook

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Redfish

Redfish