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Top Fishing Charters in Marathon

Fishing in Marathon

With a name worthy of the area’s unbeatable angling, Marathon fishing has a way of always making you want to stay out longer. Fishing here can be as productive in 10 feet of water as it can be in 1,000. The historic Bahia Honda and Seven Mile bridges are often named by Tarpon addicts as having some of the best fishing in the Keys.

Fishing in Marathon certainly isn’t limited to dropping lines under bridges, though. The elaborate network of patch reefs and reef systems it looks out onto means that you’re almost guaranteed to land something special. Year-round populations of Spanish Mackerel, Barracuda, Snapper, and Grouper, are joined by as many visitors below the water as above, and if you head out past the deep sea wrecks and into the blue waters, Marathon charter fishing can see you battling anything from Wahoo and Mahi to monster Tuna, massive Marlin, and even Swordfish.

So let the crowds all squash onto that boat in Key West. You have everything you need right here! From fly fishing fights, to usurping the Silver King, to deep water adventures plunging lines a quarter-mile into the abyss, it’s guaranteed to be a marathon fishing adventure!

Known For

Despite the city being barely 20 years old, Marathon has achieved legendary status thanks to the sheer number of places you can find fish. If we’re going to talk about the best fishing spots the only place to start is at Seven Mile Bridge. Spanning the gap between Boot Key and Bahia Honda Key, this incredible feat of engineering has made Marathon Tarpon fishing famous across the world for those in the know, and almost makes up for its less-than-inventive name. The huge spring Tarpon migration offers some of the finest Marathon fly fishing, with hungry fish passing through in their thousands, swimming right into the shallows where they can easily be tempted into biting.

If you don’t mind bagging a mixed batch (and really, who does?) then some of the best fun you’ll have fishing the keys will be out on the sprawling patch reefs nestled inside the barrier reef. Any half-decent Marathon fishing charter will be able to get you pulling in fish after fish, with various species of Snapper and Grouper swarming the bait. During the summer these will also be joined by Kingfish, Barracuda, and several species of predatory Sharks to make sure you get some good battles along with the tasty table fish. Head a little further and you can find deep sea wrecks teeming with Amberjack, and Cobia, as well as African Pompano and Goliath Grouper worthy of the name. This is all in under 10 miles from the dock. The real fun starts when you see the deep sea fishing Marathon has access to.

Marathon Offshore Fishing starts just a half hour’s boat ride away at the infamous Marathon Humps. These underwater mountains rise over 500 feet from the ocean floor. They draw up and trap bait fish in the strong currents they produce, creating an all-you-can-eat buffet for big game pelagics. Over the course of the year Blue and White Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Blackfin Tuna all make their way to these waters to gorge themselves on baitfish. They are often joined by the meanest Makos, and even Great Whites are a common sight. Add that all together and you’ll come out with some of the toughest big game battles you’ve ever fought in your life.

But hey, there’s no harm heading a little further out, right? Marathon has it’s name for a reason, and let’s not kid ourselves, we’re not here for a half day trip. If you head out past the Marathon Humps you will soon hit what has become known as Floyd’s Wall. Now exactly who Floyd was, we’re not quite sure, but what you can be sure of is that this is a wall to be proud of. Plummeting as deep as 1,500 feet, this tear in surface of the earth is one of the last great places for successful Florida Swordfishing.

There are several outstanding Marathon charter boats which now specialize in daytime Swordfishing, which can be nicely combined with fishing the Marathon Humps. However, nothing can truly beat the thrill of taking on these abyssal predators at night. There’s something deeply chilling about dropping your lines into the darkness. Waiting in anxious silence for those difficult-to-read bumps. Let your guard down for a second and suddenly you’ve lost hundreds of feet of line into the inky depths below as these primaeval predators battle to drag you down to their forgotten world deep beneath the waves.

Rules & Regulations

All licensed fishing charters in the Florida keys come with the necessary permits for everyone on board. If you’re not using a charter, temporary fishing permits start at $17 for non-residents. There are daily bag limits and closed seasons for several different species, and it is always important to check these if venturing out on your own

Types of Fishing

Fishing in the keys is as varied as it comes, as so are the different ways you can set up for it. Marathon Tarpon fishing commonly takes place in the shallows, sight fishing on fly or spin gear with your eyes always peeled for the silver shine of the king’s crown. If you prefer, you can have just as much fun taking one of the many Marathon Tarpon charters out into deeper waters where a mixture of chumming, trolling, and casting with whole live Mullet or Crabs ought to get the job done.

Fishing the patch reefs can achieve great results with relatively simple gear. Anchor just off the reef and chum down-current to tempt the fish close, then bottom fish with light action rods to give you the upper hand when reeling them in. Using a wire leader can save a lot of time and frustration, as there are plenty of Barracuda and Mackerel around which just love to bite through your line.

If you’re fishing offshore, you could do yourself some serious favors by opting for heavy tackle, especially if the likes of Great Whites are in season. If you want the challenge, though, or just feel the need to punish yourself, you can find plenty of top-notch Marathon fishing charters which specialize in light tackle battles, or even tempting big game catches on fly gear.

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Marathon Fishing Seasons

The depths of winter still see the gauge up in the mid-70s, with very little rainfall. The Marathon Reefs are incredibly active, with King, Cero, and Spanish Mackerel fighting the Snapper and Grouper for the bait.

By February the Sailfish are here in force, and large numbers of Bonefish arrive inshore, making for great flats fishing. Things also get busier on the reef, with big Barracuda showing their ugly faces. Better break out the leaders!

The Original Marathon Seafood Festival is one of the biggest events in the keys, drawing over 20,000 attendees each year. Feast on lobster tails, stone crab, shrimp and more, and check out the market for local souvenirs.

Inshore fishing is dominated by Tarpon, and for the select few this poses the ultimate challenge in the form of the Marathon Invitational Tarpon Tournament. Offshore the Marlin arrive in force, as do the first few swordfish.

The Marathon Offshore Bull and Cow Dolphin Tournament promises great fun this time of year, and the Marlin are hitting their best. Inshore, the Tarpon are joined by super-sized Snook, and the Bonefish are still biting hard. 

Mahi Mahi, Marlin, Sharks, and Wahoo all descend upon the keys to produce some of the best pelagic action yet. Down in the depths, the Swordfish are still waiting in numbers, so this is your chance for the trip of a lifetime!

The all-star offshore action is still in full swing in the hottest month of the year, making for some of the most exhausting fishing anywhere around. Inshore, the Tarpon tail off but the Snook stay strong, and the reefs are bustling too!

The temperature in August may hit the low 90s, but you can drop ten degrees if you go night fishing. The Swordfish hit their prime this time of year, so this can be a great time to target those deep-sea monsters.

The Bonefish are back, and doesn't the world know it! The Marathon International Bonefish Tournament kicks off in September, bringing anglers from around the country and beyond to test their skills against the Silver Ghost.

The rain finally eases off in October, and the temperature drops back to a sane 85. The Tuna are at their height this time of year, with Yellowfin and Blackfin biting well offshore, and the Tarpon and Snook are still filling up the shallows.

Permit, Pompano, and Speckled Trout all arrive just as the Snook and Tarpon leave (the world's nice like that sometimes). Jacks join the regular crowd of Snapper and Grouper on the reefs, and there are still Tuna offshore.

We can't think of a better place for the holiday season, with Kingfish and Mahi making for great trolling fun, and plenty of Trout in the shallows. The weather stays up in the mid-70s, so no danger of a white Christmas here!

Marathon Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Marathon

"Great Day with Captain Greg and First Mate Chris on Manic Sportsfishing"

Potter R. fished with Manicsportfishing on March 4, 2020

Call Captain Greg @ Manic Sportsfishing!

"4 hour trip with Captain John "

Bethany H. fished with Callion Fishing Charters on March 4, 2020

Still got a sunburn! Super calm morning fishing and comfortable weather, loved it!

"Half day trip...so fun"

Betty B. fished with Captain Buddy LaPointe on December 5, 2019

Got great variety of fish on simple equipment.

"August fishing trip"

Rayniero S. fished with SeaSquared Charters on August 2, 2019

Make sure you tell the Capt what you want to do and he will make sure you get your fish.

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Marathon, Florida for the first time?

Top Fishing Techniques in Marathon

  1. Spearfishing

Top Targeted Species in Marathon

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Yellowtail)

Snapper (Yellowtail)

Tuna (Blackfin)

Tuna (Blackfin)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)







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