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Top Fishing Charters in Key Largo

Fishing in Key Largo

Key Largo fishing has everything you’d hope from the Florida Keys and more. Home to the only living coral reef in mainland United States and the country’s first underwater park, this is *the* place to go if you’re into marine life. It is ‘The Diving Capital of the World,’ and it’s easy to see why. But you don’t need to get your wetsuit on to appreciate the richness of these waters. With the Everglades to the northwest and the reefs to the east, this watery world attracts fish big and small to the nearby waters all year round. And while even the briefest of fishing trips in Key Largo are worthwhile, we guarantee you won’t want to cut your trip short.

Known For

At 53 miles long, Key Largo is the largest island in the Florida Keys archipelago. Located in the northern part of the island chain, it is easily accessed from the mainland. And it’s worth the trip: with the Everglades on its doorstep and a sea floor littered with shipwrecks and coral reefs, there are few sport fish that can’t be caught in these waters.

Head to the western side of Key Largo, and you will find yourself in the Everglades National Park, a network of islands and creeks that house many of the world’s favorite inshore fish. These are the real inshore bruisers of the Florida Keys: Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, and Redfish can all be found here at different times of year. But not only are these waters full of magical Key Largo fishing spots, they are also your opportunity to make friends with manatees, dolphins, and birds.

Anyone who is looking for the ultimate shallow water challenge needs to try the explosive Tarpon fishing Key Largo provides. Probably the most prestigious fish you can catch on the flats, the ‘Silver King’ is all over the shallow waterways of Key Largo in March and April. Bigger ones remain around the bridges later into Spring, and while the second run in September and October may be brief, it is unforgettable. But it doesn’t stop there - Snook just love these waters in the summer, and will often be found in places like Long Sound, Joe Bay, and Mud and Trout Creek. It’s great to see the population of these beautiful fish on the rise again - have your own go at catching and releasing these ‘linesiders’. In the winter, you can even get the chance to catch Gag Grouper in these inshore waters too, as they head to the shallower patches in February and March.

Travel to the patch reefs close to the flats, and you will have the chance to catch some of the nicest table-fare you have ever tried. These clean and clear waters are home to schools of Yellowtail and Mangrove Snapper, striking Hogfish, Grouper, Barracuda, and Mackerel. The best thing is, these are close enough to shore for you to take a break at the famous Alabama Jacks for lunch at Sundowners Key.

You guessed it - it doesn’t stop there. Just five miles from shore, the sea bed drops deep enough to be visited by larger game fish such as Mahi Mahi, Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, Cobia, Kingfish, and even Sailfish. Pick up some of the area’s history as you fish over one of the many shipwrecks in the area - deep-water wrecks such as Bibb and Duane are popular with anglers and divers alike. Gulfstream fishing Key Largo depends on the current, but it is reliably close enough to reach on a full day trip. And come summer, that means unforgettable fishing adventures for the likes of Blue Marlin, Sailfish, and Yellowfin Tuna.

Rules & Regulations

Anyone fishing aboard a licensed Key Largo fishing charter will not need to purchase a fishing license. However, licenses are obligatory for Key Largo bridge fishing and shore fishing.

Types of Fishing

Thanks to the extensive flats and backcountry, fly fishing Key Largo has a year-round appeal. This is one of the best places in the US - or even the world - to catch an Inshore Slam of Permit, Tarpon, and Bonefish. Come here in the late spring or fall to increase your chances of catching these warm-water dwellers. The winter has great opportunities for Snook and Redfish fishing, while the summer could see you hooking up on a Barracuda on the fly!

If you’re on the lookout for something a bit different, kayak fishing Key Largo’s mangrove-lined waterways is getting more and more popular. Find dedicated kayak fishing guides here on FishingBooker, or rent a boat at the Pennekamp State Park and go it alone. The beauty of a kayak is that you can navigate narrower waterways than standard boats, although ability to multi-task is a must! 

Whatever type of vessel you are fishing from, you will enjoy targeting big Trout with popping corks or live pilchards, or trying Key Largo night fishing and troll plugs for enormous Snook. Otherwise, load up on tasty dinner-party material by heading out to the patch reefs along the Hawks channel armed with chum and live shrimp.

The offshore private charter and party boat fishing Key Largo has to offer is some of the best in the world. It will usually involve a mixture of trolling and bottom fishing, with specific techniques used depending on the preferences of the captain.

Key Largo
Based on 15414 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

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. Escpe 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 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 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 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 to be had 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 Laron. But be careful - a lot of catpains and guides choose this month to go on vacation so don't leave it too to plan late 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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What People Are Saying About Key Largo

"Half day trip with Captain Dan and First Mate Matt"

Bob S. fished with Miss Chief Charters on March 12, 2020

Take your catch to Sharkeys and let them fix it up for you. Awesome!

"Fishing with Ben"

Rob M. fished with Leatherneck Backcountry Fishing on February 26, 2020

February is just a little early for the big tarpon run. I was hoping to get lucky on some early arrivals. It didn't happen so changed the game plan, and had a blast the rest of the day smashing all different species of fish of all different sizes. Don't be afraid to adapt or even change your game plan. You might enjoy it. I loved it!

"Fishing w/ the cousin"

Armando A. fished with Tail Gator Charters on February 17, 2020

Ask many questions and be prepared for weather changes. can affect your trip and expectations.

"Wonderful Day Fishing!"

Arlen S. fished with Leatherneck Backcountry Fishing on September 12, 2019

I recommend looking at the reviews and getting an experienced and established fishing captain.

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

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)





Snapper (Mutton)

Snapper (Mutton)



Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Barracuda (Great)

Barracuda (Great)



Nearby Fishing Destinations