Florida Keys

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Fishing in Florida Keys

A tropical climate, stunning beaches, and amazing wildlife – these are the makings of a premier fishing place. Hop on one of many Florida Keys fishing charters and explore some of the most beautiful natural habitats in the US. Featuring 800 coral cay islands, the Keys are a unique ecosystem that’s sure to leave you breathless.

When it comes to fishing, the Florida Keys can deliver! This is a true year-round fishery where you can target pretty much any saltwater species from this part of the world. Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Sheepshead, and Jacks, are all awaiting inshore. The reefs hold great numbers of Snapper, Grouper, and Amberjack, while heading offshore will see you reeling in Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Cobia, and many more.

Depending on what you want to do, there’s a whole host of fishing trips you can choose from. Half day trips are a wonderful way to spend time with your family and introduce your kids to fishing, while full day offshore trips are typically reserved for the more experienced anglers. Don’t hesitate to explore some of the specialized trips on offer, and make your own Florida Keys fishing adventure!

Fishing is a big industry in the Florida Keys, so it’s no surprise that you can find charters dotted along the islands from Key Largo all the way to Key West. In between, you’ll find them in Islamorada, Marathon, and Big Pine Key. Just drive down, and you’ll be spoiled for choice!

Rules & Regulations

Fishing in the Florida Keys is great year-round, but there are specific regulations when it comes to certain species. The best way to go about it is to book a trip with a reputable captain who’ll make sure you’re informed and always fishing within the law.

Florida Keys
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Florida Keys Fishing Seasons

January

Average temperatures in the Keys are around 70°F in January. Bonefish and Permit are biting on the flats so long as a cold front doesn’t scare them off. Offshore, it's time for the annual Key Largo Sailfish Challenge.

February

February is a great time to fish inshore for Redfish, Permit, Sharks, and Barracuda. Offshore, you’ll catch Sailfish and Kingfish. For a mixed bag and some guaranteed success, try hitting a few reefs close to shore.

March

Tourist season is in full swing in the Keys by March. The waters will be just as crowded, with Tarpon making their entrance inshore while Tuna, Wahoo, and Mahi Mahi occupy the deep sea.

April

The backcountry is loaded with Tarpon, Redfish, Cobia, Jack Crevalle, Sharks, and much more at this time of year. Meanwhile, the deep sea is full of Wahoo, Tuna, large Mahi, and Marlin.

May

Flats and backcountry fishing are all the rage, with Tarpon taking center stage. Offshore, anglers are gearing up for the Florida Keys Dolphin Championship, the largest Mahi Mahi fishing tournament in the world.

June

Florida Keys flats fishing is spectacular in June. By now, the Grouper season is open in both Atlantic and Gulf waters, so get ready to fill your freezer! Offshore, you’ll hook into Tuna, Wahoo, and Marlin.

July

July keeps anglers busy with competitions like the Poor Boys Tarpon Fly Tournament and the Bacardi Key West Marlin Tournament. With clear waters and fair weather, this is an ideal time for long runs offshore.

August

Come August, things tend to quiet down in the Keys. Lobster season will be opening soon, and crustacean lovers everywhere are invited to come and celebrate at the Annual Key West Lobsterfest.

September

Fall is one of the best times for flats fishing in the Keys, with Bonefish, Barracuda, Snook, Redfish, and more biting vigorously. The reefs are bustling with Snapper, Grouper, and other bottom fish.

October

Many guides in the Keys take a vacation in October, so be sure to book a charter months ahead if you plan on fishing. Inshore fishing is outstanding in autumn, while winter game fish are arriving offshore.

November

November marks the beginning of The Key West Fishing Tournament, one of the most popular fishing tournaments in the Keys. This event lasts 8 months, open to anglers of any age or skill level.

December

Winter is a great time to set your sights on offshore big game fishing, with Kingfish, Sailfish, and Blackfin Tuna reaching their peak seasons. Or try fishing the flats between cold fronts.

Florida Keys Fishing Calendar

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Reviews of Fishing in Florida Keys

Half Day Trip = Day of fun!
Ron M. fished with Off Course Charters on October 9, 2020
This was my first time to charter in the Keys. Capt Henry is my 1st choice for the future!
Fishing with Mike
Matt S. fished with Michael O’Brien Charters on August 11, 2020
Sometimes the fish aren't biting. There are no guarantees. Enjoy the view and the scenery and conversation if nothing else.
Evening half day trip with Ryan
Kate Z. fished with Good Times Key West on July 26, 2020
Sunscreen!!!! Also, have an idea of what type of fishing you’d like to do before booking and heading out, that way your captain can get you to the best spot!
Half Day with captain Hugh
Karl Z. fished with Reel Easy Charters on July 16, 2020
Just be watch, learn and enjoy being out on the water.
Fishing Day with Doc & Georgie
Dawn L. fished with Kekoa Charters on July 10, 2020
Don’t forget your sunscreen before you go & always remember to be prepared for anything....it’s called “Fishing”
Yellow Jacks!!
Judy O. fished with Good Times Key West on July 6, 2020
Be ready to catch some fish. By hiring a guide, you have everything you need at your fingertips.... Bait, tackle, water and a nice boat to get you onto the water. Morning fishing is probably the best, as the afternoons can be extra steamy and fish may be sluggish.
Great Yellow Jack Fishing with Captain JJ
Asterios H. fished with Reel A Salt on June 26, 2020
The weather was amazing and fishing the back country was amazing! Highly recommend.
Great fishing with Jason from Seasquared
Peter C. fished with SeaSquared Charters on June 20, 2020
definitely recommend going out with Jason from SeaSquared.

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