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Top Tarpon Fishing Charters in Key West
Tarpon Fishing in Key West
Every Floridian angler has to try Key West Tarpon fishing at least once in their lives. A vital component of the Florida Slam, the ‘Silver King’ rules the waves in the Lower Keys. Reaching mammoth sizes and featuring a prehistoric defense system, these iconic fish attract anglers to the southernmost city in continental USA in their thousands.
When to catch them
Although you can find Tarpon fish in the waters around Key West all year round, it’s the springtime that sees this fishery come alive. From March through June, most Key West Tarpon guides will be going out at least once a day to introduce anglers to these mighty beasts. If you're hoping to hook a 150lb monster in three feet of water, April and May is the best time to come. But with smaller Tarpon inhabiting the backcountry all year round, you never know when you might come across Florida's favorite inshore sport fish.
Techniques for Tarpon fishing in Key West
Saltwater fly fishing for Tarpon is very popular in Key West, especially in the flats. Most anglers use a 12-weight outfit for the Silver King with flies that imitate crustaceans—and a lot of patience. If you choose this path, you’ll likely hear the phrase ‘bow to the king,’ as you stoop forward trying to control the seemingly untamable force on the end of your line.
A slightly less challenging method for targeting Tarpon in Key West is coming aboard with 20-30lb spinning tackle and a collection of live shrimp, crabs, and pilchards. You can use this technique on the flats or in Key West Harbor.
Key West Tarpon fishing charters will often supply both fly and spinning gear, so just check the amenities section of the listing when choosing your guide.
Tarpon is a protected species in Florida that has been catch and release only since 2013. If you really want to keep one (and are pursuing an IGFA record), you will need to possess a tarpon tag, which may be used by one person only, once a year. However, this is not recommended. Tarpon measuring over 40 inches long must be kept in the water, with smaller fish being allowed on the boat temporarily for photography, measurement, or scientific sampling.
Key West Fishing Calendar
speciesSimilarToX in Key West
- size 1 to 3lbs
- foodValue none
- gameQualities average
- habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry
What People Are Saying About Tarpon Fishing in Key West
"6 hour trip. "
We tried to catch tarpon but they weren't having it so we moved on to barracuda, yellowjack, snapper and finally a Goliath Grouper. Tried to catch a shark at the end of the day but no go. Great memories.
"Half day trip"
Caught my first Tarpon and Permit. Capt Sean was very knowledgeable and patient and I would take this charter again.
"Sunset tarpon trip with capt jason"
I booked this trip twice in a week! Jason was nothing but professional and put me on the tarpon. We hooked up several times and got 2 monsters to the boat. I told Jason I wanted to catch a tarpon and he made it happen. I would highly recommend using reel easy, great company that know how to fish.
Top Fishing Charters
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