Key West Tarpon Fishing Charters

Key West Tarpon Fishing Charters

Best Tarpon Fishing Charters in Key West

Top Tarpon Fishing Charters in Key West

Tarpon Fishing in Key West

Tarpon
  • Size 25 to 80lbs
  • Food Value None
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

(Megalops atlanticus)

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.

Regulations

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 Tarpon Fishing Seasons

Loading Fish Calendar!
Please Wait...

Seasonality

Tarpon fishing in Key West varies moderately throughout the year. High season is April to July. Low season is January to February and October to December. There is no closed season.
Key West
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.5
Based on 22,903 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Reviews of Fishing in Tarpon Fishing in Key West

July fishing trip
Mary B. fished with Fish Key West - The Coolcast on July 21, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Recommend 1/2 day trips. John our captain was great..very knowledgeable. Will do this again next time we're here. Thanks!
Fishing with Maryann
Brenton C. fished with Boa Vida Charters on July 14, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Research your captain. Don’t base everything off reviews
Epic experience with Fishizzle and Captain Kevin!
Christian C. fished with Fishizzle Sportfishing Charters 30' on July 12, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Hire the Charters. They will put you on the fish. Inshore-Offshore it doesn’t matter.
4 hour trip with capt tony and Jordan
Charles E. fished with Fish Inc. on May 13, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Bring your sunscreen, muscles. These fish fight hard.
Fishing with Captain Morgan
Kim R. fished with Reel Easy Charters on May 7, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Literally one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced! Do iiiiiiit.
Half day with Justin
Patrick M. fished with Good Times Key West – 19' on May 4, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Be open minded about what you catch. Don’t limit yourself to a particular species of fish.
Sibling fishing trip
Roberto M. fished with Salty Goat Fishing Charters on April 8, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Key west has the best fishing weather I love it ?
Spring break trip
Kyle H. fished with Good Times Key West on April 5, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Just give it a try. Lovely way to see a different part of Key West.