Key West Tarpon Fishing Charters

Key West Tarpon Fishing Charters

Best Tarpon Fishing Charters in Key West

Key West: 64 fishing charters available
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(96 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(86 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(69 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $650
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(234 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $425
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(16 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $550
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(55 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $600
Excellent
4.7 / 5
(136 reviews)
Stock Island
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(104 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500

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

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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
4.6 / 5
Based on 27,943 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Tarpon Fishing in Key West

Bring a jacket and sunscreen. Florida weather can be unpredictable during winter. Make sure you have something if you are prone to seasickness it will make or break your trip.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bring a jacket and sunscreen. Florida weather can be unpredictable during winter. Make sure you have something if you are prone to seasickness it will make or break your trip.
Connie  W.
Connie W.
Don't worry about the weather or time of the year, you will have a great time regardless of conditions.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Don't worry about the weather or time of the year, you will have a great time regardless of conditions.
Kasey  Y.
Kasey Y.
To book with your company cause your mates that run the boats are very friendly & now the area very well
Excellent
5.0 / 5
To book with your company cause your mates that run the boats are very friendly & now the area very well
Richard  L.
Richard L.
If you want to make sure you get fish, book with a charter boat that take multiple people and has a variety of hours to go out. Check the ratings and read the reviews.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
If you want to make sure you get fish, book with a charter boat that take multiple people and has a variety of hours to go out. Check the ratings and read the reviews.
Julie  M.
Julie M.
Go with experienced Capt like Fishizzle. Watch the weather and schedule your trip early during your visit in event conditions cause cancelling. Have better shot of a makeup day possibly. 3/4 day will be more productive. I prefer going AM as conditions tend to get worse with heat of the Sun. This is apparently not as hard and fast rule as I thought in KW.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Go with experienced Capt like Fishizzle. Watch the weather and schedule your trip early during your visit in event conditions cause cancelling. Have better shot of a makeup day possibly. 3/4 day will be more productive. I prefer going AM as conditions tend to get worse with heat of the Sun. This is apparently not as hard and fast rule as I thought in KW.
Scott  T.
Scott T.
Bring some sandwiches, some drinks, they’ll have coolers with ice. Bring some shoes with grip as you’ll be on a boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bring some sandwiches, some drinks, they’ll have coolers with ice. Bring some shoes with grip as you’ll be on a boat
Charles  K.
Charles K.
Absolutely! It was my first time and definitely not my last after that experience.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Absolutely! It was my first time and definitely not my last after that experience.
Alexandra  C.
Alexandra C.
Definitely depends on the month but the right captain will put you on fish!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Definitely depends on the month but the right captain will put you on fish!
Sean  Z.
Sean Z.
Was a little wet due to the wind, so maybe bring a rain jacket. Otherwise be prepared for fun.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Was a little wet due to the wind, so maybe bring a rain jacket. Otherwise be prepared for fun.
Michael  D.
Michael D.
These guys were prepared for everything. They listened to us and did whatever the. Oils to get is on the fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
These guys were prepared for everything. They listened to us and did whatever the. Oils to get is on the fish.
Davis  E.
Davis E.
This was our first time fishing in Key West, if you want to learn how to fish, these are the guys to teach you!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
This was our first time fishing in Key West, if you want to learn how to fish, these are the guys to teach you!
Michael  S.
Michael S.
Get out there! Great fishing Reef, Deep Sea and Backwater. Been a few times all good great fishing community.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Get out there! Great fishing Reef, Deep Sea and Backwater. Been a few times all good great fishing community.
Piper  H.
Piper H. Orlando, Florida
Sure this is a safe first trip in the keys. The four hour trip is just long enough to catch dinner and still learn bout open water fishing
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Sure this is a safe first trip in the keys. The four hour trip is just long enough to catch dinner and still learn bout open water fishing
Mary  K.  D.
Mary K. D.
The sun and heat are brutal. You may think you want to wear short sleeves and shorts but don’t. Long breathable pants and a breathable shirt would be best.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
The sun and heat are brutal. You may think you want to wear short sleeves and shorts but don’t. Long breathable pants and a breathable shirt would be best.
Aaron  L.
Aaron L. Tell City, IN
Don't eat breakfast or a meal before, wear sunscreen, bring drinks, use the bathroom before.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Don't eat breakfast or a meal before, wear sunscreen, bring drinks, use the bathroom before.
Gregory  L.
Gregory L. Mahopac, NY
Make sure you hydrate before you head out! Coconut water or electrolytes! The heat will get ya!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Make sure you hydrate before you head out! Coconut water or electrolytes! The heat will get ya!
Zachary  O.
Zachary O. Carrollton, TX
One of the toughest months to catch fish so you need an experienced captain and mate.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
One of the toughest months to catch fish so you need an experienced captain and mate.
Jason  B.
Jason B. Weissport, PA
He's an excellent skipper you make sure you have a good time. Couldn't ask for better
Excellent
5.0 / 5
He's an excellent skipper you make sure you have a good time. Couldn't ask for better
Mortgan  M.
Mortgan M. Auburn, WA
It was well worth it! We had a blast for our first deep sea fishing experience. Would definitely do it again.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
It was well worth it! We had a blast for our first deep sea fishing experience. Would definitely do it again.
Shannon  M.
Shannon M. Fordsville, KY
Just do it! And take your Dramamine the night before and then again in the morning.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Just do it! And take your Dramamine the night before and then again in the morning.
Rink  S.
Rink S. Las Cruces, NM