Key West Tarpon Fishing Charters

Key West Tarpon Fishing Charters

Best Tarpon Fishing Charters in Key West

Key West: 71 fishing charters available
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(653 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $650
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(49 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $600
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(55 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $650
Excellent
4.7 / 5
(442 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(209 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $425
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(229 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500
Excellent
4.7 / 5
(96 reviews)
Key West
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(86 reviews)
Stock Island
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $400

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
4.5 / 5
Based on 25,958 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Tarpon Fishing in Key West

Spring for a bigger boat with more amenities like AC in a closed in cabin, a head, and a captain's chair.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Spring for a bigger boat with more amenities like AC in a closed in cabin, a head, and a captain's chair.
William  D.
William D. Fishers, IN
Go with a center console boat. You may have to move often to find your targets.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Go with a center console boat. You may have to move often to find your targets.
Charles  A.  A.
Charles A. A. Brentwood, TN
Dont expect to catch a trophy fish on your first trip just try to have fun and the fish will come.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Dont expect to catch a trophy fish on your first trip just try to have fun and the fish will come.
Marshall  K.
Marshall K. Black Creek, GA
We're coming and using captain Janice very accommodating She has experience for all skill levels
Excellent
5.0 / 5
We're coming and using captain Janice very accommodating She has experience for all skill levels
Keith  K.
Keith K. Windham, NH
Amazing! Cannot wait to do it again!!! Nothing like fishing the crystal clear waters…
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Amazing! Cannot wait to do it again!!! Nothing like fishing the crystal clear waters…
Shelby  E.
Shelby E. Johnson City, TN
Make sure you bring hat, sunblock, polarized sunglasses, snacks and your own beer if you want.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Make sure you bring hat, sunblock, polarized sunglasses, snacks and your own beer if you want.
Timothy  S.
Timothy S. Hopewell Junction, NY
Check the weather forecast as it can be somewhat unpredictable in the winter months.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Check the weather forecast as it can be somewhat unpredictable in the winter months.
Peter  B.
Peter B. Santa Clara, California
Bring over the counter motion sickness medicine, even if you don’t get motion sickness. We caught fish in the afternoon, but we heard the morning is the best time to fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bring over the counter motion sickness medicine, even if you don’t get motion sickness. We caught fish in the afternoon, but we heard the morning is the best time to fish.
Margie  M.
Margie M. Littleton, CO
I’d highly recommend going with an experienced crew like the Cora Beth. They know exactly where to go and what to do to guarantee you catch fish!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I’d highly recommend going with an experienced crew like the Cora Beth. They know exactly where to go and what to do to guarantee you catch fish!
Alison  C.
Alison C. Lake Worth, FL
Check the fishing reports and be flexible. Fishing is usually good but you need a Capt that can adjust to the conditions
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Check the fishing reports and be flexible. Fishing is usually good but you need a Capt that can adjust to the conditions
Robert  M.
Robert M. St. Petersburg, Florida
If you are fishing in February plan on the temperature being cooler and possibly very windy.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
If you are fishing in February plan on the temperature being cooler and possibly very windy.
Donald  P.
Donald P. Rifle, CO
Take Dramamine if anyone is prone to motion sucky, and Call Cowboy fishing!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Take Dramamine if anyone is prone to motion sucky, and Call Cowboy fishing!
Kristen  H.
Kristen H. Sugar Creek, MO
Know what you want to fish. I have never fished the ocean, just the Great Lakes and wanted a real fight. Do you want quantity, or a quality fight? Know that going into your trip.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Know what you want to fish. I have never fished the ocean, just the Great Lakes and wanted a real fight. Do you want quantity, or a quality fight? Know that going into your trip.
Brandon  S.
Brandon S. Britton, MI
Do your research but definitely include looking up my ohana and give them look
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Do your research but definitely include looking up my ohana and give them look
Timothy  L.
Timothy L. Chelsea, ME
It was very hot! Stick with half days or at the most eight hours. We had scheduled extended day and am glad the Captain talked us out of it!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
It was very hot! Stick with half days or at the most eight hours. We had scheduled extended day and am glad the Captain talked us out of it!
Angel  S.
Angel S. Thompsontown, PA
Recommend 1/2 day trips. John our captain was great..very knowledgeable. Will do this again next time we're here. Thanks!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Recommend 1/2 day trips. John our captain was great..very knowledgeable. Will do this again next time we're here. Thanks!
Mary  B.
Mary B. Granite Quarry, NC
Hire the Charters. They will put you on the fish. Inshore-Offshore it doesn’t matter.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Hire the Charters. They will put you on the fish. Inshore-Offshore it doesn’t matter.
Christian  C.
Christian C. Orange Park, FL
Be open minded about what you catch. Don’t limit yourself to a particular species of fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be open minded about what you catch. Don’t limit yourself to a particular species of fish.
Patrick  M.
Patrick M. Church Hill, MD
We did a snorkel and sightseeing trip with this charter and they did the most amazing trip for us could not have asked for a better trip.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
We did a snorkel and sightseeing trip with this charter and they did the most amazing trip for us could not have asked for a better trip.
Richard  F.
Richard F. Chicago, IL
Sometimes the fish aren't biting. There are no guarantees. Enjoy the view and the scenery and conversation if nothing else.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Sometimes the fish aren't biting. There are no guarantees. Enjoy the view and the scenery and conversation if nothing else.
Matt  S.
Matt S. Key West, FL