Key West Flats Fishing Charters

Key West Flats Fishing Charters

Best Flats Fishing Charters in Key West

Top Flats Fishing Charters in Key West

Flats Fishing in Key West

You might hear Key West flats fishing being referred to as ‘saltwater hunting'. In practice, it’s not too far off. Patience, stealth, and fast reflexes are the name of the game here. And what a game it is, with some of the world’s most prestigious inshore sport fish calling the local waters home all year round.

What to expect

The flats are very shallow expanses in the ocean where the water is less than three feet deep. A protective haven for shallow water species, they offer grassy bottoms full of shrimp, crabs, and baitfish. Key West is surrounded by these areas, almost all of which are protected in National Marine Sanctuary Zones. It’s no surprise, then, that both the quality and quantity of fish are enough to attract anglers from far and wide.

Most of the time, you will be fishing aboard a specially-designed flats boat. These are propelled across the ‘skinny’ waters with a push pole, covering the water silently in pursuit of your wary targets. Usually, these boats can take two anglers, who will stand at the bow of the boat and sight fish, searching for their target and casting their bait or lure towards it.

Then—bam—the fish is hooked. Action explodes as the fish swims as fast as it can away from the boat. Yes, it sounds difficult. But Key West flats fishing charters are experts at showing newbies the ropes. Even beginners can experience the thrill of flats fishing in the Lower Keys.

Top Species

Flats fishing in Key West is all about the Florida Grand Slam—catching Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit, all in the same day. These challenging fish are enough to make even the most experienced angler rue the fish that got away. And they're addictive. We'd even go so far as to promise you that once you have felt the leap of a Silver King or the pull of a Bonefish, you won’t look back. Key West flats fishing guides practice catch and release on all these species to preserve the fishery, so don't expect to come home with dinner on most of these trips.

But it’s not all about the Big Three. The local flats and backcountry waters are also home to several species of Shark (Bull, Blacktip, Lemon, and Nurse to name a few), as well as the toothy Barracuda. These fish might be underrated as sport fish, but battling them in a couple of feet of water is an adrenaline rush you won't forget.

If the fishing wasn't enough, take a look at the other wildlife. Dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, stingrays, and starfish also share these waters. So whether you’re a pro looking for the ultimate shallow water experience or a beginner hoping to enjoy the peace and quiet of the open waterways, Key West flats fishing has something for you.

Key West
4.5
Based on 20,063 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Reviews of Fishing in Flats Fishing in Key West

December fishing trip
Richard F. fished with Good Times Key West on December 13, 2020
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.
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.
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.
Half Day with Captain Russ
Tony D. fished with Corsair 2 Sportfishing Key West on August 14, 2019
Book your trip with a Captain who knows the area and Captain Russ has been in the Key West area fishing his entire life.
Half day trip with Ryan
Rebecca M. fished with Good Times Key West on August 2, 2019
Make sure you have something to put on to cover your skin from the sun...our Florida sun is hot in August!!

Top Targeted Flats Fishing Species in Key West