Key West Reef Fishing Charters

Key West Reef Fishing Charters

Best Reef Fishing Charters in Key West

Top Reef Fishing Charters in Key West

Reef Fishing in Key West

You don’t need to go far to try reef fishing in Key West. To the west, untouched patch reefs extend from a stone’s throw from the mainland out as far as the fabled Dry Tortugas. To the south and east, the outer reef (the only living barrier reef in continental United States) is a melting pot of baitfish and predators. Bottom fish and pelagics alike visit these waters throughout the year. Suffice to say, there’s never a dull moment on these waters.

When and how to fish the Key West reefs

Key West reef fishing charters operate all year round, although it’s in spring and fall when the fishing really heats up. Most of the time, they use light tackle spinning gear, which is easy for beginners to use at the same time as putting up a challenge for more experienced anglers. Pair this up with some heavy chumming, and you’ll have a fishing frenzy on your hands.

If one species sums up the reef fishing Key West is so proud of, it’s the Yellowtail Snapper. This cheerful chappy is probably the most common target on these charters and its bright coloring is a sure hit with the kids. Great on the table, these fish weight up to about 5 lbs. While they usually live around the reef, they swim up to the surface when you chum the water, allowing you to target them with small jigs, live and dead bait, and flies.

But it doesn’t stop there. Joining the Yellowtail is its much bigger cousin, the Mutton Snapper, which weighs up to 20 lbs. These are usually targeted by fishing dead bait on the bottom. Lane and Mangrove Snapper might also find their way onto the boat, as well as Grouper.

That’s all good for people who want to fill the ice box. But what about the adrenaline junkies? Well, the beauty of reef fishing in Key West is that the rich marine life in the corals attracts plenty of larger fish looking for an easy meal. Expect to come across King Mackerel (Kingfish), Barracuda, Sharks, Amberjack, Bonito, Cobia, and even the occasional Sailfish and Mahi Mahi. Yes, we told you there was plenty going on round here.

Key West
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Based on 23,462 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Reviews of Reef Fishing in Key West

Fishing with Michael
Timothy L. fished with My Ohana Sport Fishing on October 20, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Do your research but definitely include looking up my ohana and give them look
Great day fishing the gulf
Angel S. fished with Reel Easy Charters on September 26, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
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!
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.

Top Targeted Reef Fishing Species in Key West