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
Based on 20,072 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Reviews of Fishing in Reef 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 Reef Fishing Species in Key West