Florida has pioneered much of the modern-day big game scene, and every part has something to offer for blue water enthusiasts. The closest deep sea fishing Florida has access to is out of the Keys or Miami, where you can hit the 100-fathom line in under an hour. Florida’s Gulf Coast takes a lot longer to get that deep. But the further you have to go, the less competition you’ll have to deal with. Every part of the Sunshine State is different, and they all have their special draw.

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys top most people’s big game bucket lists. If it was good enough for Hemingway, it’s good enough for us! Battling Blue Marlin and Sailfish out at Wood’s Wall is some of the best fun you can have at sea. They’re not the only Billfish, either. Swordfish patrol the deepest waters and are the ultimate prize for many hardcore anglers. As if that’s not enough, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna keep the topwaters boiling across much of the Sunshine State.
 
The great thing about the Keys is that you can target Billfish pretty much year-round. Blue Marlin are around spring through fall, and the Sailfish migration shows as soon as they leave. Marlin are almost always trolled for in Florida, using, bridled Tuna or spreads of artificial lures. Sailfish will take a trolled bait quick as anything, but it’s the kites they go crazy for. Nothing says winter in the Keys like a sky full of kites and an ear full of screaming drag.

Florida Atlantic Coast

Florida’s Atlantic Coast can be broken into north and the south. In the north, the waters stay shallow and the Gulf Stream moves away from land. The big game action’s amazing, but you may need to travel 60 miles to find it. In the south, things are very, very different.
 
Florida’s Gold Coast is named by those in the know as the best place in the world for Atlantic Sailfish. Why? Because of the infamous “Sailfish Alley”. The Gulf Stream hugs the drop-off a few miles from shore, creating an underwater highway running right past Miami. As well as Sailfish, you’ll find Blue and White Marlin, Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna, and other big game favorites like Wahoo and Mahi Mahi.

Florida Gulf Coast

Most charter captains in Tampa or Fort Myers use “deep sea fishing” to talk about Snapper and Grouper trips in federal waters. There are some specialists who run multi-day trips, and if you’re willing to travel you’ll find epic big game action with very little fishing pressure. Apart from that, most of the Gulf Coast’s big game action happens further north in the Panhandle.
 
Destin didn’t get called “the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” for no reason. The Emerald Coast is the only place in western Florida where you can go big game fishing on a standard 8-hour trip, and Destin is smack dab in the middle of it. Venture out 70 miles to the De Soto Valley, and you can target Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, and Swordfish, all on the same trip. This makes it your best bet at landing a Billfish Super Grand Slam in the state.
 
Every part of Florida can give you incredible big game battles, the difference is just in how far you have to travel. The deep sea fishing Florida is most famous for is the eight-hour sprints to Sailfish Alley or Wood’s Wall. Commit to the long haul, though, and you could be fishing in that corner of the map that reads “here be monsters”. Sportfishing has come to define the Sunshine State, and no matter where you go, you can always find a seasoned captain willing to put you on that fish of a lifetime.
 

Florida

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Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Florida

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Amberjack

Snapper (Red)

Sailfish

What People Are Saying About Deep Sea Fishing in Florida

"July fishing trip"

Daniel Tickerhoof fished with Reefslayer Charters on July 17, 2018

Joey was great & took us right to where the fish were biting. This was my first deep sea fishing experience and I was really impressed with everything. We'd no sooner drop our lines in and we had fish on the hook. Filled the cooler & had a great meal that night. Will definitely be looking forward to my next trip to FL & more fishing with Joey.

"Great fam trip "

Scott Shannon fished with Mighty Fine Charters on July 12, 2018

First time deep sea fishing with the family and kids! Couldn’t have asked for a better set up then the mighty fine!!! What a great time!

"Half day trip"

Hal Smith fished with Pescador III - 51′ Sportfisher on July 16, 2018

This was my daughter and SIL's first time deep sea fishing. First mate, Chandler, made them feel like pros. The captain knew exactly where to take them to catch fish. We had such a good time and the entire crew was so nice, knowledgeable, and helpful. I definitely recommend this trip for fishermen of all ages and skill levels.

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