Fishing in the Florida Keys

By April Hall
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Discover the ultimate fishing experience in the Florida Keys
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No other destination matches the fishing in the Florida Keys.

Calling all fishermen and fisherwomen! If you are looking for the ultimate fishing experience, your search is over. Fishing in the Florida Keys offers a fishing experience for novice and advanced fishermen. There are three general types of fishing that you can enjoy while in the Florida Keys. The one you choose will depend on the type of fish you are looking for and the type of experience you are seeking.

Backcountry Fishing

For those interested in uncovering their inner India Jones, backcountry fishing is probably their fishing venue of choice. When you hire a backcountry guide, you're doing more than just heading out for a day of saltwater angling. You have signed up for a real adventure.

Common catches when fishing the flats include barracuda, bonefish, permit, redfish, shark and tarpon. Backcountry fishing in Florida Bay brings with it the excellent chance to reel in black drum, ladyfish, pompano, redfish, shark, snapper, tarpon and trout.

This adventure is not for the timid of faint of heart, so choose your partners carefully unless you look forward to babysitting and hearing about the nagging flies for the duration of your voyage. Also, typically backcountry fishing can only accommodate three to four people including the guide, so choose wisely.

Party Boat Fishing

For those looking to hook a big one, then stroll over to the bar for a drink, party boat fishing is the way to go.  Unlike backcountry fishing, party boat fishing allows the novice fisherman to capture a few Kodak moments that will be the future banter filling break rooms and golf pro shops for months.

Usually anglers can expect to catch cero and Spanish mackerel on the surface and grouper, mangrove snapper, mutton, porgy, sheepshead and yellowtail. Fishing reefs bring catches that can include big grouper, bonito, cero, king mackerel, mutton snapper, sailfish, tuna, yellowtail, king mackerel, muttons, vermillion and lane snappers, larger porgy, mangrove, silk and genuine red snappers.

If you don't mind sharing your fishing spot with sometimes 30 or more people, or maybe you're new to fishing and want to just give it a try for the morning, then party boat fishing is for you.

Night Fishing

Another option is night fishing, which usually affords calmer seas and cooler weather. Fishing at night is ideal for those looking to avoid exposure to the sun. Some even say it's a bit romantic.

Deep Sea Fishing

If you've come to the Keys with serious fishing in mind, deep sea fishing has what you're looking for. Seasoned anglers will delight in the challenge of the hunt for dolphin (the fish), marlin, sailfish, shark, tuna and wahoo.

Smaller than party boat charters, deep sea charters (also known as offshore) generally take up to six people. Like the party boats, both half and full day excursions are available. The parties are smaller and the fare is higher, but the challenge is greater. For the veteran big game fisherman who wants the best, the answer is found in the deep sea.
Making the Decision

You may be wondering which to choose. Well, if you're looking for the personal attention and solitude found exploring the wilderness of the Florida Keys, then backcountry fishing is the choice for you. If you're seeking the quick thrill of a half-day trip off shore, then party boat fishing is the way to go. If you're a veteran angler, you'll find them aboard a deep sea charter. Regardless of which you choose, the fact remains: fishing in the Florida Keys is truly amazing. 

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