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Key West’s Deep Sea Fishing Regulations and Guidelines

Key West is a popular location for deep sea fishers from all over the world. The Florida Keys’ crystal-clear waters are home to a varied range of fish species, including sailfish, marlin, tuna, wahoo, and mahi-mahi. Key West, on the other hand, has developed a number of fishing rules and standards to ensure sustainable fishing and the conservation of marine resources.

In this blog, we’ll look at some of the most important regulations and guidelines that relate to deep sea fishing in Key West.

Fishing License

A Florida Saltwater Fishing License is required for anyone wishing to fish in Florida’s saltwater areas, including Key West. The license is good for a year from the date of purchase and can be purchased online or at a local tackle shop. The license fee varies depending on the length of the license and the age of the fisherman.

Size and Bag Restrictions

For many fish species, Key West has tight size and bag limits. The size limit specifies the lowest size of a fish that can be kept, whereas the bag limit specifies the maximum number of fish that an angler can keep in a single day. The limits are established to maintain sustainable fishing methods and to prevent overfishing of the fish stock.

Protected Species

In Key West, some fish species are protected, and it is unlawful to catch, possess, or sell them. Goliath Grouper, Nassau Grouper, Sawfish, and numerous marine turtle species are among them. Whenever an angler catches a protected species by accident, they must promptly release it without injuring it.

Fishing Methods

Some fishing tactics that endanger marine life or damage coral reefs are prohibited in Key West. Spearfishing, the use of explosives, and the use of traps, for example, are all prohibited. Anglers are recommended to use circular hooks rather than standard J-hooks because they lessen the possibility of gut-hooking fish, which can result in injury or death when the fish is released.

Seasonal Closures

Some fish species have seasonal closures in Key West, during which they cannot be caught or maintained. For example, seasonal closures safeguard Grouper and Snapper during their spawning season, when they are most vulnerable. Anglers should be aware of these restrictions and plan their visits appropriately.

Finally, Key West has put in place several regulations and standards to ensure sustainable fishing methods and the conservation of marine resources. It is your responsibility as a fisherman to become aware of and follow these regulations. You may have a terrific fishing experience while simultaneously helping the long-term sustainability of the Key West marine ecology.


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