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Fishing in Key West, Florida: A Guide to Targeted Species and Key West Charters

key west charters
key west charters

Key West Florida is known for the fact that fish population there is very intense and various which makes it a paradise for anglers. This guide is comprehensive in providing the information about the different types of unique fish available at Key West area their environment behavior and how it can best be fished to make your angling experience unforgettable. Ware’s the Fish Charters Key West if you are an experienced angler or a first-time victim, will offer everyone alike an experience that cannot be easily forgotten.

1. Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus):

Tarpon is prized for its acrobatic displays, frequent estuaries, bays, channels, and flats in Key West. Anglers often spot them near bridges, mangroves, and shallow flats. The challenge lies in their elusive nature, making live bait, artificial lures, and fly fishing techniques crucial for a successful catch. For a hassle-free trip, consider hiring experienced guides from reputable Key West charters, such as Ware’s The Fish Charters.

2. Bonefish (Albula vulpes):

Bonefish, known for their skittish behavior, inhabit shallow flats, seagrass beds, and sandy areas. Anglers in Key West often wade or use shallow-draft skiffs to navigate the expansive shallow waters around flats. Sight-fishing techniques with live bait or artificial lures are popular for targeting bonefish. Key West charters, like Ware’s The Fish Charters, can provide local expertise, increasing your chances of a rewarding bonefishing experience.

3. Permit (Trachinotus falcatus):

Permit are found on flats, near seagrass beds, sandy areas, and nearshore wrecks. Key West’s clear and warm waters provide an ideal habitat. Anglers often sight fish for permit using live crabs or shrimp due to their selective feeding habits. Key West charters, including Ware’s The Fish Charters, offer guided trips perfect for permit fishing, ensuring a productive day on the water.

4. Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus):

Mahi-Mahi favors offshore waters near floating debris, weed lines, and temperature breaks. In Key West, they thrive in the deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream. Trolling techniques with lures, live bait, and rigged baits are effective for mahi-mahi fishing. Consider booking Key West charters, like Ware’s The Fish Charters, equipped for offshore trolling to enhance your chances of a successful mahi-mahi catch.

5. Tuna (Various Species):

Tuna, including blackfin and yellowfin tuna, are offshore species near reefs, ledges, and structures. Key West’s warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean provide a suitable habitat. Trolling with lures and live bait is the go-to method for tuna angling, and Key West charters, including Ware’s The Fish Charters, can provide the necessary equipment and expertise for a productive tuna fishing expedition.

6. Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri):

Wahoo, found in offshore waters near drop-offs, weed lines, and temperature breaks, thrive in Key West’s deep offshore waters. Anglers target wahoo using high-speed trolling techniques with lures. Key West charters, often specializing in offshore trolling, maximize your chances of a thrilling wahoo catch.

7. Grouper (Various Species):

Groupers prefer reefs, wrecks, and rocky structures in both shallow and deep waters. Key West’s diverse coral reefs and wreck sites make it an ideal location for grouper fishing. Bottom-fishing techniques with live or cut bait are common strategies, and Key West charters can take you to prime grouper grounds for a successful fishing trip.

8. Snapper (Various Species):

Snapper species, including yellowtail, mutton, and mangrove snapper, are abundant around reefs, wrecks, and rocky structures. Anglers often employ bottom-fishing techniques with live or cut bait to target snappers. Key West charters can guide you to the most productive snapper spots, ensuring a fruitful day on the water.

9. Barracuda (Sphyraena spp.):

Versatile barracudas can be found in various habitats, including nearshore reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, and open water around Key West. Fast-retrieving lures and flies are effective for targeting barracudas. Consider hiring Key West charters with expertise in barracuda fishing for an exciting and successful angling experience.

10. Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus):

Sailfish, pelagic species, inhabit deep offshore waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Key West serves as a prime location, especially during billfish tournaments. Trolling with artificial lures and live bait is the preferred method for sailfish angling. Key West charters can provide the necessary equipment and knowledge for a memorable sailfish fishing excursion.

In conclusion, Key West offers a rich and varied fishing experience. Knowing the specific habitats and behaviors of the targeted species is essential for a successful angling adventure. Whether you’re exploring the flats for bonefish or venturing offshore for sailfish, Key West provides an angler’s paradise with a diverse range of fishing opportunities, further enhanced by the services of experienced Key West charters, such as Ware’s The Fish Charters. Book your trip today for an unforgettable fishing experience!


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