Key West Fishing Charters

Find the top fishing guides and fishing charters in Key West, Florida

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Fishing in Key West

Key West, Florida, is renowned for its exceptional fishing opportunities, attracting avid anglers from around the world. Whether you prefer the chase of fly fishing the shallows or the thrill of bluewater offshore adventures, Key West offers a diverse range of experiences for every fishing enthusiast. We'll walk you through some more specifics on fishing options for your upcoming trip below.

In addition to world-class fishing, Key West offers a charming, lively atmosphere that appeals to both seasoned anglers and vacationers alike. The island boasts a rich history, picturesque views, and a laid-back island vibe that adds to the overall allure. After a successful day on the water, anglers can indulge in the island's fresh seafood, explore the lively Duval Street, or soak up the breathtaking sunsets that have made Key West world famous. Check out our recent article for more activities to fill your days on your next trip to Key West.

Leaving the dock with a hot cup of coffee under a Key West sunrise never gets old.

Best Fishing Hotspots in Key West

Mallory Square

Mallory Square, famed for its vibrant sunset celebrations, offers excellent fishing opportunities. While it may not be as well-known for fishing as for its festive atmosphere, the waters around Mallory Square teem with a variety of fish species. Highlights include the chance to catch snapper, grouper, tarpon, and even the occasional barracuda. Anglers can enjoy both shore and pier fishing here, making it accessible to all levels of fishing enthusiasts.

The White Street Fishing Pier

The White Street Fishing Pier provides anglers with a serene and accessible spot to cast their lines. Located near the White Street Pier and Rest Beach, this fishing pier extends into the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing enthusiasts can expect to reel in catches such as snapper, jacks, mackerel, and more. The pier's convenient location and ample space make it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike for both day and night fishing adventures.

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

Within the picturesque surroundings of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park lies a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts. While the park is renowned for its historic fort and stunning beaches, it also offers prime fishing spots along the west side, adjacent to the Key West Shipping Channel. Here, anglers can try their luck at catching a variety of species, including snapper, tarpon, permit, and even sharks. The combination of natural beauty and diverse fishing opportunities makes Fort Zachary Taylor State Park a must-visit destination for fishing enthusiasts visiting Key West.

Flats Fishing around Key West, FL

Anglers can target species such as bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, and barracuda, which are known for their speed, strength, and acrobatics. Wading through the shallow flats or poling a skiff in search of these elusive creatures is popular around Key West. AnyCreek has the top experienced guides in the region who possess an intimate knowledge of these local waters. For more information on the flats, fishing in the Florida Keys, check out this Ultimate Guide.

An angler and his guide scouring a flat off of Key West in search of cruising tarpon.

Key West Sight Fishing Charters 

For a one of a kind experience of the Florida Keys’ flats, sight fishing Key West delivers an unparalleled time out on the water. The clear, emerald waters allow you to see and cast to schools of tarpon, bonefish, and permit — all with the expert advice of your guide right by your side. The challenge of sight fishing comes from a need for accuracy with your cast, and luckily, our expert guides can help you have an exciting day on the water no matter your level of expertise.

Deep Sea Fishing Key West, FL

For those interested in deep sea fishing, AnyCreek's top Key West offshore charters provide excellent fishing opportunities in the open ocean on larger boats. The offshore waters surrounding the island are teeming with prized pelagic gamefish — including sailfish, marlin, mahi mahi, tuna, and wahoo. Key West boasts a reputation as one of the top destinations for big game fishing, with its proximity to the Gulf Stream and the abundant offshore reefs and wrecks. For more information on deep-sea fishing in the Florida Keys, check out our latest article.

A blackfin tuna caught a few miles offshore of Key West.

Key West Fly Fishing Guides

Our team of Key West's finest fly fishing guides provide exceptional experiences in the stunning waterways around Key West. These experts play a crucial role in optimizing ensuring success for both novices and seasoned anglers alike. Their extensive knowledge of the local ecosystems, effective fishing methods, regulatory nuances, and fish behavior makes them an invaluable resource if you are visiting the area. We'll link you with the finest Key West fly fishing guides so you can make the most of your fishing. Our guides are adept at fly casting instruction, selecting the appropriate gear, and devising a winning strategy for a success on the water.

Fly fishing the flats of the Florida Keys is one of the most visual, challenging, and rewarding experiences on the water.

Best Fishing in Key West

Tarpon Fishing Key West

Tarpon fishing in Key West offers an electrifying experience for anglers seeking the ultimate thrill. Known as the "silver king," tarpon are prized for their acrobatic leaps and powerful runs. Whether you're targeting them in the shallows or offshore, the sheer size and strength of these majestic fish will test your skills and endurance. With expert guides leading the way, you'll navigate the labyrinth of channels and flats where tarpon roam, casting your line amidst the stunning backdrop of Key West's turquoise waters. Prepare for heart-pounding action as you hook into one of the most iconic gamefish in the world.

Peak tarpon fishing seasonApril-June
Late tarpon fishing seasonJuly-September
Winter tarpon fishing seasonNovember-February

Bonefish Fishing Key West

Bonefish, the "ghosts of the flats," are revered for their elusive nature and blistering speed. Key West's expansive flats provide the perfect playground for these sleek silver bullets, offering anglers the chance to sight-fish in crystal-clear waters. With the guidance of seasoned captains, you'll stalk these wary creatures, honing your casting skills and exercising patience as you await the telltale sign of a feeding bonefish. Once hooked, be prepared for blistering runs and drag-screaming action as these elusive flats predators test your angling prowess to the limit.

Peak bonefish fishing seasonMarch-June; September-October
Late bonefish fishing seasonJuly-August
Winter bonefish fishing seasonNovember-February

Permit Fishing Key West

Permit fishing in Key West presents a unique challenge for anglers drawn to the pursuit of one of the most prized flats species. With their keen eyesight and wariness, permit demand stealthy presentations and pinpoint accuracy. Key West's shallow flats and pristine waters provide the ideal habitat for these elusive fish, offering anglers the opportunity to test their skills against one of the most cunning adversaries in the saltwater realm. Whether stalking them on foot or from the bow of a skiff, the thrill of hooking into a hard-fighting permit amidst the scenic beauty of Key West is an experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Peak permit fishing seasonMarch-June
Late permit fishing seasonJuly-August
Winter permit fishing seasonSeptember-October

Snook Fishing Key West

Snook fishing in Key West offers anglers the chance to target one of the most sought-after inshore species in the Florida Keys. With their voracious appetite and aggressive strikes, snook provide thrilling action for anglers of all skill levels. From mangrove-lined shorelines to tidal creeks and backcountry flats, Key West offers a variety of habitats where snook thrive. Whether casting topwater plugs, live bait, or fly fishing, the challenge of enticing these ambush predators from their hiding spots will keep you on the edge of your seat. With the guidance of knowledgeable guides, you'll explore the diverse ecosystems of Key West in search of trophy-sized snook and memories that will last a lifetime.

Peak snook fishing seasonMarch-May
Late snook fishing seasonJune-August
Winter snook fishing seasonSeptember-November

Barracuda Fishing Key West

Barracuda fishing in Key West offers an adrenaline-fueled adventure for anglers looking to test their skills against one of the ocean's most formidable predators. With their razor-sharp teeth and lightning-fast strikes, barracuda provide explosive action for those willing to brave the challenge. From shallow flats to deeper wrecks and reefs, Key West offers a variety of habitats where barracuda can be found lurking in wait for unsuspecting prey. Whether casting flashy lures, live bait, or fly fishing, the explosive strikes and blistering runs of these apex predators will keep you hooked from the first cast to the final hookup.

Peak barracuda fishing seasonJanuary-April
Late barracuda fishing seasonMay-August
Winter barracuda fishing seasonSeptember-December

What to do shoreside in Key West

Countless Key West excursions promise to make your Key West fishing trip exactly what you’re looking for. For your stay, consider the beautiful hotels and resorts, such as Key West’s Havana CabanaHampton InnKey West Marriott Beachside, or the cozy Key West cottages for a more intimate experience. American restaurants in Key West are among the most popular eateries, but for the best local caught cuisine and seafood, Half Shell Raw Bar is the place to go. Start your day right with the best breakfast in Key West at Blue Heaven, known not only for its delicious food but also for its vibrant atmosphere. For those wanting to spend the most time enjoying Key West’s weather, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and the Key West Shipwreck Museum both offer immersive outdoor experiences. Enjoy the rich history and community atmosphere at Schooner Wharf Bar or soak up the authentic Old Key West experience at Green Parrot, a local institution since 1890. Cap off your evening with decadent desserts at Better Than Sex, conveniently located near The Hemingway Home and Museum. If you're in the mood for some leisurely activity, unwind with a round of golf at the Key West Golf Club, complete with golf cart rentals for a relaxing day on the green. Whether you're exploring the island's culinary delights, immersing yourself in its rich history, or simply enjoying its natural beauty, Key West offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Planning your Key West Fishing Trip

When planning a fishing trip to Key West, there are several important factors to consider. Start by determining the best time for you based on weather, water conditions, and fish migration to target your desired species effectively. Charter one of our licensed Key West captains with expert knowledge of the area. Remember to pack suitable clothing for the weather, and don't forget essentials like sun protection, polarized sunglasses, and rain gear. Don't worry about tackle. Your guide will have all the gear prepared for you.

Skiff fishing charter returning from offshore fishing trip. Courtesy of Tailing Water Expeditions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fishing in Key West

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