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The Conch Connection

Key West - The Ultimate Fishing Experience

Updated on: Feb 26, 2021 3:19:35 PM

Go Once and you’ll be HOOKED!

Crystal blue waters and balmy weather make Key West one of the Nation’s best destinations for scuba diving / snorkeling, fishing, sailing and water-sports. United State's southernmost continental point has more options for sport fishing than almost any other location.  Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Key West is a must do pit stop on many a pelagic fish’s migratory route, that makes Key West the quintessential Florida fishery. The perfect complement to the abundant waters surrounding this Island, world class chefs prepare your catch any way you like, fresh from the water and direct to your table.

Video Credit: Capt. Rick Murphy via YouTube

Top Fishing in Key West

Big game battles like The Old Man and the Sea as told by Papa Hemingway, an avid fisherman, are not the only fishing to be enjoyed. This paradise is known for world class flats fishing, light tackle and fly angler’s alike, who wade and pole across the amazing waters year round in search of the coveted “Grand Slam” or “Big Three”, catching Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit all in one day.


Photo Credit:  William McAllister from Pexels

Whether a beginner or a seasoned angler, perhaps even a tournament spectator, fishing Key West is for the recreational and competitive sportsman.

Types of Fishing

The unique layout of the area offers a wide variety of options to hook into that big one. Below are some great tips to make the most of your Key West fishing expedition.

Harbor Fishing

With many man-made and natural harbors, created for the Navy and to support the great number of marina's, these areas are free of strong waves and are mostly protected from wind action.  They make for safe areas to drop a line.

Things to do in Key West

Reef Fishing

Hosting part of the largest natural reef system in the United States.  The reefs act as a barrier to offshore currents and oceanic wave action.  Making them perfect havens for a wide variety of species, including many types of snappers and mackerel.


Hiring a charter boat is the way to go, to access the deep water monsters.  With depths to 1,500 feet, these are prime grounds for grouper, barracuda, kingfish and the highly sought after sailfish and Marlin!

Flats Fishing

Head on back to the areas on the "land ward" side of the island to the grass flats.  A small boat is your best bet here as the best fishing is in areas only a few feet deep. Here fly-fishermen can hone their skills.  Here you can hunt for permit, bonefish, snook and the ever elusive tarpon.  In these waters either natural live bait or fishing lures are the way to go.

Bridge Fishing

If you'd like to try your hand but without the time and expense of hiring or renting a boat, then spending some time casting from one of the many area bridges, may just be the ticket for you.  Here those of any age and skill level can wet a hook and try their luck.

If you are either in your own boat or fishing from land or bridge, then make sure that you get a state fishing license.  All party or charter boats will already be licensed, so no individual license is required.

Plan your action packed trip by visiting for more information and the best fishing by month.

When you're ready to try your luck, the Key West Express can make your travels the easiest they can be.  Sailing from the southwest Florida coast, year round, we can help get you to some of the best fishing grounds to be found anywhere.

Book Now ButtonHero Image Photo Credit: High Stakes Charters - Key West

Topics: Water Activities, Fishing, Sports, Information

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