Among the most popular activities that visitors to Key West enjoy is saltwater fishing – warm local waters, a living reef and proximity to the Gulfstream combines to create unbelievable richness of species — and trophies! Key West is one of the best destinations in the world for both passionate amateur and professional anglers. Whether it’s a passion for the deep sea denizens, or the fish on the flats of the backcountry, these adventures, (not to mention all the other attractions of the Southernmost City,) make Key West the perfect vacation destination.
The Florida Keys are an archipelago of coral islands and islets located in the southeastern part of the United States, off the southern coast of Florida. These islands have become an incredible travel destination, not just for anglers, but with a wide range of sights and activities for any type of vacationer.
Key West, a small island of about two miles by four, located at the southernmost tip of the Keys (at least those which can be reached by car) has gained world fame and acclaim for the big game sport fishing available. Thousands of people come to fish in the amazing waters of Key West each year. Fishing in Key West is one of the oldest and most exciting leisure activities of Key West.
The history of fishing in Key West and the surrounding islands goes back for centuries, — Calusa and Tequesta Indians fished these islands even before the age of pirates and wreckers. If these waters could talk, think about the amazing stories they would have to tell to modern fishermen. While in the old times, there were no settlements in the Florida Keys and people used to fish only to have something to eat; nobody could have guessed the wonderful development of this activity along the years. The native Calusa inhabiting some of the keys, the pirates that used to roam these seas, as well as wreckers from Cuba and the Bahamas, these were the first to fish in the plentiful waters of the Florida Straits. In those days, fishing was for food, not sport.
As the Florida Keys became a vacation destination, tourists began to notice the natural beauty and many attractions of the southernmost island of Key West. Among the first noticeable personalities that discovered the amazing fishing opportunities of the Keys and Key West in particular, acclaimed author Zane Grey was a passionate angler, developing this great activity and setting numerous records. Even more famous, Ernest Hemingway was also an avid fisherman and fished for years in the waters of Key West, also writing novels linked to the sea and Key West.
Together with Hemingway, many other people became hooked on fishing in Key West, the passion becoming a sport and a business. Besides being such an entertaining and captivating activity, fishing in the waters of Key West is so popular thanks to the amazing wide range of possible fishing opportunities. There are a large number of species of fish to catch, and almost as many ways to catch them.
Among the species that can be caught in the waters and reefs surrounding Key West, the most popular targets are sailfish, tuna, dolphin (aka mahi mahi or dorado), blue marlin, snapper of all sorts, barracuda, king mackerel, grouper, tarpon, and shark. There are more than a few ways styles to fish in Key West, the more popular being flats fishing, light tackle and party boats – and deep sea fishing. Flats fishing is a pretty rewarding type, with a great combination of fishing in the shallow backcountry and enjoying the scenery and wildlife of the keys. Shallow water is always available around Key West and access is pretty easy with light boats with shallow drafts. Party boats or bottom fishing is pretty straight-forward, with people booking their place on a fishing boat that leaves for a determined period of time in great fishing places, and providing the fishing tackle needed to the anglers aboard. This is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to fish in Key West – and a terrific way to introduce young anglers to the sport. Also very popular, light tackle fishing – a style developed in the Keys, pits the angler against the fish using lighter test and tackle than would normally be used – it gives the fish more of a fighting chance, and the angler a greater challenge and the excitement that comes with it.
There also other exciting types of fishing, some of them being real adventures. Deep sea fishing is mostly for the experienced fishers trying to land massive catches. Outside the coral reefs, the waters go deep and the types or size of the catches also changes. Reef fishing can prove to be an exciting activity, with a wide range of fishes inhabiting the coral reef of Key West. One of the most amazing adventures is wreck fishing, with an unbelievable marine life living near the countless wrecks that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Whatever your preferences and tastes in fishing, you will follow the legacy of the pirates and the wake of legendary adventurers when embark on your fishing charter. Who knows – you might just land a record breaking catch – but no matter the size of the fish, you are sure to capture the memory of a lifetime! Whether you just like to catch your own dinner or are in search of the monster catch, Key West is the perfect fishing destination.
“Check out the deep sea captains and fishing guides on Historic Charter Boat Row in Key West’s Garrison Bight and book your fishing charter adventure!”