Key West is so very fortunate to have so many incredible options when it comes to places to fish. It is the only place in Florida that has the option of fishing these types of remote areas, all in a day’s trip. Come experience some of the most productive styles of fishing possible, truly the ultimate in light tackle, high energy fishing. This level of fishing is what TV shows are made of, don’t just watch it, lets go fish it!
Sunset Shark and Tarpon Trips!
Picture this, a beautiful sunset, flat calm water, ice cold beer in the hand and a MONSTER SHARK on the end of your line screaming for the horizon! Sound like a blast! How about this, the sun is just setting and all around you, you hear the sound of Tarpon feeding on the surface, your rod tip starts to shake and wham! A 120lb. Silver King launches in to the air, you hooked up! Sunset Shark and Tarpon trips are without a doubt one of the most productive ways to meet up with nature’s top predators. Some of the sharks that we fish for include: Bull, Lemon, Hammerhead, and the Black tip. Most of the Tarpon average between 75 and 160lbs. and the Sharks between 6ft to 10ft long. Both of these monsters are pure excitement when hooked up. The combination of live bait and chunk bait fishing ensures success. As the sun sets, the Sharks and Tarpon become very active and start to aggressively feed on the surface and in the shallows. This is when your heart starts pumping and you can expect them to crash your bait any second! These trips run from 5:00pm to 9:00pm and run $500.00. This includes all bait, licenses, rods, tackle and instruction.
“Out West” Tail End Buoy, Rebecca Shoal, New Ground and the Dry Tortugas
We are so fortunate here in Key West to have both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters that are only fishable to anglers from Key West. Key West is well known for its calm sea conditions and excellent year round wreck, reef and trolling fishing. No one is going to travel the more than 1000 miles across the Gulf of Mexico to fish our waters. Just imagine a very popular wreck, say off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. This wreck would have three times the pressure of any wreck off of Key West. You would have anglers coming from Miami, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale to fish it, triple the pressure! When we head “out west”, we fish reefs, wrecks and ledges that have little or no pressure. There are thousands of wrecks and reefs teaming with fish that have never seen a hook and line. Wreck and reef fishing for grouper and snapper is good most any time of the year. Other offshore fish such as kingfish, cobia, tuna, amberjack, Spanish mackerel, dolphin, shark, barracuda, mahi, tarpon, permit, and huge goliath grouper are all caught using trolling and live bait around these wrecks. These trips range from 30 to more than 70 miles west and southwest of Key West. When anglers seek the biggest and most fish possible, they know to head west.
Most of the fishing we do out west is a mix of bottom fishing with live bait, drifting the many ledges with live bait and jigs and anchoring up on the many reefs, chumming the fish to the boat. All of these trips are very hands on with the action non-stop. The trick to productively fish a reef patch area is to create an aggressive feeding frenzy between the different species, drawing them away from the reef or wreck. Using the combination of live bait and fresh dead bait in the chum line always produces great action from yellowtails, muttons, mangroves, groupers and others like mackerel and jacks. When you head offshore out to the west, there is an excellent chance that the waters you are fishing have never been fished before. Some of the biggest kingfish, dolphin, tuna, wahoo and sailfish are caught to the west, ask anyone fishing a Kingfish Tournament out of Key West, Naples or even Fort Myers where they would like to fish, they will all tell you “out west”
Gulf Shrimp boats
A true experience would certainly be a trip out to the Shrimp Boats. Shrimp boats fish at night and clean there nets and discard by-catch into the early morning. The shear amount of fish that follow these boats as they throw hundreds and hundreds of pounds of by-catch back into the water is mind boggling! Black fin Tuna, Kingfish, Cobia, Permit and many more hang around the boats day and night. We leave very early in the morning, turn on the radar a little ways into the gulf and find where the shrimp boats are anchored up ready for a well earned sleep. When we locate them, we usually offer a little barter, sometimes its beer, sometimes its smokes and get some fresh chum for the gesture and a line off of their stern for the days fishing. The action is absolutely unbelievable; you can’t keep lines in the water for more than a few seconds without a bite. There have been many, many fishing shows feature the shrimp boat trips because of the incredible productivity they provide. These trips give the word ‘uncle’ a new meaning, turning the arms of most anglers to jelly at they the end of the day!
Gulf of Mexico Wrecks
The Gulf wrecks are numerous and hold lots and lots of fish. The good ones start around 25 miles from shore and are scattered to more then 60 miles away. There are dozens to fish, all within a few miles of each other. Most are 1940′s era, some freighters, some military and lots of them old shrimp boats all resting in 55 to 95ft of water. Fish that move through the area tend to hang on them, seeking shelter and food. There are always fish on them from 200-300lb. Goliath Grouper to 20-60lb. Cobia, Grey Snappers, Black, Gag and Red Grouper, to 20-30lb. Permit! The action is nonstop with such little pressure on them. These trips are truly one of a kind and an experience you will never forget!