The Florida Keys are some of the most gorgeous islands in the world, and it’s also one of the best places to catch a wide variety of fish. On a single boat trip, you can go from shallow flats to deep-sea fishing, giving you one of the most exciting and diverse fishing experiences you’ll ever have.
Because fishing in the Florida Keys is so versatile, you’ll need to know how the different areas will affect your fishing.
Getting into the flats and backcountry of the Florida Keys is a great way to use your fly fishing skills, but you can also use spinning reels and plugs to catch a wide variety of species. Because the flats are shallow, they are heavily affected by the tides, so you will want to understand the tide charts to make sure you have a successful day on the water.
Coral reefs that are closer to the surface receive more sunlight, increasing the amount of vegetation. The vegetation attracts small fish like yellowtails, as well as predatory fish like barracudas, which feed on these and other baitfish species.
Anglers who fish in the Florida Keys are very familiar with the transition zone— an area that usually ranges in depth between 30 and 50 feet. The coral in this area is not as abundant, and you will see many large white sandy spots between the coral. In these white sandy areas, you can target a lot of bottom species like snappers and other fish that use these areas for spawning grounds.
Going deeper off the Florida Keys is an area that is commonly referred to as the ledge. Ranging from 50 to 120 feet, the ledge is home to many kinds of fish, including painted mackerel, kingfish, and wahoo. Many larger fish use this area not only as a migratory highway, but also as abundant waters for feeding.
Moving away from the ledge, the water gets deeper, giving you more access to deep-sea fishing. At a depth of 100 to 200 feet, you can target species like tuna and sailfish. You can even go further to catch fish off the deepest edges of the Florida Keys. At a depth reaching 600 feet, you can target various species including dolphin and other deep-water fish.
Similar to waters in almost any area, fishing along structures is often the most consistent strategy. Bridges, especially the chain of bridges making the Overseas Highway, are noted for having excellent game, while reefs and wrecks can also be used to fill your boat with fish. These structures are especially popular because of their wide variety of fish, which can include permit, snapper, amberjack, cobia, and even sharks.
One of the biggest concerns for anglers in the Florida Keys is skin protection. The unrelenting sun can quickly turn your exciting day of fishing into a painful sunburn, so protect yourself with the best possible fishing shirts from Huk. Visit our website and you’ll find plenty of options with all of your favorite designs.
Kyle Alsop and Taylor Bivins of Kansas State University are the winners of the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, thanks to a series of consistent weights. They finished the tournament on Kentucky's Green River Lake with 36 pounds, 4 ounces.
The Kansas State team was the only one in the field of 89 teams to bring in more than 10 pounds every day.
You often hear the phrase there is nothing more important than a friend but like many other clichés of life especially at today’s pace, many of these old time sayings are said without really understanding their meaning. As I look back at the past five decades of my life spent in blue water and at my hunting career which has taken me all over the globe, I lift both hands in front of me and start counting off the friends which I could call at any time day or night for help; those who would put their life in jeopardy to save mine, or for that matter those who I can count on in the absolute worst of situations.
America (and much of the globe) seems to have an obsession with billfish, but few species are as popular as the Atlantic blue marlin. Not that there is anything wrong with black marlin, sailfish, swordfish, or striped marlin; it’s just that the blue marlin, which is the largest of the billfish group, has captured the hearts and passions of anglers for centuries.
If you want to join the ranks of anglers who’ve pulled up a blue marlin, you have your work cut out for you. But with the right techniques, you can add this world-class trophy to your list.