What Fish are Biting in Key West? [& How to Catch Them]

October 9th 2023
Tripshock News
What Fish are Biting in Key West? [& How to Catch Them]

We all have a bucket list of fish we dream of seeing at the end of our lines like Sailfish, Bonefish, Marlin, and Barracuda. When you plan your next fishing trip, you should go to Key West, as you’ll always have a good fishing day.

To have the fishing experience of a lifetime, you should charter a boat, as the highly skilled guides and captains will deliver the fish of your dreams. What fish are biting in Key West, you ask? Keep reading and discover the most coveted fish species in the area, and how to catch them.

Table of Contents

  • Why Go Fishing in Key West, FL?
  • What Fish are Biting in Key West?
  • Why you Should Book a Key West Fishing Charter
  • Different Types of Key West Fishing Charters
    • Private Charter
    • Split Charter
    • Party Boat Charter



Why Go Fishing in Key West, FL?


massive tuna caught deep sea fishing in Key West
Angler proudly shows off his prize caught aboard a Key West fishing charter


Key West attracts anglers from all over the world, as it is a unique fishing hot spot that offers anglers an experience they won’t get anywhere else. There are numerous options for anglers looking to do some sport fishing or some offshore fishing. You’ll find the most popular type of fishing is deep sea fishing.

This is an angler’s paradise, as you can spend a day deep sea fishing, spend a morning fishing from the bridge, or join in on one of the party boats. Switch to a fly rod to discover secret fishing spots, and check out the flats where you can catch fish like:

  • Permit
  • Snook
  • Tarpon

You’ll be able to escape the chill of winter, as Key West is always warm. Don’t forget to pack your sunblock! Expect to catch big fish, discover so many fishing spots, and catch a variety of fish species.


What Fish are Biting in Key West?


barracuda caught in Key West, Florida
With two rows of teeth, barracuda are definitely biting in Key West, FL


Key West offers fantastic fishing all year, so when you start to plan your fishing trip, you should consider the type of fish that you want to target. You’ll find that fishing seasons in Key West depend on the type of fish you are wanting to catch.

For example, if you’re looking for the challenge that sport fishing has to offer, then plan your trip in the spring. This way, you’ll have the opportunity to catch Sailfish and Tarpon as they migrate.

May is also a great time to see what fish are biting in Key West, as you’ll be able to catch large Mahi. You can also fish close to the reef for almost everything else, including:

  • Wahoo
  • Bonito
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • And MORE!

If you have Swordfish on your list, then July would be a great month to plan your trip. This is also a great time to catch Blue and White Marlin.

From December to February, you’ll be able to fish for King Mackerel which can weigh up to 60 pounds, and Blackfin Tuna, and it will also be the beginning of the Sailfish Run. It’s during this time that you’d be able to catch a Sailfish that could weigh up to 70 pounds! There is also an abundance of Mahi-Mahi and Barracudas to be caught during this time, as well.


Why you Should Book a Key West Fishing Charter


Fishing charter What Fish are Biting in Key West? [& How to Catch Them]

Fishing charters provide everything you need.


Charter guides have experience and knowledge of the area, and know all the best spots to catch fish. They often improve the angler’s chances of catching their dream fish. No matter what time of year you plan your trip, your guides and captains will tell you what fish are biting in Key West. Check out this recent TripShock Blog, which explains why fishing is one of the best Key West watersports to experience.

Everything you might possibly need is provided by your charter guide, and most provide fishing licenses for your convenience. Using a charter guide reduces the stress of having to rent a boat, and possibly equipment, which means they can help save you money. You’ll find that most fishing charters will provide the following:

  • Rods and reels
  • Lures and bait
  • Ice and coolers
  • Fully equipped boat
  • Experienced captain and first mate


Different Types of Key West Fishing Charters


Private fishing charter What Fish are Biting in Key West? [& How to Catch Them]

Key West fishing charter heading out for the day


If you choose to book a Key West fishing charter to discover what fish are biting in Key West, then you’re in luck! There are different offerings on different charters, which means there is something for everyone from the avid angler, to the beginner. Keep reading to learn about the different types of fishing charters in Key West, FL!

Private Charter

If you want to customize your fishing experience, then it would be best to go with a private charter. This will allow you to fish the wrecks and reefs, as well as target fish like Tarpon, Sharks, Grouper, and more. It will offer more flexibility, and you have the choice of departing in the morning or afternoon.

{Read Reviews & Book Key West Private Fishing Charters Online}

Split Charter

Split charters offer a semi-private fishing experience, and refer to when two or more groups or individuals share the cost of a common charter, in order to reduce the total cost for everyone. Most split charters can accommodate up to six passengers. Top species of fish that are biting on a Key West fishing charter include:

  • Mahi Mahi
  • Tuna
  • Sailfish
  • Marlin

{Read Reviews & Book Key West Split Fishing Charters with Captain Conch Charters Online}

Party Boat Charter

Party boat fishing is another popular option to discover what fish are biting in Key West. Party boat fishing charters are when multiple groups or individuals board the same boat for a shared fishing trip. These boats will usually hold up to 45 people, and target fish species such as:


Types of Fish to Target when Party Boat Fishing


Whatever your charter experience choice is, you will need to make sure that you take sunscreen with you, as well as sunglasses and a hat. Don’t forget to take a look at the weather before you leave, so you can be prepared in case of inclement weather.

{Read Reviews & Book Key West Party Boat Fishing Trips Online}



deep sea fishing at sunset in Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida, is synonymous with fantastic fishing and stunningly scenic sunsets


As you discover the many fishing spots, from fishing the flats for Barracuda, to dropping a line over the reef to catch Grouper and Snapper, you’ll quickly see for yourself what fish are biting in Key West. And once you’ve had your Florida Keys fishing experience, it will only leave you wanting more.

The good news is, you can visit at any time of the year and there will be a variety of fish for you to catch. No fishing experience is ever the same in beautiful Key West, Florida!



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