The southernmost city in the continental United States has a lot to offer. This stunning town is perched right at the meeting point of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s no wonder that deep sea fishing in Key West is a special experience. Nowhere else in the US can you access both of these fisheries so easily.
Whether you’re up for some reef fishing in the Gulf, or an adrenaline rush in the deep waters of the Atlantic, you’re in the right place. And lying just 90 miles from the coast of Cuba, the Caribbean is so close you can taste it. Read on to find out more about what awaits you if you decide to visit these deep waters.
Top Deep Sea Fish in Key West
While Hemingway might’ve spent his days here going after Marlin, there’s so much more to Key West deep sea fishing. You’ll find these offshore waters hold an abundance of bottom-dwelling creatures, as well as a whole host of pelagic monsters, so let’s dive right in!
We need to talk about Marlin. One of the most sought-after game fish in the world, they’re revered for their fighting abilities. Why else would Hemingway dedicate a whole book to them? But seriously, Marlin fishing out of Key West is something you need to try. They’ve been the target of local anglers for centuries, so you’ll get to experience a piece of history.
Typically, you’ll find two members of the Marlin family in the waters around Key West – White and Blue Marlin. White Marlin are the smallest of the family, but they make up for it with the fight they put up. On the other hand, Blue Marlin can reach over 1,000 pounds, making them a force to be reckoned with. You’ll go after them in the deep offshore waters by trolling, teasing these elusive creatures to come up and fight.
Tuna are another pelagic species famous around the world for their delicious meat and amazing fighting spirit. Key West anglers look forward to these creatures gracing their waters every year. Blackfin Tuna are the most common guests here, but you can run into big Bluefin and Yellowfin as well. The best action is around the humps, big underwater mountains that attract all sorts of bait fish that Tuna love.
Blackfin Tuna are feisty, delicious creatures that start showing up in late fall, reaching their peak in April and May. You’ll go after them by trolling, but you can also cast live baits like mullet and ballyhoo. Fishing around deep wrecks can be especially productive if you’re using live baits and chum. Casting behind shrimp boats is another great way of reeling them in.