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Deep Sea Fishing in Miami: All You Need to Know


If you were to compile a list of the most fun and popular places in the US, Miami would undoubtedly be at the top of it. With perfect temperatures even in the middle of winter, fabulous nightlife, and white-sand beaches as far as the eye can see, what’s not to like? Still, there’s one thing that makes the “Magic City” stand out even more – deep sea fishing in Miami is legendary.

Millions of tourists flock here every year, a good part of them anglers, eager to explore these prolific waters. No matter the species you’d like to catch or your level of expertise, Miami has something in store for you!

Deep Sea Fishing in Miami – Top Catches

Where do we start? The main appeal of deep sea fishing out of Miami is the possibility to catch, well, everything. This is no exaggeration – here, the A-listers hang out only a couple of miles from the coast, in the warm Gulf Stream.

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Anything from Billfish and trophy-sized pelagics to bottom dwellers is fair game. Here are some of the top catches that deep sea fishing in Miami can offer you.

Sailfish – The One That Everybody Wants

Not only is Sailfish the official saltwater fish of Florida, but it’s also the most coveted catch for big game fishers. They’re the fastest fish in the ocean, strong and famous for their fighting abilities.

In the winter months, from November–April, you can find huge numbers of Sailfish, prowling for baitfish, which they follow to the Miami coast. Their agility and speed are unmatched, which makes them thrilling prey. They weigh 50–100 pounds – add to that their jumps and headshakes, and you know you’re up for a challenge.

These gorgeous fish like to roam, chasing food and warm water, but they prefer to hang out at the depths of 100–200 feet. Wherever there’s a ledge or a drop-off, you’re likely to find hunting Sailfish. During the peak months, double-digit hookups on charter boats are an everyday occurrence, often only several hundred feet from land. Yes, it’s that good!

When it comes to getting Sailfish to bite, South Floridians swear by kite fishing with live bait. This technique quickly gets the attention of the fish and is productive. Sight fishing and chumming are also good choices.

The two crucial factors to snaring a nice Sailfish are the north current and eastern winds. When the conditions are right, several Sailfish can take the bait almost simultaneously. Then it’s time to buckle up and get ready for the amazing chaos that ensues.

All-You-Can-Catch Mahi Mahi and King Mackerel

In the productive Miami waters, Mahi Mahi (Dolphin) and King Mackerel are the most frequent catches. Fishing is open year-round, so you can target them whenever you come. The best Mahi bite is usually from May-August, and you’ll find a fair share of trophy King Mackerel in spring.

Mahi Mahi are the staple of deep sea fishing in Miami. They’re gluttonous and feisty fighters, come in all shapes and sizes, and make for absolutely delicious table fare. These colorful fellas are the “bread and butter” of the Miami fishery and a favorite catch among many locals.

The best way to get a Mahi Mahi is trolling with live or cut bait. These fish like to hide around stretches of seaweed and wait for unsuspecting prey to swim along, so that’s a good place to look for them. Birds feeding on the water are another good sign that Mahi might be around.

King Mackerel, with their torpedo speed and razor-sharp teeth, are just as fun to target as Mahi, and sometimes more challenging. They can weigh up to 50 pounds, and they don’t shy away from cutting your line with a snap of their teeth. They feed in depths of up to 150 feet, usually around cutoffs and reefs.

Whether it’s a smoker (big King) or snake (small) you’re after, kite fishing is the answer. There’s a variety of lures you can choose from, and if you’re really in the mood for battle, use light tackle for maximum fun.

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