Key West, Florida

Where to Fish in Key West

By Chief Operating Officer Robert Spottswood Jr. 

Key West is privy to some of the most rare and beautiful waters in the world, especially when it comes to fishing and diving. Versatile waters surround the Keys with inshore, offshore and flats fishing.
“As long as you get out on the water, you can consider your trip successful.” – Robert Spottswood Jr. 

The Basics 

You’re really left up to the dealer's choice between what kind of fishing you’re looking for–inshore, near shore, offshore, off the dock, options are more or less limitless.  

Thinking of wanting to run offshore? You only need to journey five or six miles out to find reef tracks that span 100 miles west of Key West.

You really don't even need a boat as you can choose to fish off of the dock at one of our many homes at Key Haven Estates, behind Beachside Resort or at Stock Island Yacht Club and Marina. 

Fishing in the summer conditions will offer water so still that you can see your reflection in it as clearly as your bathroom mirror. 

Though the winter months don’t provide as many calm days, barring a few bad weather conditions, you’ll seldom find yourself stuck onshore. 

Renting a Boat 

If you’re heading down to the Keys and you’re not local to the islands, we recommend you avoid renting a boat yourself for the first time. Our waters are rather shallow and can quickly become dangerous to uniformed boaters. Many of the boat rental companies can provide you a list of licensed captains, and I have included a few of my go to captains below. 

Hiring a licensed captain or going with someone who is familiar with our terrain is your best and safest option. It will also allow you to enjoy your time on the water like a local!

What to Fish For

Winter waters offer some amazing tuna and wahoo if you go a bit offshore, while the summer months provide memorable catches for our divers and spearfishers – And don’t forget about lobster season! 

Offshore, our deep waters are full of deep water bottom dwellers such as snowy grouper and tilefish and of course mahi mahi, tuna and billfish. 

Inshore, you can be on the lookout for tarpon, bonefish, permit and many other species. 

Along the reefs, you’ll be certain to come across snapper, grouper, mackerel and cobia. 

Where to Take Your Catch to get Cooked Up 

Eating freshly caught fish is a massive reward after a long day on the water. We recommend sending your catches to Tavern N’ Town, The Docks, Thirsty Mermaid or Little Pearl. They’re highly trusted by our team and will be certain to leave you with a delectable meal that’s long to be remembered. 

Recommendations From our Team  

With more accessibility and connectivity than ever, platforms like Instagram have made it possible to be on the lookout for what type of fish you’d like to catch and the type of captain you want to spend your day with. 

If you see a specific catch that interests you on Instagram, our recommendation would be to reach out as most of the time, captains are extremely helpful and will provide great information. 

We’ve pulled together a few captains we endorse and would suggest you reach out to, either by Instagram, email or phone. 


Chris Mendola (Far Out Charters) - 28 WhiteWater

Phone: (305) 747-4632

Robert Trosset aka RT (Spindrift) - 39 Yellowfin 

Phone: (305) 797- 5693

Jake Harnett (Deep End Charters) - 42 Freeman 

Phone: (207) 266-4350

Desi Perez (No Doubt Charters) - 31 Contender

Phone: (305) 731-0371

Will Benson - Flats Boat 

Phone: (305) 923-6114

Alex Harmon (Salt Creek Fishing Charters) - Shearwater Bay Boat 


Phone: (740) 485-0390

Eric Anderson - Your Boat 

Phone: (717) 829-8825


Stock Island Yacht Club

Conch Harbor

City Marina at Garrison Bight 

Key West Bight Marina 

Boat Detailers 

Marine Clean

Phone: (305) 879-0829

Southernmost Shine

Phone: (305) 766-1550

Wax on Marine

Phone: (480) 239-2507

Are you looking for a home to stay in as you plan your fishing trip down to Key West? Check out one of our many properties to find the home that’s right for you and your trip at