The Florida Keys is an excellent fishing destination, and the thousands of anglers who’ve been here can confirm it. It is also among the most desirable deep sea fishing charter destinations in the world. Depending on your preference, there are lots of options. What are the best Florida Keys fishing charters?
Lower Keys Adventure Charters at Bay Pine Key offer adventure-packed and customized eco-tours. Florida Keys Fun Fishing offers multiple fishing options at Islamorada, the Sport Fishing Capital of the World. Key West Party Boat Fishing Charter is an affordable party boat that can accommodate 65 guests!
To indulge your fishing interest, we curated the best fishing charters in the Florida Keys. Read on and discover the popular spots to find them and what each outfit offers.
What Are Fishing Charters?
Before we dive into your fishing adventure, let’s cover the basics.
First off, what is a fishing charter? It’s a service provided by boat owners and professional fishers. They bring guests offshore, for a set time, to catch fish. Fishing charters are rented at time-based tiered rates. Some offer flexibility, allowing you to customize your experience.
Operating a fishing charter involves costs that aren’t evident for people like you renting the service.
Apart from the gears, equipment, and navigation services, there is also boat fuel, maintenance, labor, and provisions for your safety.
Incorporating all these, we put together a list of average costs when renting the best Florida Keys fishing charters:
|Half-Day Headboat||$35 to $60|
|Full Day Headboat||$75 to $100|
|Full Day Inshore||$400 to $800|
|Full Day Offshore||$800 to $2,000|
|Overnight||$400 to $3,500|
|2 Days||$700 to $4,000|
|3 Days||$1,000 to $5,000|
|Long Range (up to 22 days)||$1,200 to $15,000|
You could also consider tipping the captain (plus the crew if you’re feeling generous) if you had a blast fishing with Florida Keys fishing charters. Consider up to 20% top-up on the fishing charter’s rate.
Best Months to Try Florida Keys Fishing Charters
The Florida Keys is a year-round fishery destination to catch any saltwater species. From tarpons and sheepsheads to snappers and marlins, these are but some of the amazing water creatures that will pump up your fishing adrenaline.
The seas are calmer from May to August so that fishing charters can go further offshore, but staying inshore is an equal adventure.
For an ideal fishing experience with Florida Keys fishing charters, here are the best months to catch some of your favorite fish.
|Fish||Best Month to Catch|
|Amberjack||February to June|
|Black Grouper||Jan, Feb, May, June, Nov, and December|
|Cobia||January to April|
|Dolphin Fish||June to August|
|King Mackerel||January to March and November to December|
|Mangrove Snapper||June to August|
|Permit||April to May|
|Queen Snapper||May to July|
|Swordfish||May to August|
|Tarpon||May to July|
How to Best Enjoy Florida Keys Fishing Charters
Fishing charters offer guided fishing trips, so to get you acquainted with fishing charters in the Florida Keys, here’s a brush-up on your adventure’s process:
Many fishing charters in the Florida Keys have your fishing adventure covered, but here are essentials that may come in handy for guided tours:
- Water-resistant bag
- Drinking water
- Sunglasses (view on Amazon)
- Handy towels
- Vacuum-sealed bag (to take home fish fillets)
Before You Sail
Consistent and clear communication with your captain or crew is essential.
Particularly if you’re venturing into parts of the water that you haven’t dropped your line in, it’s wise to ask what’s unclear to you before the trip. Florida Keys fishing charters may have overlapping policies but know the ones that the fishing charter you chose operates on.
During the Trip
Fishing Charters in the Florida Keys will boat you out to fishing spots where you’d get the best chance of catching fish. If there’s minimal to no bite on that location, the fishing charter crew navigates the boat around to increase your odds of catching a fish.
Catching a Fish
If you want to, you can reel your catch in by yourself. However, the captain and crew are there to assist you when you need them. You’d want those extra muscles when you reel in your big catch! Capture the moment with your GoPro HERO9 (view on Amazon). It offers 5K Ultra HD video, excellent stabilization, and is waterproof.
What to Expect
What does any of the fishing charters in the Florida Keys have to offer? A chance to tour unfamiliar parts of the water and reel in a potentially rare catch!
However, don’t expect your entire trip is spent fishing.
Fishing Charters in the Florida Keys aim that you get the best fishing experience, but patience is key. Not every line you drop may pull a catch. When luck isn’t on your side on one spot, the fishing charter team will navigate to other fishing spots to peak your fishing experience.
Among the perks that any fishing charters in the Florida Keys have to offer is that the captain and the crew are your extra hands.
They do more than help you hoist up a big catch. You may have to cut the line and send the fish back to the water. In these situations, the crew helps you set up your rod again.
Advantages Versus ‘Regular’ Fishing
While none of the Florida Keys fishing charters can guarantee that you’ll take home a fish after the trip, here are the pros of using the service:
Fishing is a skill, and people operating fishing charters in the Florida Keys have honed their skills to near perfection.
Known for their innate love for fishing, what else do any of the fishing charters in the Florida Keys has to offer? Familiarity with the local water.
They know the spots where most fish are biting. You also increase your chance of catching fish because they understand the behavioral trends of fish species. They do their best to turn your guided fishing trip into a successful adventure.
18 Best Florida Keys Fishing Charters
The Florida Keys is a premier fishing destination with a wide selection of fishing charters. To help you choose the best spot for you, we grouped the fishing charters in each popular destination.
Big Pine Key
1. Lower Keys Adventure Charters
Captain Mike gives you more than just an adventure-packed fishing experience. With its custom eco-tours that include snorkeling, spearfishing (view on Amazon), and beachcombing, you experience the vast ecological diversity of the Content Keys and the world-famous Looe Key Reef.
2. Captain Doug Kelley
Your Big Pine Key fishing excursion is perfect when Captain Doug helps you arrange the ideal fishing trip. Whether it’s a honeymoon adventure, a family trip, or an escape with your friends, you’ll plan your next trip with this charter as soon as you finish the tour.
3. American Allegiance Charters
Captain Harlan Trammell teams with American Allegiance Charters to give you custom trips based on your interest, schedule, and budget. Hop aboard ‘Any Tide,’ a custom-built, solid juniper skiff with glass-bottom view panels. Its swift and shallow drafting can run in just inches of water.
4. Chelsea Charters
As an owner-operated offshore charter fishing service, it has a proven track record in providing a fishing experience of a lifetime aboard its classic boat Phoebe. Its 48’ Willis Craft is well maintained, with an airconditioned salon and comfortably large cockpit for you and your friends.
5. Bud N’ Mary’s Marina
A world-famous marina, it has been operating a fleet of charter fishing boats since 1944. Forty legendary fishing captains from this outfit sailed the waters of the Florida Keys, where world-record fish had been caught more than any other location on earth. It also has a tackle shop and an outdoor café and offers hotel accommodations.
6. Florida Keys Fun Fishing
Located in Islamorada, this charter provides multiple options to suit your fishing needs. Choose among its exciting fishing trips like Full Monty, Backcountry, ‘Night,’ or Fly Fishing.
7. Miss Chief Charters
Backed by 20 years of fishing experience, this fishing charter offers customized fishing trips whether you’re new to casting a line or an enthusiastic angler. The tour package includes extensive tackle, licensing, bait, bottled water, and ice. They also fillet and bag your catch, including a kingfish, yellowtail, or tuna, among others.
8. Key Largo Fishing Adventures
Whether it’s offshore or reef fishing, this fishing charter aims to please. It has delivered 100% satisfaction to its clients, both novice and professional anglers alike. It also welcomes children, families, small groups, and business travelers.
9. Southbound Sportfishing
Have an excellent fishing charter experience with Captain Richard Houde. If you’re going with a large group, Southbound, a 40-foot custom fiberglass sportfishing boat can comfortably accommodate up to 6 people. Whether you’re up for trolling, live baiting, or exploring the deep sea, wrecks, or reefs, boarding the Southbound is fantastic.
10. Key West Party Boat Fishing Charter
Book a trip with this outfit if you’re looking for an affordable party boat fishing in the Florida Keys with a large group of family and friends. Inspected twice a year by the US Coast Guard, it can accommodate as many as 65 guests! All you need is your Confirmation Voucher (printed or mobile), and you’re set to experience the ship’s amenities, including a galley serving snacks!
11. Sea Dog Charters
It’s a fishing charter that says, ‘Sea Dog’s Keys Expertise Work for You!’ It offers party boats and private charters to explore reefs and wrecks and catch some Spanish mackerel or tarpons at Florida Bay or The Gulf of Mexico. It’s a full-service fishing charter outfit exploring the Florida Keys since the 1950s.
12. Catch ‘Em All
Let Captain Jeff Shelar take your Florida Keys fishing experience to the next level. Its reef fishing is perfect for families, plus it offers budget-friendly half-day trips. What’s more, it offers a ‘No fish, No pay’ guarantee!
13. Salt Creek Fishing Charters
Captain Alex Harmon knows the best inshore spots to catch your trophy fish. The 24’ Shearwater bay boat has state-of-the-art navigational electronics and wireless trolling motor to target your catch without being detected. The trip caters to all ages and skill levels and can comfortably accommodate four guests.
14. Key West Backwater Fishing
Owner and operator Captain Sean Okeefe has been fishing the backcountry and flats of the Lower Florida Keys for over 37 years. Aboard his 17’ skiff boat that fits two anglers. Captain Okeefe will teach you techniques about spin or fly-fishing tackle. Your charter includes tackles, a fishing license, and a cooler with ice for our food and drinks.
15. Waypoint Fishing
Captain Nate Wheeler has lived his entire life in the Florida Keys. So, if you want to catch a fish at Summerland Key, he’s your man. This charter has a 25’ Sea Vee Center Console that comfortably accommodates four anglers. Your offshore quarry could include dolphins, sailfish, wahoo, tuna, cobia, groupers, and snappers.
16. Folklure Fishing Charters
Whether you’re looking for fun family fishing or want to hone your angling skill, you’ll create lifetime memories aboard the Leviathan. You can choose between six and eight hours of offshore fishing or go for reef and wreck fishing from four to eight hours.
17. Tavernier Backcountry Fishing
Captain Ben will give you an action-packed day of fishing aboard an 18’ skiff boat with GPS, Fishfinder, snorkeling equipment, live bait well, tuna tubes, and an icebox. Choose between four and eight-hour tours into the beautiful Tavernier backcountry flats to fly fish Barracuda, Redfish, or the elusive Bonefish.
18. Captain J Fishing Charters
This charter specializes in private, professionally guided deep sea, offshore, wreck, and sport fishing from Tavernier. It also hosts private trips for fishing tournaments and excursions. Its 55 feet Viking Convertible Sportfish premier boat is fully loaded and can comfortably accommodate six people.
Conclusion: 18 Best Florida Keys Fishing Charters
If you’re looking for an organized fishing experience that combines excitement and relaxation, Florida Keys fishing charters are up for the challenge! You won’t be too far from the land but just the right distance to catch fish that seldom visit the shore.
Whether you’re a pro angler or new to fishing, choosing any of the best Florida Keys fishing charters offers more than just a guided fishing adventure. It allows you more time to take in the sea breeze and bask in the glorious sun. And, of course, catch that elusive fish!