Dolphin – Mahi Mahi

Dolphin or Mahi-Mahi are one of the more sought after sport fish in the Florida Keys. Not only do they fight and jump a lot when hooked they are delicious to eat. They are relatively easy to catch if you can find them. Due to their rapid growth they are often hungry, and the smaller ones especially rarely turn down a bait. They are found in offshore waters but occasionally can be found following bait up onto the reef. The season for dolphin is late spring to early summer, although there are some here year round. When in season you are pretty much guaranteed to catch them if you don’t mind burning a lot of gas trolling around in water 7-27 miles offshore. Most people troll for dolphin but if you find some debris that’s holding them, pitching live baits such as pinfish at them is a blast. They will also hit surface lures.

Crevelle Jack

Crevelle Jack – Fishing Charters In Key West

Jack Crevelles as they are usually referred to are often considered trash fish when caught fishing for other species. They are not good to eat and are aggressive feeders. Although they are considered undesirable they put up a great fight on light tackle. They are a blast to catch on surface poppers and when feed will actively attack all manner of surface baits.

Small Jacks are good big baits for big fish.

Cobia

Cobia – Charter Boats In Key West

Cobia can be caught all around the Keys but are much more common in the gulf waters. They tend to congregate around structures like rock piles and wrecks. They will eat live fish and cut bait, pinfish and small blue runners are common baits for Cobia.

They are strong fighters and often jump when hooked, they are good to eat and have white firm meat.

Bonnethead Shark

Bonnet-head Shark – Fishing Charters Key West Florida

Bonnet head sharks are common in most shallow water of the keys, they will eat just about anything and pretty easy to catch. They hang out on the same flats as bonefish, and very common in the back country and everglades. They are caught sometimes when the bonefish or permit are not being cooperative. They fight decent for their size and are fun to catch on light tackle.

Bonito

Bonito – Key West Offshore Fishing

Bonito and Little Tunny are similar looking fish that are often caught in the same places. They are common in the Atlantic and the Gulf and often caught while fishing for other fish. They are not good to eat but put up a terrific fight. They are used live as bait for big fish such as Marlin and make great cut bait, because of their bloody meat.

Bonefish

Bonefish are one of the most prestigious sport fish of the keys, they are extremely spooky and hard to catch. People fish for them on the flats usually using a fresh shrimp, but sometimes with a fly or jig. They are amazing fighters for their size and take off like rocket when they are hooked. They make extremely long runs and the smaller ones sometimes jump.

Bluefish

Bluefish are common around Florida Bay in the cooler months and are in the sounds of the upper keys all year. The bluefish that live down here don’t get as big as the ones up north , they usually are less then 5 pounds, but they are aggressive fish specifically when they are schooling. They literally chew baits to shreds, attacking baits almost as big as they are. They have sharp teeth so either a wire or heavy leader with a circle hook would be the preferred tackle. They are good to eat but have oilier, darker meat.

Blue Runner

Bluefish – Fishing Charters Key West Fl

Blue runners are found all around the Florida Keys, from the Bays and back country to offshore in the weed lines. Like dolphin, they can be found in the weed lines. They average less then 4 pounds are are usually much smaller. They put up a good fight like all jacks and are fun to catch on light tackle. They can be eaten but they tend to be small and are boney. They make good big baits for big fish.

Black Tip Shark

Blacktip Shark – Key West Florida Fishing Charters

Blacktip sharks are one of the best sharks to catch in my opinion, since they fight like crazy, often leaping and corkscrewing in the air. They are also supposed to be one of the best eating sharks, but I have never killed one. They will attack live and dead bait, and long steel leader the length of their body is required. They don’t get as large as some of the other species of sharks.

Black Grouper

Black grouper are one of the most sought after bottom dwelling fish. Their meat is highly prized for its taste and its flaky texture. Black groupers grow large- up to 70 pounds, even more. They will eat a variety of baits and people fish for them with live bait, cut dead bait and even troll for them. People troll for groupers usually with large lipped diving plugs. They mostly hang around the bottom structure but sometimes venture out, and in shallow water will sometimes even come to the surface to grab a bait. They are strong fighters , and will often burrow into the nearest hole and puff up , which can make them impossible to get out. A trick when a grouper rocks you and doesn’t break the line, is to let the line go slack and wait a couple minutes, and sometimes they will swim out of their hole and you can land them.

Black grouper will eat large live baits, so don’t be scared to put out a big bait for them. The will consume ballyhoo, blue runner, pinfish, pilchards, pretty much if it will wiggle around and will fit in their mouth they will eat it.