Dry Tortugas

Dry Tortugas

The Dry Tortugas area is kind of considered the holy grail of bottom fishing in Florida. The actual island and Fort at the Dry Tortugas is actually a sanctuary where you cannot fish but there is a huge amount of awesome reef and bottom structure which surround the sanctuary. Fish caught are pretty much all the common reef species but usually much larger and in much larger numbers.

Key West Harbor

Key West Harbor

The harbor in Key West boasts wildly different fishing depending on the time of year. It’s best known for the spring and summer tarpon fishing but there are fish in the harbor all year round.

In tarpon season huge schools of tarpon roam the harbor and channels running out of it. The best bite is usually in the morning and evening but it’s possible to catch them any time of day. They can be fished with live bait such as pinfish, crabs and small mullet. People also chum the tarpon up using shrimp boat bycatch and catch them on dead baits.

Outside of the tarpon the harbor is home to a wide variety of snapper and in cooler months schools of cero mackerel, Spanish and kingfish swim through. There are small wrecks and rock piles located in and near the harbor which can hold cobia in the winter months. Large sharks cruise the harbor all year, sometimes even swimming under the fish cleaning tables in A & B marina and other adjacent marinas.

The channels that attach to the harbor can also offer good fishing, and depending on the wind direction relatively calm seas. People often fish Calda and the northeast channel for a variety of fish.

Key West Fishing