What makes the Florida Keys so famous for its fishing? That’s almost akin to asking why Disney World or Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination; indeed, the inherent answers border on being redundant. The crystal waters of the Atlantic, glistening from the Sunshine State’s rich solar rays, offer a plethora of magnetic draws to the fishing enthusiast – both seasoned and novice – and these go beyond the garden-variety Marlin often caught amidst these waves.
The truth is this: The 125-mile-long arc of islands that comprise the Florida Keys yields an environment for fishing that’s unique in the world – and this means a noteworthy, or at least edible, catch is viable pretty much any time of year. What’s more, Florida Bay, which is kissed by the inner curve of the Keys and the Florida mainland, is often referred to by locals as the “backcountry,” home to five of the most sought-after game fish among recreational anglers: Tarpon, Redfish (Red Drum), Bonefish, Permit and Snook. Off the Keys’ outer curve and nearby Gulf Stream, meanwhile, resides the regal Atlantic Ocean, and it’s in these deep-sea areas that some of the greatest sport fish in the world are caught, including Sailfish, Blue and White Marlin and Swordfish.
It’s often said by fishing enthusiasts and professional fishermen alike that, in the Florida Keys, fishing isn’t something that’s done – it’s how they live. And to a great extent, this sentiment is ripe with truth, given that fishermen are drawn to the blue water reefs and the promise of legendary record-breaking fish to be caught off the coast of the Florida Keys like moths to the proverbial flame. Consistently ranked in the Top 10 lists of “Best Places for Deep Sea Fishing,” the Keys’ reputation as a fishing mecca precedes it, and is definitely well-deserved; around these parts, professional anglers and recreational fishermen catch their limits fishing the backcountry, flats, ocean and inlets all year long.
These elements allow the Keys to transcend the popular moniker of “Florida’s fishing capital,” the year-round tropical climate rendering the area a fisherman’s paradise. Additionally, the unique arrangement of the limestone islands serves as a gateway to the Dry Tortugas, placing anglers deep in the heart of monumental fishing grounds, with Duck Key offering quite the hotspot during Florida Keys fishing season.
Also unique to fishing in the Florida Keys is daytime sword fishing, a relatively new technique that’s been covered in Saltwater Sportsman, but one that’s just as challenging as any other type of sword fishing. The most commonly-caught fish in the Keys, meanwhile, are Yellowtail Snapper and Mutton Snapper on the reef, with Grouper and Amberjacks normally caught on the reef and amidst wrecks. The offshore region normally offers schools of Mahi and Blackfin Tuna, with the aforementioned backcountry and Bay producing a myriad of catch-and-release fish such as the also-aforementioned Redfish, Permit, Mangrove, Snapper and Bonefish.
Here at Mangrove Marina, we are experts when it comes to fishing in the Florida Keys, and as such offer 102 wet slips for live aboard or transient boaters. Our representatives offer the kind of wet slips Florida Keys has been waiting for, able to accommodate boats up to 70-feet in length with 24-foot beams and five feet of draft; but these don’t just keep you tied to the dock – they allow you to enjoy everything we have to offer at Mangrove Marina. Spend an evening grilling out at one of our barbecue pits and tiki huts, take a dip in the waterfront freshwater pool or just relax and watch the sultry sunset settle over the Bay.
Contact us today for more information about the Florida Keys fishing season as well as the wet slips Florida Keys has been asking for.