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Islamorada Fishing Charters

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You’ll find Islamorada in the Florida Keys, a long strip of paradise that attracts anglers from all over the world. Now to be fair, Islamorada’s fishing charters span the length of the Keys, including towns like Marathon, Duck Key, and Key Largo.

What they share in common are a combination of some of the best fishing locations you’ll ever find and charter captains with local knowledge that just can’t be beat!

Top Fishing Charters in Islamorada

Fishing in Islamorada

Islamorada’s fishing charters offer opportunities without equal. Mahi-mahi, tuna, sailfish? They’ve got you covered. Snook, reds, tarpon? That, too. Wahoo, swordfish, snapper, and marlin? Yes--that and more!

Whether inshore excitement stirs your blood or the lure of deep water gets your heart pounding, Islamorada offers legendary fishing year-round.

The Flats

The Keys are a coral cay archipelago, and each island is surrounded by a large, shallow flat teeming with fish.

Snook and reds come into these areas looking for an easy meal, and you won’t need to go far to find them. Every island offers fishing charters, and any captain will be delighted to put you on inshore fish nearby.

Tavernier Key Reefs

Shallow warm water teeming with life, the Tavernier Key Reefs are an ideal spot to catch snapper, grouper, mackerel, barracuda, jacks, cobia, and sharks.

A touch over five miles from shore, these reefs make an ideal morning adventure for anglers who can’t devote an entire day to a charter but who still want their share of the excitement.

Marquesas Keys

Roughly 28 miles west of Key West, you’ll find an atoll surrounded by shallow flats and ringed by wrecks and rock piles. An ideal habitat for a stunning variety of prey items, the Marquesa Keys combine the best of both shallow- and deep-water angling.

On the flats, you’ll find tarpon, permit, bonefish--and the sharks that chase them. In deeper water over the rock piles and wrecks, the fishing for cobia, grouper, and snapper is legendary.

Working the bottom with live bait is the go-to method here, and it’s almost unimaginably productive!

Trips to the Marquesas Keys are typically all-day affairs, but on a fast boat, a morning trip is certainly possible.

Sugarloaf Key Islands

The shallows around Sugarloaf Key are rightly famous for their barracuda, permit, bonefish, tarpon, and sharks, and since they’re in easy reach of dry land, you can pretty much choose how long you want your trip to be.

Whatever you decide, the fishing is simply fantastic!

The Channels of Cudjoe Key

Kemp and Bow Channel run alongside Cudjoe Key, offering access to flats and mangrove islands that hold startling numbers of grouper, permit, snapper, bonefish, tarpon, and jacks.

Often shielded from the wind, these are ideal locations for sight fishing.

The Bahia Honda Bridge

18 to 25 feet deep, the water under the Bahia Honda Bridge is the deepest the region’s inshore action has to offer.

A choke-point for migrating tarpon, this is a prime location during their seasonal movement, but it also shouldn’t be overlooked for sheepshead and hammerheads!

Marathon Humps

Approximately 27 miles from Marathon, you’ll find an underwater mountain that creates an environment ideal for pelagic species to thrive.

Known as the West Hump by locals--there are more than one out here!--it’s simply one of the best places in the world to fish for blackfin tuna.

It can be crowded in peak season, but don’t worry! A good charter captain knows that there are quite a few humps nearby, and they all produce trophy fish.

Rules & regulations

Most fishing charters provide licenses, but if you want to venture out on your own, you’ll need to purchase a valid license. Regulations on bag and size limits apply, and your captain will keep you informed on those.

Some species can only be caught in certain seasons, but your charter captain will provide those details, too.

Islamorada Fishing Seasons

  • January

    Winter is a relative concept, and in the Keys, air temperatures will hover in the 70s! Fishing is excellent inshore, and from bluefish to cobia, hogfish to permits, and snappers to reds, there’s no better place to fish this time of year. Offshore, sailfish are in their prime.


    February finds the tarpon moving inshore, and it’s a great time to check out the water under Bahia Honda Bridge. Bring crab! The blues, cobia, permits, snapper, and redfish haven’t let up, either. Offshore, sailfishing is still going strong.


    This might sound ridiculous anywhere else, but in the Keys, the fishing is just getting better month after month! Inshore fishing only improves with the addition of jacks. Everything else is still running strong! Offshore, sailfishing is still excellent.
  • April

    Inshore, the bonefish bite is improving, and it’s time for the Islamorada Spring Classic, the area’s premier Gulf-side fishing tournament. Prizes are offered for the most releases, the heaviest single fish, and the largest fish in both guided and non-guided teams. Sailfishing is starting to shut down a bit, replaced by wahoos and blue marlin.


    In May, shallow-water anglers will find abundant tarpon, bonefish, and permit, while offshore, the mahi-mahi, wahoo, and marlin bite is strong.


    The heat’s on in June, and the average daily temperature will be a skin-boiling 89 degrees! But it’s a great time for reef fishing, and snapper, grouper, and permit are at their prime. Swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, and other pelagic species are going strong, so it’s a great time to head for the deep water around the Marathon Humps.
  • July

    The offshore fishing is as hot as the noon sun on an unprotected deck. Amberjack, barracuda, mahi-mahi, grouper, permit, and swordfish: reefs, wrecks, and humps are going to produce. Inshore, bonefish are at their peak, so hot spots in the shallows will be busy!


    August finds the reefs very productive, and if you’re looking for snapper, now is a great time to head to Tavernier Key Reefs. Mahi-mahi, swordfish, and grouper are biting well offshore, and you’ll find the Humps packed with charter boats.


    Tourist season is winding down, but the inshore bite is picking up as the water cools down a tad. Permit, bonefish, and snook are abundant around every island and mangrove tangle.
  • October

    Offshore, dropping water temps trigger blackfin tuna to turn on in earnest, and fishing around the Humps is at its best. Reef fishing is still strong, with the snapper and grouper bite improving as the water cools.


    While the black tuna bite is slowing down, cobia and sailfish are heating up. In general, the offshore bite is great, as large schools of mullet move into the area. Inshore, the reds are hitting hard.


    The end of the year finds snowbirds descending on the Keys to escape the winter up north, and the fishing is exceptional offshore this time of year. Mackerel, sailfish, and wahoos are prime species in December, and because the weather’s nice and warm all month, long trips to deep water are easy to enjoy.

Top Targeted Species in Islamorada

  • Bonefish
  • Barracuda
  • Cobia
  • Permit
  • Redfish
  • Grouper
  • Mahi-Mahi
  • Blackfin Tuna
  • Marlin
  • Hammerhead
  • Tarpon
  • Sailfish
  • Snapper
  • Wahoo
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