Fishing Terms and Fish Types
Key West has a large variety of fish & fishing areas. Some type of fish are always biting!
Types of Fish that may be caught off Key West: Sailfish, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Dolphin, Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Wahoo, Mutton Snapper, Mangrove or Gray Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper, Snowy Grouper, African Pompano, Barracude, Cobia, Amberack, King Macjerel or Kingfish, Cero Macjerel, Red Grouper, Black Grouper, Gag Grouper, Goliath Grouper (Jewfish), Tarpon, shark, Permit, Hogfish.
Types Of Fishing:
Offshore Deep Sea fishing
Wreck and Reef
Light Tackle Off Shore
Light Tackle In Shore
Flats and Back Country
Night fishing gives you a chance to get out of the hot sun and still catch some nice fish. We mostly bottom fish at night, and we catch a variety of snapper and grouper. Fishing for mangrove and mutton snappers is sometimes better at night than during the day. The boat will be anchored and we will put chum (ground-up fish) in the water, which brings the fish straight to us.
Shark fishing is always good in the evenings or at night if you want to pull in something big. Key West is maybe not the first place that you’d think of when considering a shark fishing trip but there are some excellent shark fishing in the waters around Key West. The shallow inshore waters on the Gulf side, plus the waters around the Marquesas Islands are all home to huge numbers of sharks.
The grouper is one of the angler’s favorite but most frustrating fish. They’re not hard to hook but they’re murder to get to the boat. The problem is that the grouper lives around rocks, reefs, wrecks in fact anywhere where he can hide or bolt to and once hooked he’s in a hole before you can react.
Grouper are found on all of the wrecks in the Gulf and Atlantic they also live around the rock piles and the reef on the Atlantic side of Key West. Grouper come in a huge variety of species with the black, red, gag and goliath grouper all being found in considerable numbers around Key West.
The largest of the grouper family, the goliath grouper (formerly called the jewfish) is protected and must be returned alive to the ocean. They are very hardy fish and will swim away none the worse for wear if you manage to hook and land one. It really is a battle of strength to get these guys up to the surface. There now seems to be a population explosion with at least one Goliath on every wreck !.
KING MACKEREL OR KINGFISH
King Mackerel Common10-20 lbs. Largest up to 90 lbs. Best in fall, winter & early spring.
The King Mackerel or Kingfish is a frequent winter visitor to the waters around Key West. They usually depart as the water warms around the end of April. King mackerel are known throughout the sportfishing world for their blistering runs, you expect to see smoke coming from the reel when they take off, it’s an unforgettable experience. They are a wonderful sportfish, readily taking various live and dead baitfish, spoons, jigs and other artificials.
Cero Mackerel Average 2-5 lbs. Largest 17+ lbs. Best in fall & winter.
Cobia Average 10-30 lbs. Large 50-60 lbs. Largest up to 135 lbs. Best in winter, but caught most of the year.
Average 15-20 lbs. Largest 50+ lbs. Catch a few all year.
Caught all year, Barracuda Average 5-15 lbs. Largest up to 85 lbs. People love to mount them on their wall.
Average 1-2 lbs. Largest 8+ lbs.
Common at 200 lbs. Largest 5-600+ lbs. Best months are October & November and again in May & June, but caught all year.
Best in the fall, winter, & early spring. Average weight 16 – 25 lbs. Largest up to 42 lbs.
Largest up to 388+ lbs. Best months are September, October, November, December, and again in February and March.
Best fall, winter & spring but caught all year. Average 15-35 lbs. 45+ lbs. Large, Largest up to 155+ lbs..
Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) A blaze of blue,deep green and yellow when in the water. Small dark spots on sides with vertical strips. Head is very blunt in males we call them Bulls. Head is rounded in females we call them cows. We have cought 60+ pound Dolphin on RELENTLESS.
How: Trolling, Drifting, Casting.
Black Fin Tuna Dark on top with a bronze stripe down the side. Sizes run from 2 to 25 pounds. We have cought them up to 30 pounds on RELENTLESS.
How: Trolling, Drifting, Jigging, Still Fishing
King Mackeral: Heavy bodied with a large mouth that has razor sharp teeth. Long body is greenish above and mostly silvery under. King Mackeral might get as big as 40 pounds,
How: We troll with downriggers using plugs on wire. Also will find the mwhile Yellowtailing at night.
Sailfish: Upper part usually a darker blue to almost black, silvery below, vertical stripes visible on side.
How: Trolling, Drifting, Live Bait, kites