If you have never been to Key West and you’re planning a trip then you are probably pretty excited about all the things to do. Key West also called the Southernmost City is full of all types of activities, for all types of people. One of the most popular reasons to visit the town is Key West Fishing. Depending on the season, a very wide variety of fish are caught here, which is why it’s one of the top destinations for sport fishing in the world.
Snapper Fishing in Key West
Key West snapper fishing is great fun and they are delicious to eat. There are around 100 species of snapper, of which 4 or 5 are very common in the Key West area. With the different species ranging in weight from the smallest lane snapper to the largest mutton snapper they’re all ideal targets for a light tackle enthusiast.
If you’re fishing for the yellowtail snapper on the reef it won’t be long before one of your prized catch is seized by a “toothy critter” from the deep. These huge shoals of yellowtails attract plenty of predators and you’re very likely to hook a barracuda, kingfish, grouper or even a small shark whilst reeling in a yellowtail. It all adds to the excitement of the day and anybody that succeeds in landing one of these marauders will surely win the angler of the day award.
Yellowtail are best caught on hook and line using lots of chum. The clarity of the water makes a huge difference in whether or not there will be a yield of fish caught. “Dirty” water, or water that has a lot of particulate matter suspended in it, is a sought after condition for Key West fishing for yellowtail. The dirtier the better. We’re not talking pollution here. Clarity of the water, or visibility it’s called, is a function of natural environmental conditions and has nothing to do with pollution.
Some think the dirty water is so great for yellowtail because they can’t see the hooks. Yellowtail tend to be wily characters (read: smart) so tricking them with dirty water by camouflaging the hooks seems to makes sense.
Snapper are in residence around Key West from spring right through to the fall and spring / early summer sees vast numbers of yellowtails congregating on the Atlantic reef a few miles offshore from Key West. Fishing for them with a light spinning outfit, small hook and a tiny piece of bonito or a tiny fish is great fun and a perfect day out for the total beginner as well as the experienced angler.
Mutton snapper are much larger than the other varieties of snapper found around Key West. They can be caught in both the Atlantic and the Gulf and although they’re often found hanging around wrecks, they inhabit lots of areas and we’ve seen them caught in the entrance to the harbor whilst fishing for tarpon.
The grouper is one of the angler’s favorite but most frustrating fish. They’re not hard to hook but they’re absolute murder to get to the boat. 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.
Types of Fish in Key West that You can catch on Red Bull –
Types of Fish that may be caught off Key West with Red Bull: Mutton Snapper, Mangrove or Gray Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper, Snowy Grouper, African Pompano, Barracude, Cobia, Amberack, Red Grouper, Black Grouper, Gag Grouper, Goliath Grouper (Jewfish), Tarpon, shark, Permit, Hogfish.
Types Of Fishing:
Night Fishing, Wreck and Reef, Light Tackle In Shore, Flats and Back Country, Tarpon fishing, Bonefishing
Night Fishing - 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 – 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.
Grouper – 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 !.
CERO MACKEREL- Cero Mackerel Average 2-5 lbs. Largest 17+ lbs. Best in fall & winter.
COBIA – Cobia Average 10-30 lbs. Large 50-60 lbs. Largest up to 135 lbs. Best in winter, but caught most of the year.
AFRICAN POMPANO – Average 15-20 lbs. Largest 50+ lbs. Catch a few all year.
BARRACUDA – Caught all year, Barracuda Average 5-15 lbs. Largest up to 85 lbs. People love to mount them on their wall.
YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER – Average 1-2 lbs. Largest 8+ lbs.
REDBULL is a very stable 26' Nordic Tug. You will find RED BULL is spacious and comfortable for harbor tours, dolphin watching or snorkeling pleasure. Priced right for everyone. We also offer custom charters for private Key West trips, dolphin watches and dolphin encounters.